Alpin romance in Aix-les-Bains
Day 1: Aix-les-Bains
Welcome by our tour guide in Lyon or Geneva airport and transfer by coach to Aix-les-Bains. Check-in at your hotel. Aix les Bains, already praised for its Spas at the Roman time, developed from the 19th century as a fashionable resort.. Guests from all over the world flocked here after Napoleon III brought Aix-les- Bains in fashion, inevitably followed by the European nobles. With the visit of Queen Victoria in 1885 began the "Belle Epoque" of the spa in their full size and palaces, hotels and sumptuous villas were built. It is pleasant to stroll between the small harbour and the pedestrian zone in the city centre; terraces invite you to linger and shops and boutique to shopping spree. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Hautecombe, Lac du Bourget, Jardins Secrets
After breakfast meet with the guide and walk downhill to the Lac du Bourget: boat ride on the beautiful lake to Hautecombe and visit of the Royal Abbey on the Bourget lake shore where since the XIV century the Savoy rulers were buried. Afternoon trip to Rumilly and visit the “Jardins Secrets” which shows about 7000sm of mosaics, patios, courtyards and basins. Plants from Savoy are showed in a Morocco atmosphere. Enjoy the gardens and have a break in
the tea lounge. Return to Aix-les-Bains for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 : Chartreuse and Grenoble
Trip to Grenoble over the Grande Chartreuse Massif where we visit the museum inside the monastery: surrounded by a grandiose nature the Monastery of La Grande Chartreuse is a shelter of calm and serenity. In the Massif, steep cliffs and deep gorges with green pastures build a land of harmonious landscapes. The Carthusian monks contributed to the economic development of the area and produced from 1737 an herb elixir called "Chartreuse verte" and "Chartreuse jaune”. Common lunch in a rural restaurant in Saint Pierre de Chartreuse. Afternoon visit of Grenoble capital of the Dauphine district surrounded by the high plateau of the Vercors and the Alps. Walking tour in the lovely old town with its small narrow streets and optional visit of the interesting Fine Arts Museum. Return to Aix for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Shores of Geneva Lake
Journey towards Geneva Lake over the Abondance Massif: in the lowland stretches the Geneva Lake with its gentle climate, its green banks and spas. Visit the spa resort of Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains, then Yvoire, a peaceful small harbour surrounded by greenery on Geneva Lake. Late afternoon return to Aix-les-Bains for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Chambéry
Trip to Chambéry, the historic capital of Savoy where from 11th century until the incorporation to France in 1860 the Italian face played an important role in the history of these small state. From the shores of the Bourget Lake to the wide Savoy slopes, cities, lakes and vineyards form a colourful mosaic in this lovely landscape. A charming land which have already enthusiast French writer Rousseau and Lamartine. We visit the old town and the Palace of the Dukes. Afternoon at leisure in Aix-les-Bains. A visit to the spa or a shopping session, a visit to the Fauré museum or a stay in one of the city’s park are other nice opportunities to enjoy the town. Evening dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Annecy and along the Annecy lake
Trip to Annecy, the capital of Savoy with its lake and its charming old town is often described as the Venice of the Savoy. Between the canals and along the lakeshore meet 30 centuries of instable history from the stilt houses of the bronze Age to the mementos in the "Maison de Savoie". Afternoon drive along the beautiful waterfront road to Menthon-Saint-Bernard. Visit of the castle with a remarkable library presenting works of important thinkers, the Pilgrim Hall from the 15th century and the well maintained Louis XV style furniture. Over Talloires, along the Annecy Lake we drive to Albertville where we visit the Museum of Olympic Games. Back in Aix-les-Bains, we have dinner and overnight at the hotel
Day 7: Chamonix
After breakfast we leave for Chamonix Mont Blanc located in a valley surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the French Alps, glaciers with deep crevasses and often cloudy summits. The Mont Blanc, the legendary Vallee Blanche descent, the Bossons glacier and the Aiguille du Midi summit form a perfect framework as well as the beautiful wooden houses and partially over one hundred years old hotels. Worth seeing is the Aiguille du Midi, a single rocky outcrop dominating high above the glaciers the snow fields. We take the train up to the Mer de Glace, the second largest glacier in the Alps, 14 km long, 1800 m wide and up to 400 m thick. Return to Aix for dinner and overnight in hotel
Day 8: Bauges Massif
After breakfast we meet our tour guide and ride in the Bauges Massif located between Aix-les-Bains, Annecy, Chambéry and Albertville. We drive through pristine landscapes, beautiful villages, visit a wood turner workshop and discover the silent Abbey of Tamié. Last visit is for of a wine cellar with wine tasting and opportunity to bring a few bottles home. Continue to Lyon or Geneva for departure.
- 7 hotel overnight and breakfast buffet in a good middleclass hotel in Aix les_ Bains, all rooms with private facilities
- 7 diners at hotel or nearby restaurant (3 courses, drinks not included)
- Coach and bi-lingual guide for the whole roundtrip from/to Lyon or Geneva airport
- 1 lunch in Saint Pierre de Chartreuse with regional cuisine
- Admissions: boat ride Aix-les-Bains /Hautecombe /Aix_ les Bains, Hautecombe abbey, gardens in Rumilly followed by a tea break, museum in La Chartreuse, Chateau des Ducs in Chambery, castle in Menthon-Saint- Bernard, museum of the Olympic Games in Albertville, Mer de Glace train in Chamonix, Dreschler studio in Les Bauges, visit of a woodturner workshop, wine tasting in Savoy.
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