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The French Alps may be best known as a popular destination for avid skiers, but the region has much more to offer than fresh powder. Take, for example, the town of Annecy, which is situated in the southeastern corner of the country and is a smart addition to your France tour.
Annecy is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the Alps, and it's easy to see why. A historic, somewhat quaint atmosphere lies around every corner, and the narrow streets are lined with centuries-old churches and buildings. In addition to its architecture, the town is set against numerous snow-capped mountains, making it hard to deny the aesthetic appeal of Annecy.
The Palais de I'Isle stands out as one of the recognizable landmarks in France. Built in the 12th century, the small structure stands in the middle of one of the city's canals. The building has played a number of different roles throughout the years, from an administrative headquarters to a jail, and was used as recently as World War II. Additionally, visiting the Château d'Annecy should be a part of every France tour, as it has come to be recognized as one of the city's icons.
Fortunately, the city has more than just historic buildings. Annecy stands out as a cultural hub in France, most notably through the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which has been held every year since 1960 in the beginning of June.
Finally, if you want to experience the natural appeal of Annecy, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, especially through hiking and biking near the lake located next to the city.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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