Aix-les-Bains is a town and lakeside resort in the French Alps, in the department of Savoie. With more than 30,000 inhabitants, this tourist and thermal spa resort welcomes nearly 200,000 visitors each year. In 2016, the city branded itself "Aix-les-Bains, Riviera des Alpes".
A leading town of the Belle Époque, of international renown, Aix-les-Bains was a vacation destination for nobility and the wealthy. The hot springs made it one of the most famous resorts in the world. Thanks to its historic centre and several squares and listed monuments, the town is labeled "Ville d'art et d'histoire" (City of Art and History)
In addition, Aix is located on the edge of the largest natural lake of glacial origin in France, the Lac du Bourget, and has the largest freshwater port in France.
The town has been granted four Flowers and a Golden Flower (high distinction) at the national Council of flowery towns and villages.
According to a ranking on "Europe's Best Destinations" website, it is considered as the fifth most romantic city in Europe.
The town hosts many cultural events including "Musilac", the largest pop-rock festival in the region attracting tens of thousands of festival-goers for one night each July.
The town is also one of the most sporting in France: about one inhabitant in three is a member of a sports club. More than fifty different sports can be practiced in this town located between lake and mountains.
- 1 Gare d'Aix-les-Bains-Le Revard.
The nearest airport is Chambéry-Savoie, a few kilometers south of the town.
- 2 Aéroport de Chambéry-Savoie (CMF IATA) (5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city, at the end of Lac du Bourget). is served by a number of cheap airlines, especially during the winter months.
Summer tourist boats sail around the Lac Bourget from Aix-Les-Bains.
There are bike lanes in the town, and a greenway running along the lake, as far as Le Bourget-du-Lac. The city was awarded the "Ville vélo touristique" for its facilities for cyclists.
- 4 Hôtel Royal, 31 rue Georges 1er.
- 5 Hôtel Bernascon, 6, Boulevard de la Roche du Roi.
- 6 Hôtel Beau Site.
- 7 Hôtel Splendide.
- 8 Hôtel Excelsior, 50, rue Georges 1er.
Lac du Bourget
- 2 Plage Municipale du Bourget du Lac (Plage des Mottets), Boulevard Ernest Coudurier, ☏ . Daily 10:00-20:00. Family-friendly beach with supervised bathing until 19:00. €3.00.
The north of Lake Bourget (Portout, Conjux, Chatillon), the Upper Rhone and the Savières Canal that connects them, lend themselves nicely to the casual Canoeing. Browse the lagoons in silence, observe the many birds nesting between Chautagne and Marais de Lavours, gettin up close to the fauna of the abundant reed-beds, and even seeing the beavers before their characteristic dive, are among the attractions of this preserved territory. Canoeing activity is regulated by a charter of "good practice" so as not to disturb the ecosystem. If you do not have your own equipment, you can rent it at Camping de Saumont 3 * 73310 Ruffieux.
For more energetic canoe sports, the French Canoeing Federation organises a marathon each spring on the Rhone between Seyssel and Yenne, and the Nautical Station of Lake Bourget also organises multiple events including the now famous "Translac".
- 3 Plage aux Dames. Canoes and boats can be hired here.
Many scuba diving sites are listed either from the edge with access by car or drop off access by boat. Be aware that even for experienced divers, Le Bourget is a dangerous environment and it is better to contact a local club who will be more aware of the hazards.
- Chambéry Plongée. Diving club.
- 4 Observatoire du Lac du Bourget (Étang des Aigrettes) (Access via footpath from Château de Thomas II). Birdwatching tower with a great view on Étang des Aigrettes, where a great diversity of birds lives. Dogs are not allowed in. Admission is free.
- Le Saint-Inn, Boulevard Gaston-Mollex. Menus €25-35, carte €30.
- La Claire Fontaine, 73410 Saint-Ours. Authentic Savoyarde farmhouse B&B.
- Les Loges du Park, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star aparthotel.