Day 4 in Annecy — a galette for lunch, a line for ice cream, fondue dinner, nighttime walk, and so much more.

Above: Morning light.

Below: My lovely hotel, Hôtel du Palais de l’Isle (red arrows point to its two buildings). I’ll stay there again. Castle in the background, historic Palais de l’Ile to the right. (Hotel info below the photos).

Below: For lunch — a galette (buckwheat crepe. I chose tartiflette, which was stuffed with melty local Reblochon cheese, cooked fatty bacon and onions) at La Crêperie du Thiou, on the river, close to the lake and across the river from my hotel.

Below: A line for ice cream! (I took this photo of Glacier des Alpes from my hotel room window.) They’ve been creating their own ice cream on this site for decades — I believe 40 years.

Below: My own ice cream from Glacier des Alpes.

Below: By the way, Annecy’s Castle (the pointy building in the background) was constructed from the 1100s to the 1500s. See below the photos for info about the Tourist Information office, and their brochure with four excellent town walks.

Below: I found a little bit of Florence in Annecy: Annecy’s oldest stone bridge (The Morens Bridge), which dates to the 1200s, has shops on it and homes above it — a very small version of Florence’s Ponte Vecchio.

Below: Annecy’s beautiful arcades.

Below: Dinner: Truffle Fondue at L’Etage (info below the photos.)

Below: Nighttime walk in Annecy.

Above: Notre-Dame de Liess church. Its bell tower was built in the 1500s.

Above: Hôtel de Ville — City Hall.

Above: Canal du Vassé.

Above: Palace de l’Ile (in lights. Built in the 1200s. Used to be a prison, and is now a museum), and my hotel immediately to its left.

It was a wonderful trip to a beautiful city, and I can’t wait to go again!

Tourist Information Office and Four Town Walks

The TI’s location isn’t intuitive — it’s inside the Bonlieu shopping center, which is next to the Champs de Mare park. Be sure to go to the TI! As Rick suggests, get the city map, Town Walks brochure and the map of the lake showing the bike trail.

The Town Walks brochure is fabulous! The four walks are much like Rick’s walks, pointing out lots of little hidden treasures, and teaching history that otherwise would be easy to miss. I walked all four. There’s also a short but helpful “Old Town Walk” in the Annecy chapter of Rick Steves’ France book. And, when you go to the TI, do browse their brochures. That’s how I found the concert with Alpenhorns! What a gift!

A Place to Stay in Annecy

I stayed in the Hôtel du Palais de l’Isle, right on the River Thiou, and I’d love to stay here again.

The hotel’s location is excellent (in the old town, right where the lake meets the river) a 15-minute walk (at most) from the train station, and a two-minute walk from the boat port and bike rental. The staff is very friendly and internet was excellent.

I’m planning to reserve one of their two rooms with balconies over the river when Jeff and I return next year. At a minimum, I’d like for us to have a room with a window overlooking the canal.

The hotel was completing a significant renovation while I was there, (renovation started in January 2019). After I asked a few times, one of the helpful front desk staffers showed me several newly remodelled rooms (which weren’t quite ready yet, so I was extremely honored to see them) on the fourth floor, and they are very pleasant — light and bright, with soothing accents of dark turquoise fabric and light-colored wood, (the colors represent Annecy’s lake and mountains.) They plan to complete the renovations May 2019.

Rates: When I was there, my room was €90 Wed and Thur; €109 Friday; and €119 Saturday. Of course, rates go up in high season — check the website.

For my reservation, breakfast cost an additional €12. Their breakfast is skippable (as are many French hotel breakfasts, unless included in the price of your room). I preferred going to Boulangerie Paul for a café au lait and a freshly-baked croissant overlooking one of the canals.

Fondue at L’Etage

I typically don’t like to visit a restaurant more than once when traveling, but I went to L’Etage two nights in a row because, as I’ve mentioned, they serve fondue and Raclette for one person. My fondue was delicious.