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Breathtaking mountain landscapes, beautiful lakes, charming old towns and villages, the world’s most renowned ski areas and spa resorts, delicious food… All of this makes Haute-Savoie one of the most stunning departments in France, full of amazing places to discover.
During the spring of 2022, we had the real pleasure of living there for 7 weeks. During that time we got a chance to get to know the Haute-Savoie better. In this post, we’ll show you places and attractions that we deemed the best of all we’ve seen. Keep reading and discover our subjective ranking of the top5 most beautiful places to visit in the Haute-Savoie department in France. Add them to your French bucket list – you won’t regret it.
About Haute-Savoie department
Haute-Savoie (eng. Upper Savoy) is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France, bordering Switzerland and Italy, with Annecy as its capital city. It extends from Lake Geneva in the north, to Mont Blanc in the south, and has the widest range of elevations of all French departments – the lowest point is at 221m, and the highest is at Mont Blanc summit, at 4810m.
Besides stunning landscapes and charming Alpine towns, Haute-Savoie is best known for:
- the majestic Mont Blanc, the highest summit in Western Europe
- being a dream destination for winter sports lovers, as well as climbers, and hikers
- world’s renowned ski and spa resorts
- many water sports activities on Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy
- delicious Savoie foods, like fondue, raclette, or tartiflette
- hosting the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924
Ok, it’s finally time for us to share with you our ranking of TOP5 best places to visit in Haute-Savoie. Ready? Let’s go!
Top5 Best Places To Discover In Haute-Savoie, France
If we were asked to recommend just one place in Haute-Savoie, without any hesitation we would have chosen Annecy, the Venice of the Alps. We think that it’s literally impossible not to fall in love with this place. Annecy with its picturesque canals, charming old town, crystal-clear Lake Annecy, and the mighty Alps in the background is a real gem of the Haute-Savoie and without a doubt one of the most beautiful towns in France.
Learn more: 20+ Best Things To Do In Annecy, France
Yvoire is a picturesque medieval village that lies on the Lake Geneva shores that will transport you back in time hundreds of years. Despite the fact that the village is more than 700 years old, it preserved its medieval vibe with stone houses and wooden balconies brightly decorated with flowers. Yvoire is also recognized as one of France’s most beautiful villages (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France).
Chamonix is one more mind-blowing destination in Haute-Savoie. It’s located in the heart of the French Alps, where Mont Blanc dominates the area. You’ll have at your fingertips mighty mountains covered in snow, glaciers, breathtaking views on each step, countless summer and winter outdoor activities You’ll even have the possibility to stand right in front of Mont Blanc thanks to the Aiguille-du-Midi cable car. If you’re looking for an amazing alpine escape, Chamonix might be exactly the place you need for your next adventure.
Evian-Les-Bains is a small and charming SPA town located on the shores of Lake Geneva. The town is most famous for its Evian mineral water, which can be found in stores in most countries around the world. Together with a scenic lake location, close proximity to the Alps, thermal baths, many hiking and cycling trails around, a long lakeside promenade, and a lovely colorful old town, you’ll end up with a great travel destination in Haute-Savoie department. Fun fact: even the famous Frankenstein monster once visited Evian!
Learn more: 10+ Things To Do In Evian-Les-Bains, France
Les Lindarets is a really small village located high in the mountains, at an altitude of 1442m. It’s quite a unique and peculiar place to visit in Haute-Savoie. Why? Well, in winter it’s a ski resort that in summer transforms into a village dominated by… goats that are freely walking along the streets and hilltop meadows. You can buy some food and feed them, but be aware that they might become intrusive. In Les Lindarets you can also admire classic Alpine chalets, eat in one of a few restaurants, buy goat-related products, and simply enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surroundings.
More great places to visit in Haute-Savoie, France
If you are hungry for more you can also check places like:
Top5 Best Places To Discover In Haute-Savoie, France – Summary
Mighty mountains, blue lakes with crystal clear water, charming and colorful old villages… Haute-Savoie is without a doubt one of the most stunning French departments to visit, full of beautiful places to discover. We really enjoyed our time there and already know that we’ll come back as there is definitely much more to discover. Hopefully, the Haute Savoie area also looks very interesting to you and you’ll appreciate its beauty as much as we did. Have a great trip & let us know which places are your favorites.