On the eastern shore of France’s largest freshwater lake, Aix-les-Bans is a chic Savoy resort that radiates old-world glamour. In the 19th century the lake, mountains and curative waters contributed to one of Europe’s most fashionable destinations.
Kings, queens, dukes, maharajas and counts all descended on the resort, and opulent art nouveau palace hotels were built for them. Aix-les-Bains still resonates with this mystique, and is a luxurious home from home for people embarking on mountain hikes, cross-country skiing or watersports on the lake’s glassy waters.
Lets explore the best things to do in Aix-les-Bains:
1. Lac du Bourget
Aix-les-Bains is on the east shore of the largest natural lake in France.
Unlike many French lakes there’s no complete perimeter trail, and that’s because the mountains on the west shore plunge almost vertically to the water, which adds to the drama of the place.
But you can ramble to some remote spots to find hides where you can watch the lake’s waterfowl and raptors.
In summer you could have a dip these glacial waters at one of Aix-les-Bains’ three sandy beaches, while the marina can be your hub for water-skiing, diving and sailing.
There’s also a directory full of companies offering guided or self-navigated canoe, kayak and paddleboard outings on the lake.