Magnificent French Alps

Best of France Travels the Magnificent French Alps

September 4-13, 2018

Our destination is Annecy, a magical medieval town located on Lake Annecy in the Valley of Thones, at the foot of the French Alps. This region of France is extraordinarily beautiful, yet very different from other parts of France.

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We will be staying at the Splendid Hotel in Annecy for nine nights. http://www.hotel-annecy-lac.fr. The staff at this hotel is exceptionally accommodating and our hotel is perfectly located in the center of the medieval town, directly across from the lake.  All of our rooms face the lake and have lovely views.  The breakfast buffet each morning is served in a dining room with spectacular views of the lake and there is an outside terrace.  Each morning there are choices of regional cheeses and meats, along with eggs, fresh breads, pastries, fruits, juices, and croissants. A copious buffet of delights!

Breakfast on the terrace

Breakfast on the terrace

The food, the scenery, the town of Annecy itself, the mountains, the cheese (best in the country, maybe the world), the markets, the history…it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.  We will explore the villages, visit castles, taste the regional specialties, and be amazed by the natural wonders in this region of Haute Savoie.

Chamonix

Chamonix

For more photos please go to http://bestoffrancetravels.com/french-alps-gallery/

Best of France Travels Magnificent French Alps Tour!

Tour Price: $3995 per person in double occupancy;

$500 Single Supplement

What’s Included:

·        All Transportation by bus throughout tour

·        Airport transfers to/from Geneva on the starting and ending day of the tour.

·         Full time tour guide and assistant

·         All visits, tours, excursions and entry fees for activities  in program itinerary

·         Two “event” lunches

·         Four special dinners at different restaurants in Annecy

·         Nine nights at the Splendid Hotel Annecy with lake views

·         Nine buffet breakfasts

·         All tips are included

·         Information booklet and luggage tags

·         Pre-tour assistance as needed

·         Luggage assistance

·         Welcome Happy Hour at the Splendid Hotel

Best of France Travels

Magnificent French Alps Tour  September 4-13, 2018

 

Program Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Alps! We will meet you in Geneva this morning to begin our discovery of this beautiful region. First stop is the Plateau de Glières, high in the mountains. This is site of a remarkable resistance of the mountain guerilla fighters against the German occupation. Our certified local guide will tell the fascinating story of these heroic young men and how they fought to prevail in this harsh winter climate. We will have a leisurely walk with our guide over the plateau covered with wildflowers, where you can hear the bells of the dairy cows echoing throughout the mountains. Afterwards we will be rewarded with a traditional chalet lunch offering a variety of regional specialties. Taste the cheese made by a farmer on the plateau, savor the Savoy wines. You will be served the same food that people of this region have been enjoying for centuries, dishes that were created from the most humble ingredients and are now world famous recipes. Dessert might be a tarte myrtille made from the local tiny blueberries and topped with fresh whipped cream. After lunch we will continue to lovely Annecy – your home for the next nine nights. Check in and enjoy the view of Lac Annecy from the terrace of the Splendid Hotel.

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Day 2:  Today we will drive high into the magnificent Alps to reach Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. From Chamonix we will have an exciting cable car ride to the summit of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps at nearly 16,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. For the very brave you may want to step into the void! Enter a glass room and look down to the 3280 foot precipice below. After our descent we will visit the charming town of Chamonix at the foot of the mountain. Chamonix, one of the oldest ski resorts in France, is famous for being the site of the first winter Olympics. You will have time to wander through this quintessentially alpine village and enjoy lunch at your choice of restaurant or café. Late afternoon return to Annecy.  http://www.visit-mont-blanc.com/en

2015-08-29 023Day 3: Discover Annecy Day. We will start the day with a walking tour of Annecy. Our local expert guide will share secret passageways, hidden canals, architecture, and historic treasures of Old Annecy in the medieval quarter. After lunch we will taste several different specialties of Annecy. We will visit Meyer Chocolaterie, the most famous chocolate maker of the area. Hear the story of this multi-generation family of chocolate makers and of course, sample their amazing creations.  We will continue with a tasting of Genepi, a local liqueur made of over 100 different herbs and flowers. This afternoon your tasting adventures continue at our favorite wine cave. Our charming friend, Vincent, will present a series of regional wines paired with local cheeses and charcuterie. Savoy is renowned for creating some of the best cheeses in all of France!

