Natural, mountainous, rich in fascinating history, Savoie is a unique territory in France. If you’re looking for things to do in Savoie, I’ve got you covered.
Discover the 16 best things to do in Savoie.
Medieval town of Conflans
The medieval town of Conflans is the jewel in Albertville’s crown. Entering the town takes you on a journey through time.
Here, time seems to stand still. You have a magnificent view of the Tarentaise valley.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the medieval atmosphere thanks to the many activities and tours on offer. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover its unique heritage and fascinating history.
Aiguille du Midi cable car
Discovering the Aiguille du Midi is definitely a must do in Savoie.
To get there, you hop aboard a cable car. In 20 minutes, you leave the center of Chamonix and YOU find yourself at the gates of the heavens, with a breathtaking panorama of Mont Blanc. The climb itself is a thrill.
Once at the top, in addition to the view, the site offers a variety of attractions such as “Le Pas dans le Vide” and Espace Vertical.
For the full experience, eat in and take your time. Don’t get bogged down in all the activities. Take time to enjoy the feeling of being on the roof of the Alps.
Savoyard ski resorts
With 58 ski resorts to choose from, Savoie is a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. Choose from world-renowned ski areas and charming villages.
Winter activities are not limited to skiing. Experiences such as tobogganing, dog sledding and even paragliding are on offer. What’s more, the resorts come alive in winter. There are parties, concerts and a host of services (gastronomy, spa, winter cinema…).
In summer, the mountains are transformed to welcome hikers and cyclists. With fewer tourists than in winter, it’s a popular season for those seeking peace and quiet. Rental prices are particularly competitive.
The House of the Albertville Winter Olympics
The Maison des Jeux Olympiques d’Hiver is a living tribute to the event that marked Albertville and Savoie in 1992. In this part of France, the locals vibrate as much for the summer Olympics as for the winter ones, and Albertville remains a proud moment for the whole region.
Through interactive and immersive experiences, the Albertville Olympic Winter Games House immerses visitors in the excitement of the Games.
Virtual reality and simulators let you experience the adrenalin of Olympic sports. Children love them, but we also recommend that adults give them a try.
A number of exhibitions tell the story of how this event transformed the region.
It’s both a cultural and a fun visit.
Les Thermes de Saint Gervais
The Thermes de Saint Gervais is an oasis of relaxation in the heart of the Alps. Renowned for the therapeutic virtues of its mineral waters, the spa offers health and wellness treatments in an enchanting setting.
Their location in the Alpine valley combines the benefits of spa treatments with the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding countryside.
If you’re looking for an activity to recharge your batteries, this is the place to be.
Address: Place du Château, 73000 Chambéry, France.
- A blend of medieval, Renaissance and classical styles.
- Former residence of the counts and dukes of Savoy.
- Guided tours are available to discover the history and rooms of the château.
The Château de Chambéry is a historic monument that bears witness to the past grandeur of the Dukes of Savoy.
With its impressive towers and elegant facades, the château stands out in the center of Chambéry.
Visits reveal the castle’s interior treasures and, above all, help visitors understand the importance of Savoy in the national story. For a long time, and still today, Savoy has had a strong culture of independence.
A boat trip on Lac du Bourget
A boat trip on Lac du Bourget is a moment of pure magic. When you’re on the lake and you see the snow-capped mountains in the background, the Grand Colombier at the finish line, and the town of Aix-les-Bains and Hautecombe Abbey on the sides, you’re in the best possible place.
Where you hire depends on the type of boat you want. For a simple pedalo, you’ll find them on the beach at Aix-les-Bains in summer. For boats with a license, you can rent them at the port of Aix-les-Bains, booking via rental websites. For boats without a license, go to Chanaz.
A hot-air balloon ride over Lake Annecy
Would you like to take a hot-air balloon ride over the most beautiful lake in France? Several balloon companies offer this activity. Book several weeks or even months in advance, as demand is high.
