Hugging the shores of Lake Geneva, the Haute-Savoie Department lies along France’s border with Switzerland and Italy. It’s dotted with alpine ski resorts and is backed by the iconic peak of Mont Blanc.
Things to do in Haute-Savoie
Captivating old towns, architecturally striking ski resorts and magnificent alpine views - the Haute-Savoie Department is sure to leave a big impression.
Sightsee in Annecy. Overlooking one of the largest lakes in France, this picturesque alpine town centres around the cobblestone streets of the Vieille Ville. It’s often referred to as the “Venice of the Alps”, with winding canals lined with pastel-coloured buildings and spanned by photogenic bridges. Occupying the centuries-old Château d’Annecy is the Museum of Alpine Popular Art, which also boasts a unique collection of vernacular furniture.
Ski the slopes of Chamonix. Nestled at the base of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is a popular resort town with easy access to countless skiing and snowboarding trails. Outside of the winter months, you can ride the cable car that ascends to the summit of Aiguille du Midi for sweeping views across Haute-Savoie.
Get your art fix in Flaine. Forming part of the Grand Massif ski area, Flaine is famed for its immense outdoor sculptures and Bauhaus-inspired design. Get up close to the works by Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet and Victor Vasarely and learn about the Hungarian-born architect Marcel Breuer, who was responsible for many of Flaine’s Brutalist-style concrete buildings.
Drink Evian water in Evian. On the shores of Lake Geneva, Evian is a scenic spa town that gave its name to one of the world’s most famous brands of bottled water. Visit the source at the Cachat Springs fountain and see the town’s early-20th-century pump room, which is considered a masterpiece of Art Nouveau spa resort architecture.
Getting around Haute-Savoie
Geneva International Airport is the main aviation gateway to the Haute-Savoie Department while Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport is around 1.5 hours away. Regular trains connect to the Annecy and Annemasse railway stations while buses travel to towns and villages throughout the department.