IFALPES is a French language school in the French Alps. We are located in Annecy a beautiful medieval city. Annecy, a middle size French town known as the “Venise of the Alps”, is an ideal place to...
Learn French in beautiful Annecy - the best of France and the Alps
Annecy is in the foothills of the French Alps, closer to Geneva than Lyon and a perfect base for exploring two different countries: France and Switzerland. Learning French in Annecy is great for those who enjoy outdoor activities, because it is close to famous ski resorts like Chamonix and Val d’Isère and located on Lac d’Annecy, a lake famous for its purity and beauty.
This medieval lakeside city is famous for every kind of water sport. The water is very clean, so swimming is popular. Many visitors learn to canoe or kayak on the lake, and you can also take a lake cruise. Lac d’Annecy covers 27 km², so there is a lot to see along the banks.
Skiing is a top activity in Annecy and French language students can travel to the many ski resorts around the town to enjoy some of the best ski slopes in the world.
The ancient town of Annecy is very pretty - simply walking around the city will show you a hundred beautiful buildings. Famous Annecy landmarks include:
- Pont des Amours (the Love Bridge) - it is said that if you stand on the bridge and kiss your partner, you will remain together for life.
- Palais de l'Isle (the Island Palace) - this building is set on a triangular islet so two of its three sides reach out over the lake. This ancient building dates back to the 12th century and looks like a fairytale palace. It is now a museum of local history, open only in summer, and one of the most popular photo opportunities in the whole of France.
- Many places are described as being like Venice, but Annecy is truly 'The Venice of France' - discovering the many canals that run through the city is an adventure. The architecture, pretty little parks and many bridges make Annecy a delight to explore.
Living in Annecy - tips for French language students
Annecy is a good base for students who like to explore new places on a budget, walking and enjoying the mountains, castles and lakes.
The city of Annecy is famous for its markets which take place on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pretty stalls line the streets and canals of the old town, making a trip to buy groceries into a tourist experience. Shopping at the markets is a great way to find bargains and presents, and practise your French.
The favourite local activity is to take a picnic to the shore of Lake Annecy. In summer you can buy picnic supplies in the markets and in winter you will find stalls selling raclette and other treats based on local products like cheese and vegetables. The European Gardens are another popular picnic spot, surrounded by giant redwood trees from California. This is the ideal place to sit and do some French vocabulary revision while watching the world go by!