On D-day, you take off from the shores of Lake Annecy. Depending on the wind, you’ll fly over the lake, or rather over the mountains on its sides. The view of the lake is, of course, a major attraction on a hot-air balloon flight. But you’ll be amazed at the panorama you get.
You can also see the mountain range, Lac du Bourget and, when it’s not too cloudy, Lake Geneva.
We wrote about our hot air ballooning experience in Annecy in this article.
A Savoyard cooking class
Savoyard cooking classes are an authentic culinary experience if you love gastronomy.
You’ll find courses available in all the major towns in Savoie. Book a lesson several weeks in advance. Many websites offer such activities. They are also available in gift boxes.
The castle of the Vizille estate
Castle of Vizille is a landmark in French history. Architecturally, it offers a glimpse of 18th-century elegance. The gardens are a place of tranquility and beauty. Strolling through them is a delightful experience.
But the Castle of Vizille owes its fame to its historical importance. In 1788, it hosted the meeting of the Dauphiné Estates General. To remind you of this, and to learn more about the French Revolution, the château has its own museum.
Paragliding in the Tarentaise Valley
Paragliding in the Tarentaise valley is an unforgettable way to appreciate the beauty of the Alps.
Paragliding is accessible in many places in Savoie and Haute-Savoie. However, the Tarentaise valley is famous for being the best place in Savoie for paragliding.
Merlet wildlife park
The Merlet zoo is the ideal place to discover Alpine wildlife in its natural habitat. Unlike most zoos in France, you won’t discover wild animals from other continents, but local animals.
This sanctuary offers unforgettable encounters with animals we know little about. Of course, the green, mountainous setting enhances the quality of the activity.
A stroll through Old Annecy
Who hasn’t seen photos of Lake Annecy and Old Annecy? The charm is absolute. To discover Annecy, the lake is the central location. Just next door, Vieux-Annecy is a small town.
You walk along the canals. The architecture is remarkable. Stop for a bite to eat. At lunchtime or in the evening, there are several restaurants to choose from, ranging from gourmet establishments to small brasseries serving raclette with local produce.
During the day, stop off at a glacier. “Le Glacier des Alpes” is an institution and considered to be one of the best glaciers in France.
The mountain animal museum
The mountain animal museum is an interesting place to visit in the ski resort of Les Arcs.
It presents some thirty species of flora and fauna that live in the Vanoise National Park.
The tour is short. So, if you’re already in or near Les Arcs, visit it. Otherwise, a detour might be too long for the duration of the activity.
The museum is also an ecological project. It receives its energy from photovoltaic panels installed on its roof and uses reclaimed rainwater.
A hike around Lac d’Aiguebelette
A hike around Lac d’Aiguebelette is a peaceful experience that combines sporting effort and scenic contemplation. It’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in an unspoilt natural setting.
Hautecombe Abbey is the building that catches everyone’s eye when you look out over Lac du Bourget. Everyone wonders what it’s all about.
Hautecombe Abbey is an active abbey founded in 1125. It is the necropolis of the House of Savoy and several Italian kings and queens.
You can visit this part, as well as the abbey church. However, as the monastery is still inhabited by monks, it cannot be visited.
There’s also a store selling local produce.
Other things to do in Savoie
My list is not exhaustive. I’ve simply listed the activities I enjoyed most during the four years I lived in Savoie. But there are many more:
- Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne Cathedral
- The Fort de la Bastille in Grenoble
- The Grottes de Saint-Christophe
- Chambéry Museum of Fine Arts
- The Opinel Museum in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
- Climbing in the Vanoise mountains
- Wine tasting and visits to Savoyard vineyards
- A walk in the Massif des Bauges regional nature park and the discovery of the Nivolet Cross
- The Val d’Isère Academy Museum
- A treetop adventure park at La Feclaz
- An excursion to Mont Granier
- The Centre de la Faune Montagnarde in Séez