"An area of Natural Beauty: The Majestic Alps including Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc; Lakes; Glaciers; Rivers, Woodland & Nature Reserves"...
About the Haute Savoie Region
Located in the South-East of France in the Rhône-Alpes region, the Haute Savoie borders both Switzerland (to the north) and Italy (to the south) and with the beautiful town of Annecy as its capital. The region is a very popular holiday destination thanks to its breathtaking mountain scenery, picturesque winter resorts, and of course it does offer some of the best skiing in the world. With its proximity to Italy thru the Mont Blanc tunnel and to Switzerland via the Col du Montets, you are perfectly positioned to explore 3 countries in 1 week!
The Haute Savoie claims the largest range of mountains in the whole of France including the highest mountain in Europe (Mont Blanc - 4810m) as well as 9 national nature reserves and significant water resources including Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy. Due to its cold and snowy winters and warm summers, the Haute Savoie is ideal for summer and winter holidays.
It also boasts some of the best ski domains in the world including Les Portes du Soleil, Le Grand Massif, Aravis and Mont-Blanc as well as many sought after picturesque Savoyard resorts such as Chamonix, Flaine, Morzine, Avoriaz, and La Clusaz.
Chamonix: Picture pretty Alpine resort with a good selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Chamonix is best known for its extreme skiing, climbing, high mountain hiking and mountain biking, and exclusive shopping.
Flaine: Flaine benefits from excellent snow records and is a paradise for free stylers (The Jampark).
Morzine: Morzine is a lively town, part of the Portes du Soleil ski area with over 615km of pistes over a number of resorts, it is good for both winter & summer sports.
Avoriaz (1800m): is situated in the heart of the vast Portes du Soleil ski area: with 615 km of slopes, 288 pistes and 209 lifts. It is a car free resort.
La Clusaz: is a charming resort part of the extensive Aravis ski area.
Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Leman) is one the largest lakes in Western Europe. Its 53kms of French coastline is dotted with sought after resorts such as Thonon les Bains, the spa town of Evian and the beautiful medieval village of Yvoire.
Lake Annecy: is fed by mountain streams and thanks to strict regulation is now known as Europe "cleanest lake". The lakeside towns of Veyrier du lac, Menthon St Bernard, Talloires and obviously the elegant and charming town of Annecy are all worth a visit.
The region offers many activities such as skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering and Apres Ski (very important time of the day) in the winter and paragliding, pony, mountain biking, trekking, hiking and golf in the summer. In the north of the Departement Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy offer the chance to do some rowing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and swimming.
Lots of traditional Savoyard specialties with meat, cheese and potatoes, such as fondue, raclette and tartiflette, perfect after a hard day’s skiing. These are usually washed down with some of the regional wines (Chignin Bergeron, Apremont , Mondeuse & Gamay) or schnapps such as the local génépi. If you are looking for gourmet food, you will not be disappointed as the Haute Savoie boasts a number of star- rated restaurants.
The 2 listed most beautiful villages in Haute Savoie
Sixt-Fer- à-Cheval: A village with a 13C church and priory located in a beautiful setting in a Nature Reserve area - do not miss the Cascade du Rouget (waterfall.)
Yvoire: the "pearl of Lake Geneva" is a medieval fortified lakeside village with stone houses, narrow streets, a castle and ramparts.
Architecture: Built for functionality and durability, the Alpine farmhouses and chalets are made with local materials (wood and stones) and feature overhanging roofs and ornate balconies. They were designed to withstand the long winter months and the heavy snow falls.
Many of the old chalets and famhouses have now been renovated into stunning homes. There are also many new developments and new properties, most of them in keeping with the Alpine style architecture.
How to get there
Flights to Geneva, Lyon and Chambery airports.
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