The twinkle of the lights, the sound of familiar festive hits, and the smell of mulled wine (or vin chaud as we call it here!), we all know and love the magical atmosphere of Christmas markets that you just can’t help feeling warm inside from. But how about you take all of this, and put it in a little town centre so quaint and picturesque it almost feels like a movie set? Well then, you have the Annecy Christmas market.
As you stroll along the lakeside and across the road into the centre, you’re met with an idyllic scene of rows of charming little wooden huts resembling mini, mountain chalets; each with a fascinating display of products laid out for sale. From truffle oil to knitted scarves, Canadian beer to toffee apples, and hand-crafted ornaments to delicious-smelling soap, when you visit these markets, you’ll need to factor in time to be intrigued by every single stall and the weird and wonderful array of things they have to offer! But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s simply a Christmas exhibition, amongst these little stalls you can find a present that would make pretty much anyone smile, whether it’s mum or grandfather.
Once you’ve managed to tick a few people off your present check-list, reward yourself by seeking out one of the many drinks’ stalls. From beautiful, copper cauldrons reminiscent of an earlier era, enjoy a vin chaud, hot cider, or even vin blanc chaud. Warmed up from your hot drinks, have a wander over to the ‘Mailbox’ where you’ll find an enchanting display, and where children can meet Papa Nöel and take a picture with him in his house- always guaranteed excitement! Or get your skates out glide around the open air ice rink, with an adult and child size one, anyone can have a go.
Finally, round off the day with dinner in one of the town’s inviting restaurants- many of which by now are also sporting festive lights, wreaths and baubles and enjoy the impressive light show on the Marie. By the time you make your way home, you’ll definitely be feeling in the Christmas spirit! With the markets open until the 5th January, wherever you are in the Alps, it is certainly worth the trip to experience the magic of Annecy this time of year.