Sunrise or sunset? Which is best in Lake Annecy is a source of great debate among locals. Some are partial to the early morning sun ascending over the La Tournette mountain; others prefer the evening light as it gradually fades behind Annecy town.
Residents of this striking modern villa have plenty of opportunity to debate the merits of both. The property is perched above the lake and faces south towards the mountains, with walls of windows that allow natural light to flood in.
“You get incredible views from virtually every room in the house – it’s like being on a boat,” says Guy Murdoch, French Alps Manager and Associate Director, Savills Ski. “Everything is built around the views. Even the fixtures and fittings, such as the taps on the kitchen sink, are cleverly hidden so as not to distract from the views.”
The 300 sq m home was built in 2015 by the current owners. It includes an indoor swimming pool, complete with spa and hammam, while all the main living areas and the pool lead out to extensive terraces – the perfect spot to soak up the sun, the clear mountain air and those lake views.
The villa rests on a plot of almost 8,500 sq m – unusually large for the area. Surrounded by trees and with no nearby neighbours, it provides complete privacy. Yet it’s far from secluded, with the vibrant city of Annecy – itself just 40km from Geneva – only 2km away.
“Annecy’s beautiful lake and mountains create a striking first impression, regardless of when you visit,” says Murdoch. For skiers, the location couldn’t be better, with the best of the French Alps – Les Trois Vallées, Chamonix, Megève, La Clusaz – within easy reach.
Annecy, however, really comes to life in the summertime. Its 500m altitude gives it a comfortable climate, with fresh mornings and hot afternoons – perfect for days out on the lake, as evidenced by the sailing boats, paddle boarders, swimmers and wake surfers that can be found on its waters on any given day.
“Quality of life is high in Annecy, with year-round sport and exercise a focus for a lot of people who choose to live here,” says Murdoch. And far from simply being an elegant resort, Annecy has a vibrant community of locals who call the city home in every season.
The canals and cobblestone streets of Annecy’s Old Town have earned it the nickname “the Venice of the Alps”. And just like in Venice, locals can be found lounging on the terraces of the city’s bars, restaurants and cafes, laughing and talking and no doubt trying to get to the bottom of that sunrise or sunset debate.