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Lake Annecy, Chamonix & Mont Blanc

(Tour code: CAL17)Beautiful lakes and mountain scenery by rail

Glorious lakes and mountains form the backdrop of this relaxing French retreat. We combine the picturesque scenery of Lake Annecy with the Alpine charm of bustling Chamonix. We travel high into the mountains by rail and enjoy a leisurely cruise across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Annecy.


Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £40 per person when booking your Europe, UK and Ireland Summer 2017 holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Annecy
  • Lake Annecy lunch cruise
  • Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
  • Montenvers Mountain Railway
  • Mont Blanc Express
  • Lausanne
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    Heritage Rail Excursions
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
    2 Lunches
  • Selected Porterage
    Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Day 1

London to Annecy

We depart our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris. As we travel in Standard Premier Class, a light meal and drinks are served at our seats. After crossing the city by coach, we continue by TGV, travelling eastwards into the Savoy Alps, with the scenery increasing in beauty as the train gently climbs. Our destination is Annecy, a picturesque town located in this peaceful corner of France, with a delightful medieval heart, criss-crossed by a network of pretty canals, cobbled bridges and winding streets. The 'Venice of the Savoy' has at its centre a charming, unusual castle, which sits in the middle of the Canal du Thiou and is surrounded by the timber-framed houses on preserved medieval streets. In Annecy we stay for three nights at the 4-Star Novotel Annecy, close to the railway station and just a short walk from the charming Old Town and lake. We enjoy dinner together in our hotel tonight.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2

Lake Annecy Lunch cruise

Today is one of the real highlights of our visit to Annecy, as we take a lake cruise on the crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy. The stunning lake rests at the foot of the Alps, surrounded by mountains.

It was created 18,000 years ago from thawing glaciers and covers 27 square kilometers. Lake Annecy is today famous as one of the cleanest lakes in the world and is home to a wide range of wildlife including twenty species of fish. The tranquil water reflects the vistas of the surrounding mountain scenery, providing us with incredible panoramas during our relaxing cruise on board the MS Libellule. Our cruise includes a threecourse lunch with wine served on board, and there are comfortable lounges from which to admire the gentle Alpine scenery. We arrive back in Annecy and the remainder of the day is at leisure. You are free to dine out in Annecy this evening.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lake Annecy cruise
Lake Annecy
Day 3

At leisure in Annecy

Your day is free to spend at leisure, strolling alongside the lake or exploring the city, with its lovely historic buildings, gardens and fountains. You may wish to visit the Palais de I'lsle, a former prison, constructed in the 17th century which resembles a small château and is connected to Annecy by a bridge. The Château d'Annecy, which now houses the Art and History Conservatory, is also worth a visit. If you want to venture further afield, a short train ride will take you to Aix-les- Bains, a delightful spa town perched on the Lac du Bourget - France's largest natural lake.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Day 4

Annecy to Chamonix

Today we travel by coach from Annecy to the bustling mountain town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Located high in the French Alps, it is renowned as a world-class ski resort and a year-round climbing destination. We enjoy incredible scenery as we edge ever closer to Mont Blanc, travelling via the Col des Aravis, a mountain pass from where you can admire truly stunning views. Chamonix is one of the most picturesque locations in Europe; majestic rock spires and huge tumbling glaciers hang above the town. Wandering through Chamonix, you will discover baroque churches and protestant chapels dating back several hundred years. The pedestrianised centre has a wide selection of attractive boutiques and plenty of street cafés, ideal for relaxing with a drink and watching the world pass by. We stay for three nights in the Mercure Chamonix Centre Hotel, which has an excellent location close to the centre of Chamonix and within walking distance of the railway station, shops and restaurants.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Chamonix excursion
Montenvers Railway
Day 5

The Montenvers Mountain Railway

We depart late morning for a journey on the Montenvers Mountain Railway, which climbs from the valley floor through the pine forests above Chamonix to Montenvers at 6,275 feet (1,913m). The train arrives at Montenvers station, where we enjoy lunch complemented by terrific views of the Mer de Glace glacier, which is surrounded by some of Europe's most majestic peaks and rock spires.

During your time at Montenvers you can also visit the fascinating Museum of Flora & Fauna. It may also be possible to descend by cable car to the glacier itself and visit the ice grottos inside the glacier's glimmering crevasses, where you will discover some amazing ice sculptures.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Montenvers Mountain Railway
Mont Blanc Tramway
Day 6

A day at leisure in Chamonix

Today you are free to spend the day at leisure in Chamonix, or to explore the stunning region even further. A popular option for today is a journey on the Aiguille du Midi cable car, which traverses over the vast Les Pelerins glacier on a beautifully scenic journey to the north face of the Aiguille du Midi mountain, for stunning views across the Alps. This evening we dine together in a local restaurant, enjoying specialties of the region.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Day 7

The Mont Blanc Express to Lausanne

We leave Chamonix this morning and head to Lake Geneva in Switzerland. We begin our journey in Standard Class on the fabulous Mont Blanc Express- a narrow-gauge railway built over 100 years ago as a tourist attraction, designed to make the most of the region's stunning views and mountain scenery.

As we glide serenely and effortlessly down the mountain on board the small electric train, we enjoy views of cascading waterfalls and flower-filled meadows, occasionally passing small villages and isolated chalets which cling to the slopes.

We cross the wild, rugged Trient Gorge, twisting and winding along rocky cliffs and through countless tunnels and avalanche shelters. We descend further through rich, dark-green forest, eventually reaching the gently rolling hillsides of the Rhône Valley. The final few minutes of our journey on the Mont Blanc Express takes us through endless, neatly laid out vineyards as we approach Martigny. We change trains in Martigny, descending further through Aigle to Lake Geneva. After passing Montreux, we reach the Olympic city of Lausanne, where we spend the final night of the holiday.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Mont Blanc Express
Day 8

From Lausanne to London

Today we travel to Paris by high-speed rail, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Please Note

If requesting a twin room, please note the room layout of the Novotel Hotel will be a double bed and a sofa bed.


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