Before starting back at work, I spent a few days in Chambéry visiting the surrounding area. The town is located in the heart of the Rhône-Alpes region in Southeastern France. With mountain ranges and national parks and lakes and is minutes to the Alpine heartland of France.
Aix les Bains, which is just 10 minutes by train from Chambéry, is also a nice town, with an old centre, but the highlight was Lake Bourget, the biggest natural lake in France. I took my lunch and just sat on a bench and gazed out onto the lake, it was so peaceful and beautiful.
My favourite town in this area though would have to be Annecy, lying on the northern tip of a lake and just 35 kilometers south of Geneva. It is known as the Venice of Savoie. The medieval town centre built around a 14th century Chateau is dissected by small canals and streams running out of of the lake, which is clean, fresh and a wonderful azure colour. Its such a pretty town with the colourful buildings lining the canals and little bridges dotted around the place.
I'm neither much of a snow-bunny nor a skier, but do like the authentic village in La Clusaz. Friends tell me the pistes are good – I can only vouch for the hot chocolate and fondue…