About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Bodies of Water
Castles, Historic Sites, History Museums
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Bars & Clubs
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Boat Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
Climbing Tours, Ski & Snow Tours, Other Outdoor Activities, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Cabarets, Bars & Clubs
Equipment Hire, Parasailing & Paragliding, River Rafting & Tubing, Other Outdoor Activities, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Mountains, Hiking Trails
Historic Sites, Castles, Gardens
Geologic Formations, Canyons
Gift & Speciality Shops
Lac d'Annecy offers a beautiful introduction to the city's raw and rugged natural surroundings. The craggy mountain ranges in the distance provide a stunning backdrop for the lake, where serene waters can make for a perfect morning of kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or even sightseeing. Take breakfast or a warm drink along with you and picnic by the pier watching the sailboats pass by, or go on a guided tour. A visit to Lac d'Annecy is a relaxing way to get your bearings and settle into your holiday.
A tour around the scenic shores of Lac d'Annecy is a great way to take in the breathtaking sights from every angle while learning a little bit about the history of the city itself. The tour's guides explains landmarks as you pass them, but the real treat is in the leisurely boat ride itself, which proves that the best way to see the lake and its mountainous vanguards might just be from the water — without you having to do the rowing! (Makes taking photos that much easier!)
For midday, a stop-off at Parc Charles Bosson puts you back on dry land, where you can picnic, stroll, or even sunbathe if the season is right. Shady and verdant, the park is a serene spot to start your vacation reading, or, if you're feeling full of energy, to tackle its trails for a run, a cycle, or even skateboarding. Located on the banks of Annecy Lake, its an easy hub to access.
Heading into Annecy's city center, the Musee Chateau d'Annecy is a marvellous first stop to get the vibe of the old city. A must-visit, the Chateau itself is a historic building with architecture that harkens back to a rustic past, while inside it houses an array of exhibits on Savoy art and culture. A blend of temporary and permanent exhibits keeps the collection fresh, blending modern art and archeology under one roof. The view from the Chateau is an extra treat, as it overlooks one of the prettiest parts of the city.
La Vieille Ville is the star of Annecy. No visit is complete without wandering the small streets, meandering under archways, traversing waterways over charming bridges, taking in the hodgepodge of shops and restaurants along the channels. Antiquated homes and buildings are enlivened by bright lights and awnings, boutiques are bustling with business, flowers are busting out of window planters, and cafes are spilling onto tiny terraces. Whether you decide to sit down for a cup of espresso, or take your window shopping to go, be sure to have a walk around this completely charming area.
Located in the old town, the Palais de I'lle makes for a quick and architecturally stunning visit. The small building which juts on to the water used to be a prison, and is now home to a quaint little exhibit on local history and art. Even if you do not venture inside to gander at the rooms that once held infamous prisoners, certainly explore from the outside: It's a quick stop, and a truly interesting building.
End your day with a toast. At La Queue du Coq in the old city, cocktails are taken seriously. The warm and intimate atmosphere is bolstered by a menu of completely original recipes that will take your taste buds by surprise. Combined with light bites and soft music, it's a great way to wind down, and an equally fine start to gearing up for the nightlife.
Your second day in Annecy is a winning time to visit some of the city's off the beaten path gems. The Basilique de la Visitation is one such gem. The marble and mosaic masterpiece is stunning all on its own, from its ambient chambers to its stained glass. Though small, the Basilique offers visitors another temptation: It is situated at the top of a hill, and the views of Annecy from the church are gorgeous. The church also provides visitors with information about the history of the building and its founding.
The Conservatoire Art et Histoire is one of the quirkiest museums around. With a focus on film, and especially on animation, visitors get a chance to interact with and learn about the development of cinema culture. Get hands-on experience with old filming equipment, view original posters, and even watch a few films yourself — the selection ranges from the very famous to the very unknown, highlighting student films and quick animations. The highlight is getting to create your own animation, if you have the time and patience to give the equipment a try.
While Librairie Decitre is 'only' a bookstore, it is also a great destination to pick up unique gifts and cards. If you're the type who sends postcards or letters to friends, the collection of stationery and fountain pens here are sure to make for a delightful memento. A visit here allows you to feel like a local, get out of the rush of the city center, and browse the many genres. There is even a selection of English books, if you've run out of reading material.
If you can't get enough of Annecy Lake, or passed on the other tours, then give the Annecy Lake Safari a try. The interactive tour of the lake winds you around to its hidden coves and tucked away spaces on a quick, zippy boat. Enjoy real serenity parked out on the lake, and decide on how you'd like to spend part of it: going for a swim in the lagoon? Pulling up outside of a restaurant? Bringing your own meal along for a boat picnic? The Safari guides will help you make the most of your tour, while all the while regaling you with local stories and histories surrounding Annecy and its lake.
For adventurous traveler, Mountacala Annecy offers a different sort of engagement. Take a canyoning trip along the mountain paths and waterfall-lined trails, scaling rock faces and taking a dip in the fresh, cool water. This sporty option for an afternoon out is guided, so even it it's your first time abseiling and sliding, you're in good hands.
Take a trip back in time to the roaring twenties. With the décor of a prohibition throwback, and ambiance of an intimate dance hall, the Fitzgerald Club combines stylish cocktails with hopping music. The stage is surrounded by cushy seating, and on it, bands, singers, dancers, and instrumentalists show off their talents by nightfall. End your night on a high note, with drinks and a dance.
For day three in Annecy, it's worthwhile to take a trip far outside of the main city reaches to really enjoy the rich landscapes of the surrounding area. At La Tournette, a famed parachuting climb, visitors can hike a trail with arresting views. Thrill-seekers can take on some of the more daring paths, that involve drops and rope-climbing. There's a space on La Tournette to watch the colorful parachute jumpers take off, and if you don't catch sight of them, you'll almost certainly catch sight of local wildlife, like mountain ibex and cheerful cows. Despite some difficult portions, the walk is even and suitable for beginners. If you make it all the way to the top, you're rewarded with a view of the French Alps.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, join the paragliders around La Tournette, and go for an aerial dive. Take off high above the waterways of Annecy, and jump from a plane to paraglide over the rocky greens and catch some big air. Guests are all hooked up to a guide who makes sure you are safe during the experience, so feel free to sit back and enjoy the sensational view.
At Le Semnoz, another day trip option, there is plenty to do — especially for families and groups. Facilities include go-karts for all ages, a summer luge track, and alpine paths for walking and cycling. With a view of Mont Blanc and Lake Annecy, get swept up in the sheer vast outdoors of the place, and get sporty.
Chateau de Montrottier is a stunning castle, and like almost everything in postcard-perfect Annecy, it has an amazing view. Tour the Chateau's garden, or visit the inside of the bygone structure to view its collection of artifacts in its various themed rooms, from the bronze room to the ceramic room. Whether you decide to visit just the grounds, or the interior, the Chateau is a breathtaking reminder of Annecy's rich history.
The elevated walk along Gorges du Fier takes nature trails to the next level. Take an unhurried stroll around this winding path, discovering caves gouged into the mountains, waterfalls, and mossy rock formations. The Gorge is one of Annecy's most handsome locations for photos, so don't be ashamed to bust out the selfie stick.
End your stay on a chocolatey note. At Meyer le Chocolatier, not only are there many varieties of chocolate to choose from, they also come in many shapes. Famous for crafting their cocoa beans into well-known characters, whether you're buying a cartoon chocolate or a regular truffle, a trip here promises some lick-your-fingers indulgence later on.