Does anyone have any recommendations for cities in France near Geneva, Switzerland, that are worth a visit? I'd like to spend a day and a night in a French city near there. I'll be driving from Interlaken to the Geneva area, so I'm thinking some place south of the Geneva Lake or maybe slightly east of it. Nothing past Lyon, though, because I need to make it to the Geneva airport the next morning. Thanks!
I flew into Geneva several years ago, then traveled by train through France for two weeks. About a 1-1/2 hour train ride from Geneva is Annecy France. OMG. I stayed there for 4 days and could have stayed longer. It is so charming, so quaint, with a large beautiful lake that is ice cold and surrounded by beautiful mountains. I could not find many people that spoke English, and didn't try -- I enjoyed having to speak my high school French. In a pinch, the tourist bureau and the train station had English speakers, so that was really all I needed. I took a wonderful lake cruise that was so relaxing and so very beautiful. There are canals throughout with beautiful ancient buildings straddling them. I can't describe it adequately, but I loved the whole ambience of Annecy so much, and i woould love love LOVE to go back. I am sure you could get a good, enjoyable dose of it in a 4 hour visit, Debbie. Jealous!
As you have mentioned that you will be driving from Interlaken to Geneva and from Geneva to further into France, you can visit Annecy and Aix-les-Bains, the former is around 41 kms from Geneva and it would take around an hour to reach here, the latter is around 70 kms from Geneva and is located to the north of Annecy, a little more than an hour will be required to reach here if you are coming directly from Geneva, and around half an hour from Annecy , you can visit both places in a day , and for night stay you can get back to Annecy, or if you don’t want any rush, just visit Annecy and explore the city. There are lots of activities you can do in this city, like you can visit the Churches, you can visit local markets, you can also visit Lake Annecy, Musee Chateau(it’s a four hundred year old castle) besides Palais de l'Île. There are nice places to visit in the other city of Aix-le-Bais as well, the main attractions here are, The ancient thermes, the Grand circle casino, arc de campanus, the town hall and Musée lapidaire.
I hope the information provided would be helpful to you.
Wishing you a happy journey.
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Divonne-les-Bains is really great - very French and just outside Geneva. Has a Casino, little cinema (with English films) and natural source ponds which are really beautiful.
Annecy is just gorgeous too though!!! If you go in the summer you NEED to swim in the lake - its like swimming in a bottle on Evian the water is so clear and clean! Really good shopping there too, lots of wonderfully French boutiques.