If there are two things that hold true for travelers in summer, it’s that crowds and the blistering heat are tough to avoid.

While hordes of travelers flock to beaches and iconic cultural cities across the globe, it’s time for hidden gems to shine.

With that comes nearly identical destinations without the fluff of overhyped attractions with household recognition.

Take Amsterdam, for example, a city yanking the welcome mat from underneath tourists’ feet. Yet, the Netherlands has plenty of similar cities with less crowds and more welcoming locals.

The same goes for Venice, yet another city that hasn’t exactly been exuding warmth and friendliness towards tourists as of late.

While you may want to skip out singing That’s Amore, a hidden gem tucked away in southeastern France has been dubbed the “Venice of France”, or at the very least, the “Venice of the Alps“.

Skip Europe’s Major Cities And Give This Hidden Gem A Chance

Canal and colorful buildings in Annecy

Paris, Barcelona, Athens, London, and so many more take on a new vibe during summer with swarming crowds.

Yet, ironically, when we picture quintessential Europe, we often envision cobbled streets, delightful sidewalk cafes, and historic architecture—not the Eiffel Tower or Acropolis.

That’s where hidden gems come into play, even as the world seems to get smaller and travel has come roaring back in recent years.

You should dial in on Annecy, a blip on the map but a stunning getaway nonetheless.

Not Your Average Small Town

Canal running through Annecy, France

Not every destination with a scenic canal can just slap the “Venice” tag on and lure in tourists.

Despite its frustrating drawbacks, many travelers are still visiting, so any copycat has to be the real deal.

Annecy exceeds the mark. You’re not going to come here and just take a few selfies and be on your way.

No, Annecy packs a punch despite its relatively small size compared to Europe’s major cities.

Best of all, small town France has everything you would imagine it to have – intriguing history, cozy cafes, and phenomenal food, of course.

However, the best surprise is the jaw-dropping scenery throughout the region and the lake supplying the town’s picturesque canals.

Winding waterways of Lake Annecy

Visit Old Town For Something New

It seems every European city worth visiting has some variation of an ‘Old Town’. It’s no different for Annecy, but this is where the tourists can immerse themselves in all the action.

Annecy is set near the borders of Switzerland and Italy, giving tourists a unique opportunity to feast on this underrated foodie scene of some of Europe’s best cuisine.

Tourists can have their fill both literally and figuratively, indulging in local eats, visiting the beautiful, historic sites like the Palais de l’Ile, and hopping aboard a boat for a lovely night on the canal.

Annecy castle

Perfect for taking in a sunset or simply enjoying the finer things in life on a nice stroll without elbow-to-elbow crowds, Annecy’s city center is teeming with charm and history.

Perhaps no more than the nearby revamped medieval castle, Musée-Château d’Annecy.

Visiting somewhere new begs the question of where to stay. There’s multiple options for a nice retreat, but here in Old Town is where the familiar names, such as Ibis, Best Western, and enchanting boutique hotels are located.

Lake Annecy: France’s Southeastern Paradise

Blue waters, gorgeous chateaus, and stunning mountains – sounds amazing, right?

Paddleboarders on Lake Annecy

Well, that is what you’ll find in and around Lake Annecy just outside, you guessed it, Annecy.

Taking a scenic boat ride is not the only way to explore the canals and stunning lake as a popular activity is to rent a paddleboard through the eye-popping blue waters and rising mountains.

If immersing yourself in nature is more of your vibe, you can skip staying in Old Town and opt for a 5-star hotel like L’Auberge du Père Bise or stay cozy in a delightful village.

The lake is undoubtedly a top destination in this region of France and offers visitors an array of villages to explore and scenic beaches wrapping around the 9-mile long lake.

Credit: Source link