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74Regional Information - France74Places Of Interest & Things To SeeAnnecy Lake Annecy is situated within the Haute SavoieNational Park. The picturesque medieval town ofAnnecy sits in a deep valley at the Northern end ofLake Annecy and is a great base for water sports,hiking, and cycling. The Thiou Canal winds peacefullythrough the colourful town, passing a variety of cafesand restaurants decked with flowers, which explainswhy Annecy is often called the 'Venice of Savoie'.Take a gentle lakeside stroll around Annecy'sEuropean Gardens or visit to the town's 12th-century castle. For the more demanding hiker thereis always the Tournette, the highest point aroundLake Annecy. The Roc de Chère nature reservecontains many marked paths and the AngonWaterfall offers fantastic views over Talloires andthelake itself. A local market is held on Tuesday inRue Ste-Claire.ChamberyLying between Annecy and Grenoble, the town ofChambery is also well worth a visit. It is built arounda 14th century castle and has a charming old quarterand interesting museums. On the southwest edgeofthe town is a 17th century country house calledLes Charmettes, where the Romantic philosopher,Rousseau lived. You'll find a small museum here,dedicated to celebrate Rousseau's life. There is alsoacathedral, art gallery and stylish shops too.Chamonix Here you will find the world's highest cable car,theAiguille du Midi, which climbs over the town ofChamonix and is the best way to see the majesticslopes of Mont Blanc. It climbs over 12,000 feetabove ground and there are stunning views fromthetop. Or catch the Montenver train to La MerdeGlace (the seas of ice). Dominated by the 19thCentury castle of the counts and Dukes of Savoie,the old town of Chambery is brimming with historicmansions and buildings. The Alpine Museumprovides an insight into the history and architectureof the valley and there are bustling weekly marketsselling a range of local produce. TalloiresA village on the east shore of Lake Annecy, Talloireswas built up around an 11th century Benedictinemonastery and has its own sheltered bay, beach andbathing area. The spectacular waterfall at Angon,Bridge des Fees and the Ermitage de St. Germainare all within walking distance of Talloires. St Jorioz Set between the Semnoz mountain and the westernshore of Lake Annecy. Right on the lake shore thetown offers shops, restaurants and watersports. Fun For All The FamilyBoat tripsAnnecy's lake is said to be the cleanest lake inEurope. Experience the best views of the lakes,surrounding mountain scenery and discover lakesidevillages by taking one of the many boat trips thatrun from the marinas and jetties. Take a boat tothelakeside village of Talloires which faces the 15thcentury Château de Duingt which isn't open tovisitors but the views from Talloires are spectacular.For those who are more active there's pleasureboats, dinghies, windsurfers, canoeing, scuba-divingand pedaloes to hire around the lake -fun forallages!Alpine ActivitiesTrips around the shores of the lake Annecy on foot,horse-back or bikes are very popular. Swim at thebeaches at Annecy and St Jorioz.Acrobatic Adventure ParkTest your agility, balance and acrobatic skills at theadventure park in the forest just above Méribel.Acrobatic forest activities take place in the treecanopy and can be enjoyed by adults and children.Strapped into a safety harness and suspendedseveral metres above ground you can move betweentrees like tarzan!NatureFrom pony walks and donkey rides to wild Marmotor the Alpine Ibix (wild goat), children can enjoyandlearn about nature in the Alps. The pasturesareablaze with colour from alpine flowers in thesummer.Things To DoMenthon and SévrierThe lovely lakeside village of Menthon is home toafairytale castle, Château de Menthon St Bernard,and the charming village of Sévrier is well worthavisit.Le Semnoz Nature ReserveThe impressive Alpine Garden of Semnoz can befound at the entrance of the Bauges National Park.With views to Mont Blanc, the garden boasts over100 varieties of Alpine flowers and shrubbery. Viewlife in the Alps at the indoor exhibition of caves andunderground streams. Also within easy reach are theSecret Gardens of Vaulx near Rumilly.Grotte et Cascade A network of passages at the foot of the wallowsmountains and home to cascades of waterfallsspilling into giant pools before falling into LakeAnnecy. Get a different view by walking up thewaterfall via the footbridges and steps. Aix-Le-BainsA thermal spa town situated northwest of Chamberyon the beautiful Lake Bourget.Château de Montrottier The medieval castle of Montrottier is located tenminutes away from Annecy. This castle perched onahill contains a variety of historic collections ofweaponary, pottery, tapestries and antique furniture.Summer SkiingSummer skiing on the Grande Motte GlacierinTignes.Tour de FranceThe famous Tour de France cycle race will be in theAlps mid July. GolfGolfers can choose from three courses in idyllicsettings that suit all standards whilst enjoyingbreathtaking views.Local Specialities. Ingredients mainly used are potatoes, cheeseandcured meats.. Fondue made from local cheeses such asEmmenthal, Tomme and Reblochon.. Tartiflette - a hearty potato, bacon and garlic dish. . Gateau de Savoie - a rich sponge cake. . Genepi - a spirit made from local herbs from thefoothills of the Alps.French Alpsthomsonalfresco.co.uk

