Annecy is Twinkling with Christmas Magic
Here are the Christmas events not to be missed!
Christmas is the time to slide back into your childhood shoes and be whisked away by that festive magic. The Christmas markets are obviously an essential part of this joyous season, but we have also chosen a few events that are sure to bedazzle you too.
The atmospheric Christmas markets
Be entranced by the delicious scents of cinnamon, orange, and roasting chestnuts as they steer you to the cosy Christmas market chalets dotted around the Lake Annecy region.
During December, the Noël des Alpes invites you to meander around the 9 Christmas markets that are spread across Annecy’s 6 municipalities. Allured by the enchanting atmosphere you will discover a panoply of original gift ideas, handicrafts, places to eat, concerts, shows and entertainment.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Christmas atmosphere by strolling through the streets to admire the mesmerising lightshows projected onto Annecy’s various architectural monuments. Raise your gaze up to the Castle’s Tower, the Palais de l’Isle, Notre Dame de Liesse church, the Conservatoire, or the Faubourg Sainte-Claire’s Clock Tower and take a journey into a captivating and shimmering universe.
© signature-com.com / Noël des Alpes
Among other stopovers, be sure to stop by the Village du Père Noël nestled in the square just behind Bonlieu, its friendly family atmosphere invites children to try out the creative workshops and watch the shows. Father Christmas will also be present at 3-5 pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and every day during the school holidays.
As you meander around the region don’t miss the Sey’Noël on Friday 16th December, an afternoon of music and dancing, or the Gaul-Christmas themed farmers’ market in Vieugy, which will be hosting 3 days of festive entertainment from 16th to 18th December.
On 16th to 18th December, you can also discover all the local savoir-faire at Made Annecy, the Christmas crafts market held in the Impérial Palace. A wonderful opportunity to discover around fifty local creators’ stalls with their authentic jewellery, textiles, cosmetics, fashion, and decorations as well as refreshments and gastronomic delights.
© Gilles Piel / Illuminations Vieil Annecy
Believe in the magic of Christmas
Each day heralds a programme of entertainment overflowing with storytelling, concerts, film screenings, creative workshops and even dance parties to get into the rhythm of the bewitching seasonal charm that will infuse the air throughout the month of December.
Another highlight is the “Christmas Flowers” mapping and illuminations around Pringy’s church on Saturday evening 10th December.
Among the must-sees on the programme is the “Festival Noël en famille” (Family Christmas Festival) by the Octopus Company, from 17th to 24th December at the Théâtre de l’Échange with 10 shows and 28 performances for all the family to enjoy.
Illuminations "Fleurs de Noël"
The “special Christmas” Cinéfilous Festival will travel around the media libraries in the Lake Annecy region to show uniquely amazing films, whereas the reading circle, “Tout petit tu lis” (young readers), is the opportunity to listen and look at a range of Christmas inspired stories and be transported to other lands.
The Maison des Contes, (House of Fairy Tales), set up in the Bonlieu media library from 8th to 31st December, invites you into a mystifying imaginary world. Just push open the doors and enter the 14 different houses to follow in the footsteps of all your favourite fairy-tale heroes.
This year, discover some funny chalets hosting original installations and unique creations: a sound installation “Who’s that guy in the chimney?” that you can explore from 21st to 31st December, and the theatrical show “As long as there are huts…”, playing from 26th to 31st December, using objects, shadows, and puppets, will enchant all family audiences.
There are plenty more magical moments to enjoy in this extensive Noël des Alpes programme and remember, try to use the bus to travel between the different sites as they are all easily connected.
Father Christmas is King of the Castle
Another place, another festively bedecked atmosphere guaranteed. Hot-sleigh it over to the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard where they are opening the doors to Father Christmas for the second year running.
Every day until 1st January, the “Château du Père Noël” is hosting a whole range of fun festivities for all. An ice-skating rink, creative workshops, shows, and the youngest can even meet Father Christmas. Aperitifs, concerts, blind test games, and themed evening parties for the higher age range. The concept is all-out festive fun!
The breathtaking panoramic view across Lake Annecy creates the perfect setting for the crafts market teeming with treasures, but above all it’s the dining area that really pulls out all the stops with its kaleidoscope of talent providing a variety of unique atmospheres and gourmet propositions: champagne, mulled wine, regional wine and beer from the mountains, Savoyard appetizers, platters of local cold cuts and cheeses, Alpine soups and fondus, sea food, wild oysters, and not forgetting the mighty burger in all its forms!
There’s something for everyone to tickle their tastebuds, especially when you can end the meal on a tasty, sweet note that Mother Christmas has in store for you!
© Mlle Rouge / Château du Père Noël
© Mlle Rouge / Château de Menthon sous la neige
- © Mlle Rouge
Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue
Translation: Kate Dawson