Best of France Travels Guides You on a Magnificent French Alps Tour

September 4-13, 2020 – Full

$3995pp in double occupancy. Limit 14.

$500 Single Supplement.

Contact Us for more information or to book your tour!

A Magical Medieval Town Located on Lake Annecy

Annecy is a magical medieval town located on Lake Annecy in the Valley of Thones, at the foot of the French Alps. We will be staying at the Splendid Hotel in Annecy for nine nights. The Splendid Hotel is perfectly located in the center of the medieval town, directly across from the lake. The breakfast buffet each morning is served in a dining room with views of the lake. There is also an outside terrace where you can enjoy your breakfast if you prefer. 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! 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.

View of the old town of Annecy - France
Alps Mont Blanc
Alps Annecy chateau and town

Highlights of our Magnificent French Alps Tour

  • All Transportation by bus throughout tour
  • Airport transfers to/from Geneva on the starting and ending day of the tour
  • All visits, tours, excursions and entry fees for activities in program itinerary
  • Five “event” lunches
  • Nine delicious buffet breakfasts
  • Four special dinners at different restaurants in Annecy
  • Nine nights at the Splendid Hotel Annecy with lake views
  • Guided tour of the Chateau de Menthon
  • Ride in cable car to the top of Mont Blanc
  • Secret Gardens and the Gardens of Five Senses
  • Visit Gorges du Fier
  • Tasting day with chocolate, local specialties and regional wines
  • Tour of the Plateau de Glieres place of resistance fighters
  • Authentic Chalet lunch at Glieres
  • Visit the most flowered town in France, medieval village of Yvoire
  • Lunch by the lake in Yvoire
  • Farm to table lunch at Col de la Forclaz
  • Fondue night
  • Market day
  • Boat cruise on Lake Annecy
  • All tips are included
  • Information booklet and luggage tags
  • Pre-tour assistance as needed
  • Luggage assistance

Day by Day Program for our Magnificent French Alps Tour

Day 1. Friday – Welcome to the Alps! You will be transferred from Geneva to Annecy to begin our discovery of this beautiful region. Our activities begin at noon with lunch and orientation of Annecy. This afternoon you will have free time to relax, unpack and wander the lovely medieval village that surrounds our hotel. Lunch and Dinner.

Day 2.  Saturday –  This morning we will drive to the Col de la Forclaz high above Lake Annecy. This is the perfect spot to watch the paragliders – the No. 1 spot in Europe for this sport. Enjoy a group lunch on the terrace of our restaurant which is set on a working dairy farm. Take in the views over the surrounding hills as the paragliders sail over our heads. Savor the delicious slices of charcuterie, assorted cheeses, and the house specialty of potato beignets. If you have room you can sample the fresh blueberry tarte with whipped cream. After lunch we will drive to the historic Chateau de Menthon St. Bernard for a special tour of the castle interior. The chateau has been continually occupied by the same noble family of Menthon for 1000 years!

You can admire beautifully furnished rooms, in particular the Countess’ Bedroom, 13th century kitchens and the great hall, decorated with pictures and antique furniture from Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and a Gobelins tapestry. The library contains ancient manuscripts written on parchment with painted illuminations from monks of the Middle Ages. Late afternoon return to Annecy. Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3. Sunday –  Today is market day in Annecy! A colorful and tasty array of regional products is on display – and you may be offered a taste! Shop for leather goods, clothing, and artisan crafts. As you wander along the Canal de Thiou in the center of the old town you will enjoy the sights and smells of sausages, cheeses, fresh bread, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Wander “Le Vieux Annecy” also known as the “Venice of France” for the picturesque series of canals that meander throughout the town. Choose something from the market for a shared picnic on the lovely terrace of our hotel. After our picnic, we will embark for a scenic boat cruiseon the Lac d’Annecy. Breakfast; group picnic.

Day 4. Monday – 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. Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 5. Tuesday – 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. 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. Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 6. Wednesday –  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. 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! Breakfast, Wine pairing with Tapas.

Day 7. Thursday – Today our visit is to the historically significant Plateau de Glières, high in the mountains. This is the site of a remarkable resistance of the young 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. 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. Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 8. Friday – Market day again in Annecy! 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. Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 9. Saturday – 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. We have lunch beside the lake after our tour of the garden. 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. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 10. Sunday – Today is Departure Day. We provide transfers to the Geneva airport for flights departing today. Transfers to the train station in Annecy can also be provided as requested.

Customers' Appreciation

“We have taken three tours with Best of France Travels and have enjoyed each immensely. Carol stays and travels with the group. It’s very relaxed and our groups have had a comfortable, friendly air. Not too much bus time, lots of interesting places to see. Really, enough activity to enjoy and relax, but not too much to overpower or bore. Carol had us shopping in pairs for picnic foods, and then enjoying a picnic at a beautiful spot. Carol is friendly, responsible, knowledgeable and competent. We’ve enjoyed being with her and traveling with her. As I said, we’ve been on three tours with her and look forward to more.” Bob and Barb O. – Potomac, MD

View Photos From Our French Alps Tour

Alps Annecy flowered village
Alps free day shopping
Alps Lake Leman boats