Attractions

Top Choice Citadel in Besançon

Citadelle de Besançon

Dominating the city from Mt St Etienne, 120 vertical metres above the old town, the 17th-century Citadelle de Besançon – designed by Vauban for Louis XIV – commands sweeping views of the city and the serpentine Rive…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Chamonix

Aiguille du Midi

A great broken tooth of rock rearing among the Alpine fastness of the Mont Blanc massif, the Aiguille du Midi (3842m) is one of Chamonix’ most distinctive geographical features. If you can handle the altitude, the 3…
Top Choice Historic Site in Chambéry

Ville Ancienne

Chambéry has one of the best-preserved medieval old towns this side of the Alps. Its hidden courtyards, cafe-rimmed squares and lanes flanked by 14th- to 18th-century hôtels are great for an aimless amble. Streets w…
Top Choice Museum in Grenoble

Musée de Grenoble

It's worth a trip to Grenoble just to experience this grand tour of Western art from the 13th century, which includes 20th-century luminaries such as Bonnard, Calder, Giacometti, Léger, Magritte, Miró, Modigliani, P…
Top Choice Museum in Chamonix

Musée des Cristaux

Has a truly dazzling collection of crystals, rocks and minerals, many from around Mont Blanc. L'Espace Alpinisme focuses on the art and science of mountaineering with creative interactive displays and spectacular ph…
Top Choice Museum in Besançon

Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie

France's oldest public museum, founded in 1694, is famous for its stellar collection of local Gallo-Roman archaeology; its Cabinet des Dessins, with some 6000 drawings from the 15th to 20th centuries, including mast…
Viewpoint in Chamonix

Mer de Glace

France’s largest glacier, the 200m-deep 'Sea of Ice', flows 7km down the northern side of Mont Blanc, moving up to 1cm an hour (about 90m a year). The Train du Montenvers, a picturesque, 5km-long cog railway opened …
Castle in Around Annecy

Château de Menthon-St-Bernard

The 1000-year-old Château de Menthon-St-Bernard – one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle (so they say) – was the birthplace of St Bernard in 1008. Tours of the medieval interior – courtesy …
Castle in Chambéry

Château des Ducs de Savoie

This forbidding medieval castle, once home to the counts and dukes of Savoy, now houses the Préfecture and Conseil Général of the Savoie département. The gardens and the Cour d'Honneur (courtyard) are open free-of-c…
Historic Site in Briançon

Vauban Fortifications

Three centuries ago, Briançon – situated at the confluence of five river valleys – was highly vulnerable to attack by France's Alpine arch-rival of the era, the Duchy of Savoy. Under Louis XIV and his successors, va…