Located in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhône-Alpes region of France, the Lac d'Annecy, 30-odd miles from Geneva and around 40 miles from the Italian border, is the third largest in the country and the second largest of glacial origin. Today the lake, which is 18,000 years old, is fed by seven tributaries as well as an underwater source and is known as the purest in Europe thanks to the strict environmental regulations put in place to protect it.
Measuring just under 24 miles in perimeter and sitting 447m above sea level, the body of water is surrounded by mountains, the highest of which is La Tournette, which rises to a height of 2,351m and looks like an armchair. Frequented all year round, in the summer visitors can bronze on its supervised beaches and bathe in the 24°C water as well as go cycling along 25 miles of cycle paths as well as do a variety of water sports. In the winter, the area is popular with skiers, whizzing down the surrounding slopes. But it is also the lake's surrounds which attract visitors from afar with quaint villages brimming with history. Several chateaux in the vicinity form the Route des Ducs de Savoieand the area is especially renowned for its cheese cuisine (reblochon), as well as with chocolate (roseaux filled with liqueur) and white wine (Apremont, Roussette). And if you happen to be in the area soon, there is a cross-lake swim taking place on 15 August and which is open to everyone.