The charming medieval Old Town of Annecy, France, boasts a stunning setting by a lake of the same name, amid the Alps of Haute Savoie.

Pastel-colored houses with bright flower boxes line the streets, and the most visible landmark, a turreted castle called the Palais de L'Isle is set on an islet in the Canal du Thiou. The Chateau d'Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva, rises above the old town. It boasts a 12th-century tower, the Tour de la Reine.

A wonderful food market is held on the Boulevard Taine every Saturday 7 am-1 pm, and an antiques and flea market is held in town on the last Saturday of each month 8 am-5 pm.

The city is also worth visiting at any time for its canals, restaurants and beach. Take a boat trip around the lake, departing from the Quai Bayreuth and stopping at the delightful village of Talloires. From May to September, boats also sail across the lake to Menton St. Bernard.

Annecy is 30 mi/50 km south of Geneva and is accessible by train (Gare des Eaux Vives, 90 minutes), bus (Gare Routiere, 70 minutes) or car (Autoroute A41, about 45 minutes).

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