Holidays in Haute-Savoie, France
Dominated by lakes and mountains, the department of Haute-Savoie is home to some of France's most famous Alpine skiing resorts, such as Chamonix and Morzine. However, even if you are visiting the Rhone-Alpes region in the summer months, or if you prefer sightseeing to sliding on snow, there is still a lot for tourists to enjoy. The spa towns on the shore of Lake Geneva provide the opportunity for some rest and relaxation, while the pretty town of Annecy is a great base for exploring the Alps; including the jewel in the mountain range, Mont Blanc.
Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman as it is known to the French, is in the far north of Haute-Savoie and creates a natural border between France and Switzerland. There are plenty of trails around the lakeshore to explore on foot or on bike and there are many different ways of exploring the lake itself, from waters ports and sailing, to a more relaxing tourist boat trip. Meanwhile, the towns that line the French side of the lake are famous for their spa waters, including Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains, the latter now being more well-known as a brand of bottled water. Both towns have picturesque, historic centres with old buildings and churches, as well as providing starting points for walking trails into the mountains. In Evian, you can still visit the 19th century thermal baths and the luxury hotels that rich Europeans stayed in when they came to "take the waters".
Nicknamed the "Venice of Savoie", Annecy is a beautiful town to stroll around in winter or summer, enjoying the network of canals lined with historic houses and their pretty gardens. The old castle towers above most of the smaller structures in Annecy, and is home to a museum featuring exhibits on the art, culture and history of the town and the region. The canals all end up in the beautiful Lake Annecy, the purest lake in Europe filled with water that has made its way from the mountain-tops and glaciers that surround it. There are a number of beaches around the lakeshore, which are very busy in summer, but it is worth putting up with the crowds to swim in the clear water.
In the far south of the Haute-Savoie region is Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Although that mountain itself is difficult to climb and is not recommended to amateurs, you can take a cable car up to one of the neighbouring peaks, the Aiquille du Midi, which gives you great views of Mont Blanc and the rest of the range. Other attractions include the Mont Blanc Tramway, a single gauge railway that departs Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, offering spectacular viewpoints throughout the journey and the Montenvers train takes you to a giant 7-kilometre glacier, the "Mer de Glace".
The Author writes for Holiday Home Rentals who have a selection of Chalets in Haute-Savoie and Villas in France which can be rented direct from their owners.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Phil_Hanlon/524570
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