7575thomsonalfresco.co.ukRegional Information - FrancePlaces Of Interest & Things To SeeVallon Pont d'ArcThe main tourist centre for the gorges of the Ardèchethis attractive town has many restaurants, souvenirshops, bars and canoe rental centres. This is the bestpoint to start from for a journey through the gorges,either by car or canoe. There is a 17th Century townhall housing tapestries and quaint old squares andstreets.Pont d'ArcFor those who want to enjoy the stunning scenery,visit thePont d'Arc, a natural arc bridge of limestonerock, 30metres high, carved out by the River Ardèche.Gorge de L'ArdècheFor around 30km between Vallon Pont d'Arc andStMartin D'Ardèche, this area is known locally astheGrand Canyon of Europe. The river Ardèche windsits way through steep canyon walls making this afantastic location for canoeing, climbing and walking. ArlesA gateway to the Camargue; the site of the bestpreserved Roman monument in the region and hometo some of thefinest museums in rural France, Arlèshas something for everyone.RuomsThis village is full of charm with an old centre andmain street of bars, shops and cafes. Stone used tobe quarried here and was used to build the bridgeatAvignon, the fountain at Pont-Saint-Esprit andneighbouring Nimes amongst other towns and villagesin the area. Up the valleyfrom the village is 'Défilés',aseries of tunnels and impressive vaults.SampzonThe Ardèche river meanders around this small villagewhich is dominated by the Sampzon rock, a startingpoint for a variety of walking trails. From its heightsthe whole region can be viewed.Balazuc12th century Balazuc is a picturesque, medievalvillageof stone houses perched on a cliff top withspectacular views overlooking a secluded gorge of theriver Ardèche. The village square has shops, carvedfrom the rock and adelightful 12th century church.St. Jean du Gard A pretty town on the river Gardon near to the gorgesof the Ardèche and Tarn. Take a trip onboard thesteam train between viaducts and tunnels to discoverfabulous scenery. Fun For All The FamilyArdèche Miniature, Soyons A display of miniature landmarks of Ardèche, from theMont Gerbier de Jonc to the Pont d'Arc, with riversand mountains.Aquatropic Water ParkWaterslides, wave machines and a crazy river providea fun day for the whole family.Peaugres SafariNear Annonay, 800 animals from all over theworldhave a home in the Safari's 80 hectares ofmeadowland, woods and ponds. Drive throughthepark to see the big cats, bears, bison andhippopotamuses, and by foot see other animalssuchas stoats and seals.Jurassic ParkTake a step back in time with a visit to a park like noother!The mammoth, brontosaurus and the mightytyrannosaurus, otherwise know as T-Rex, havebeenreconstructed to life-size in three hectaresofnaturalparkland. Viaduc 07Take a trip on a 1950's railcar, covering 10 milescrossing five viaducts. You will also get the chancetosee a working model of the 1950's railways. Atlantide Park A huge tropical aquarium with over 50 aquariumsanda tropical river. Includes fish such as sharks andelectric eels. Watch the sharks being fed and learnabout fish such as piranhas and electric eels. Things To DoOutdoor adventureThe rugged Ardèche provides plenty of outdoorsports, including rock-climbing, canoeing, caving andmountain biking. Speed down the gorges throughtothe Pont d'Arc. Aven d'OrgnacDiscovered in 1935, the underground caves ofimpressive stalagmites and stalactites are open tothepublic.Huguenots Cave, Vallon Pont d'ArcA natural site exhibiting the human use of the cavesfrom prehistory until today. Tunnels Cave, Vallon Pont d'ArcHave a drink at the bar in the cave and venture to theunderground lake that connects to the Ardèche river.Madeleine cave, St RemèzeOne of the world's most outstanding caves created byunderground rivers and a sound and light show ispresented to visitors.Le Pont du GardAn impressive world famous Roman aquaduct. Lavender MuseumLocated in the middle of lavender fields in Sainte-Remèze. See how the oil is distilled by a traditionalmethod and walk around the pretty gardens. FauniscopeA fauna museum which includes an amazing collectionof exotic European insects as well as naturalisedmammals and birds. There are insectariums todiscover spectacular tropical insects and a mini-farmwith domestic animals and dwarf goats, rabbitsandhens.Local Specialities. Chestnuts are the main ingredient and are used asa base for soups and bread.. Marrons glacés -sugar coated chestnuts. La Tarte aux myrtilles - a blueberry tart served hotwithcream. . Picadon - goats' cheese . Red wines made from the Syrah & Grenache grapes Ardèche