Known as the Riviera of the Alps, this city does have similarities to chic areas to the south. Stay here and feel special for a lower cost than a seaside vacation.
Located on the cerulean Lac du Bourget nestled among mountains, Aix-les-Bains is justifiably marketed as a therapeutic town that helps provide relief from the stresses of life. Relax in this thermal spa town surrounded with postcard scenes of natural beauty.
The lake that disappears among the Alps is one of the largest glacial lakes in France and the source of Aix-les-Bains’ healing waters. Relax on the town’s beach that seems to act like a cure itself to life’s pressures. Enjoy the sereneness of Thermal Park with its variety of plants, fountains and water features before or after your appointment at one of the spas.
The Musée Faure is small but exclusive in having a large collection of Rodin sculptures. Immerse yourself in paintings by Cézanne, Degas and others. Take a boat ride across the lake to visit the 12th-century Abbaye d’Hautecombe, a former monastery and burial place for royalty from the Savoyard lineage.
Hike in the surrounding mountainous region with a drive to Mont Revard, about 13 miles (21 kilometers) to the top. Get an aerial view of Aix-les-Bains and the lake from a glass platform that suspends from the mountain face. Paragliders use Mont Revard to practice their sport. Look for Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain, which is clearly visible on a fine day.
Discover elegant architecture from the Belle Epoque era in many buildings in the old portion of town. Even the Casino Grand Cercle has a majestic appearance. You’ll also see a vestige of Roman times at the Arc de Campanus erected around the 1st century. Connected to the 15th-century hotel de ville, or town hall, is the Gallo-Roman Temple de Diane, which has been converted into an archaeological museum and has guided tours.
Visit Aix-les-Bains for a well deserved break from schedules and routine. Time spent in this region, with its own microclimate of pleasant weather, is both pleasant and healthful.