The first time I arrived in Annecy I truly fell in love. Since then, Annecy has become my 'spiritual' home, allow me to explain.
When you travel a lot there are places in which you immediately feel connected.
The vibration, the energy, the people, the food, all sit very natural with you.
Annecy is a picture perfect quaint oasis nestled in among the towering walls of the surrounding alps. The town's nickname is in fact, The Pearl of the French Alps.
Just 35kms south of Geneve, Annecy is located in a corridor that allows one to easily reach nearby Switzerland, Italy and the South East Region of France.
For me the true drawcard to Annecy was it's incredible natural beauty and accessibility for a whole host of different outdoor pursuits.
From swimming and boating on the Lac de Annecy in the summertime, to cycling the forty kilometres around her shores, or hiking the thousands of trails in the nearby alps. Then you have it's incredible richness of skiing in the winter on the nearby less crowded slopes of Le Grand-Bornand.
Regardless of your age, or budget Annecy caters for all kinds of travellers. From the opulent L'imperial Palace Hotel standing proud at the end of the Lac, to plenty of well serviced camping sites and backpacker facilities, and everything in between. Dotted around the shore of the pristine lake are several smaller hotels with affordable tariffs.
The gastronomy highlights in Annecy start at the local markets in the Old Town. From there you can stroll along the cobbled streets and the saviour fresh, tantalising cuisine from this region known as the Haute Savoie. For me the cheese raclette is to die for and there are several places in the old town where you can try this local dish. Try Le Freti for your first stop.
Sitting by the lake with a glass of wine late in the day watching the sun set has to be one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. This is when the 'magic' of Annecy happens. The crisp mountain air combines with the heat of the valley below to offer a surreal end to a magnificent day in mesmerising Annecy.
There is so much to see and do in this area so make sure that you set plenty of time aside to experience as much of it as you can. Arrive by car, train or plane, Annecy will not disappoint you in any way, and maybe like me, you might just find a new spiritual home.