From one market to anotherVisiting Lake Annecy and the surrounding area through its food specialties
Wherever you travel in France, farmers’ markets provide a great opportunity to learn about the typical foods in each region. An integral part of the summer season, they also offer the perfect excuse to explore Lake Annecy from a foodie’s point of view.
We have selected a few of the area’s most iconic markets for you to meander through, whatever the season. As you immerse yourself into the local Savoyard smells and flavors, they will sweep you away to another world. Be sure to enjoy this genuine treat to the fullest!
The most classic: the farmers market in Annecy’s Old Town
An institution and a must-visit for anyone staying in Annecy, the market in Old Town offers a whole host of surprises, even for regulars. On Tuesday, Friday, or Sunday morning, wake up early to take advantage of the cool morning air in the old neighborhoods and beneath the archways. In addition to the many fruits and vegetables, which provide the market such vibrant color, enjoy a variety of local cheeses and salted meats. Take the time to taste a slice of the area as you stroll through the cobblestone streets.
© Françoise Cavazzana
The most refreshing: markets along the lake
As beautiful as the area’s beaches are, farmers markets offer another way to explore the shores of Lake Annecy. We highly recommend circumnavigating the lake from market to market, starting with Sevrier on Wednesday morning, Saint-Jorioz on Thursday morning, and completing the loop on the other side of the lake in Veyrier-du-Lac on Friday morning. On Thursday mornings during the summer season, you can also add the market in Talloires to your list.
Great ideas: ride the Navibus to the markets along the lake. Take a picnic basket to enjoy lunch along the water.
© Gilles Piel
Albanais and Pays de Fillière: markets that offer a change of scenery
The villages in Albanais and Pays de Fillière offer some of the most invigorating food experiences in the area and have the benefit of being located off the beaten path. In Albanais, enjoy the evening farmers market in Alby-sur-Chéran, from 16:00 (4pm) to 19:30 (7:30pm), while taking the time to explore this charming medieval village. Local products take center stage at each booth: the fruits and vegetables come from Col Fleuri in Marcellaz, the fresh pasta from Pasta di Marcello in Héry-sur-Alby, the honey from Miellerie du Vieux Moulin in La Biolle, and the goat cheeses, yogurts, and fresh “faisselle” cheese from Cabriolles, all examples of the offerings of many local producers.
On Wednesdays, from 16:30 (4:30pm) to 19:30 (7:30pm), enjoy a similar atmosphere at the market in Chapeiry, where the booths overflow with local products, including bread, sweet baked goods, cheese, honey, beer from the store Echappée-Belle, fresh and dried mushrooms from Aracil, as well as French macarons from Macarons Mandolier in Sevrier.
The farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the village of Thorens-Glières, in Pays de Fillière, also figures among the area’s tastiest places to stop and a great place to buy food if you plan on heading to Glières Plateau, a principal area for the French Resistance during World War II.
The most creative: the Art and Creators market
Even if all of the aforementioned markets pique your appetite, there are other types of markets that you will find enticing. There is one that you shouldn’t miss: the Art and Creators market, which takes place the last Saturday of every month from 08:00 (8am) to 18:00 (6pm) in the heart of Annecy’s Old Town, along the Thiou River. A different type of market, this monthly event offers the opportunity to view the works of more than thirty talented painters, jewelry makers, clothing designers, and furniture makers. Take a moment to contemplate the incredible skill and expertise of the area’s artists and artisans.
© Ville d'Annecy
Take full advantage of the markets without the hassle of driving your car
To enjoy the markets around Lake Annecy, be sure to take full advantage of the wide range of transportation options and services available to avoid having to take your car. Depending on your mood, rent a regular bicycle, take advantage of the services offered by Vélonecy by renting an e-bike at one of the 48 bike-rental stations around the lake, hop on one of the free summer bus shuttles (July 1 through August 31), or drift leisurely across the placid lake waters on Navibus boat shuttles operated by the Compagnie des Bateaux boat company.
© Agence Écomobilité – Ben Slimane
Cheese: the A-list celebrity at every market
At each of the aforementioned markets, Savoie cheeses play a leading role in forging Lake Annecy’s unique identity. Savoyard rhymes with cheese, and several cheeses in the area have earned PDO/AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) certification and other Protected Geographical Indication (PGI/IGP) certifications. No less than eight cheeses – Abondance, Beaufort, Chevrotin, Emmental de Savoie, Raclette de Savoie, Reblochon Tome des Bauges, and Tomme de Savoie – represent the area in the tastiest of ways.
If you had the chance to view or taste the aforementioned cheeses and would like to bring a slice of the area back home with you, several starred cheese shops around Lake Annecy offer the chance to learn the secrets to Savoyard cheese, from cheese making to tasting: GAEC Les Noisetiers in Leschaux and the Semnoz cheese shop in Gruffy, Parmelan cheese shop in Villaz, and Thorens-Glières cheese shop. For high-end dairy products, visit the Laiterie (dairy) in Annecy-le-Vieux, the Crèmerie des Marchés (creamery) in Annecy, as well as the Crèmerie des Savoie (creamery) in Cusy located at the foot of the Bauges Mountains.
© Hôtel BW Annecy
Great idea: All roads lead to Savoie Cheeses
If you just can never get enough cheese and you would like to explore the area by following in the footsteps of the AOP cheeses that contribute to putting the region on the map, follow the “Route des Fromages de Savoie“ (Savoie Cheeses Road): it includes no less than 73 places to visit in Savoie and Haute-Savoie. This approach offers the chance to learn about secret spots that you would not otherwise have heard of!
- © Françoise Cavazzana
Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue
Translation: Darin Reisman