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Grenoble? Annecy?Chambery?

We are travelling up from Nice and would like to enjoy the beauty of the mountains as well as the quaintness of this area and stay in a 'traditional style' French/Swiss lodge. We would also like to walk in the mountains; and bike in the villages.
Where would you sugggest?

Posted by amandasessim
15 posts

I've been to Annecy and Grenoble.

Annecy would be my suggestion, with Chamonix as a close second.

Grenoble is nice enough, but can't compare to Annecy and Chamonix.

Annecy enchanted me so much it caught me off guard, I dream of living there ever since. It's gorgeous, charming, not too small and not too big, it's got gorgeous nature and that historical flavour, not to mention excellent food. I can't recommend it enough.

But Chamonix is actually in Mont Blanc so I'd say it's a more genuine alps experience. It's also smaller, it has less options of restaurants, and basically the only thing to do there is to go up the mountains. I found it to be way less romantic than I thought it'd be - most shops are for super modern equipment for snow sports and such.

My advice: Google for pictures of Annecy and Chamonix to choose a base and preferably visit both, since they're very close to one another. I actually stayed 2 nights in Annecy and 3 nights in Chamonix and wished to have done the opposite.

Good luck and have a nice trip!

Posted by Barbra
Burbank, CA
481 posts

Annecy for sure from your list. Go down the lake to one of those waterside towns.

But before you go, watch "Claire's Knee," directed by Eric Romer. A little creepy with the older guy and the young girl, but, man, does that spot look nice by the lake--and the hills up above.

Posted by Gooster
Nice, France & San Francisco
189 posts

As the others wrote, Annecy is the most picturesque and quaint of the three. But, it is in the lower elevations. It's not quite a lodge/chalet experience -- to get this you'll need to go to a higher elevation and smaller towns and villages like Megeve (some of which are ski resorts in the winter). Even Chamonix (less charming than Annecy) is more Alpine than Annecy, with actual lifts to go up the surrounding mountains (besides the ones in town for Mt Blanc, nearby towns like Les Houches).