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Day 4: This morning is market day in Annecy. A vast array of regional products as well as gifts, clothing, and crafts are displayed along the Canal de Thiou in the center of the old town. Wander “Le Vieil Annecy” also known as the “Venice of France” due to its picturesque series of canals that meander throughout the town.  This afternoon we will drive to the historic Chateau de Menthon St. Bernard for a special tour of several rooms in the castle. This castle has been continually occupied by the same noble family of Menthon for 1000 years! There are 105 rooms on four levels where you can admire beautifully furnished rooms, in particular the Countess’s Bedroom, 13th century kitchens and the great hall, decorated with pictures and antique furniture from Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and a Gobelin tapestry. The library contains ancient manuscripts written on parchment with painted illuminations from monks of the Middle Ages. Late afternoon return to Annecy. Evening group dinner

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Day 5:  Today we will drive to the charming village of Yvoire, on the bank of Lac Leman (known to the Swiss as Lac Geneve!) Now ranked as “Four Flowers”, the village represented France at the European level and received the International Trophy for Landscape and Horticulture. Visit the Garden of the Five Senses where the castle’s former kitchen garden has been restored to a plant labyrinth that changes with the seasons. Group lunch with a beautiful view beside the lake.  The lunch specialty is fresh fried perch of course – straight from the lake. You will have ample time to appreciate this charming village and explore the tiny streets lined with unique shops and galleries. Return to Annecy.

Yvoire on lac leman

Day 6: Free morning to sleep late or enjoy an early stroll beside the lake. Take your time to enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast on the terrace of our Splendid Hotel. It’s market day again on Sunday with a traditional food market. You will have another opportunity to view, smell and taste the delicious specialties of Savoy. This afternoon we will enjoy a one hour narrated boat cruise on Lake Annecy. Be enchanted by the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains with tiny villages nestled between, lakeside resorts, ancient castles, and mountain chalets while cruising on the cleanest lake in all of Europe!

annecy market for constant contact

Day 7: Today we will have a guided tour of the Basilica of the Visitation which stands high on a hilltop above Annecy and can be seen for miles. This Basilica represents a prestigious religious past and is filled with beautiful mosaics and stained glass windows which tell the stories of both Saint Francois de Sales and Saint Jeanne de Chantal. Our guide will explain details and highlights in the stained glass that recount the stories of both saints.  After our tour of the Basilica we will visit the Chateau d’Annecy (12th-16th Century) for a tour of the chateau and the museum.

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Day 8: Today we will visit one of the natural wonders of the Alps. Enjoy an exciting walk through the Gorges de Fier. The Fier River has carved out this magnificent gorge. Traverse a spectacular canyon via the 826 foot long footbridge which is suspended over 80 feet above the river. Venture deep into the giant gorge with the River Fier flowing at its base. Look for the faces of the fairies and sprites frozen in the rocks. Afterwards we will have lunch as a group under the mulberry trees. Choose from the menu or the daily special – it’s always delicious. After lunch we will continue our mountain discovery with a visit to the “Jardin des Secrets” (Secret Gardens). High in the mountains, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you will discover an exotic world in an unforgettable setting. This paradise is the creation of one family’s work for over 30 years to turn a dilapidated farm house into a work of art. Engage your senses in over 7000 square meters of gardens, patios, galleries and little rooms. Anyone who likes gardens, architecture, or home decorating will be entranced. Return to Annecy late afternoon.

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Day 9: Enjoy a full free day in Annecy. Take your time today doing what you want to do! Finish last minute shopping and soak up all that Annecy has to offer with her charming flower lined canals, narrow streets, and arcaded passageways.  Sit in a café to sip a glass of crisp, white Roussanne wine with flavors of honey and apricots. You may like to rent your own little boat to go out on the lake. Small motor boats for up to 6 people are available for rental without a license. Pedal boats and bicycles are also available for rental. This evening we will have our special Fondue Bon Voyage Dinner dinner with group.

Fairy tale castle in the Alps

Fairy tale castle in the Alps

Day 10: Today is departure day. We will drive the group to the Geneva airport for departure flights.

 

Enjoy a slideshow of some photos of past French Alps tours.

$3995 per person based on double occupancy

$500 single supplement

Limited to 14 people

Please contact us to book you tour!

Email to BestofFranceTravels@gmail.com or call us at (240) 397-6623.