Talloires bay, seen from the Roc de Chère

The Alpine town of Talloires has a world-wide reputation as one of Europe's premier resorts. Situated on scenic Lake Annecy, Talloires is the home of several reknowned restaurants and hotels, including including the world-famous Auberge du Père Bise, the Hôtel de L'Abbaye, as well as the charming Villa des Fleurs.

Talloires, looking southFounded by a community of Benedictine monks who placed their monastery by the bay in the late Ninth Century, Talloires was a peaceful agricultural community until the Twentieth Century, when it became a vacation resort. Often considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the world, the small town of Talloires has a large number of fine restaurants and hotels, and can proudly claim to have more Michelin restaurant and hotel stars per capita than any other community in the world. The landscapes have somehow kept their original purity, and the ever-changing light turns the mountains and the lake into a scene of rare beauty which has inspired numerous painters.

Suzanne Lansé in her gardenIt is in Talloires that the painter Suzanne Lansé was born in the final years of the Nineteenth Century. She sought throughout her career to seize the changing blue colours of the light, and produced hundreds of canvases now exhibited in over one hundred countries. A student of the great master Albert Besnard in the years after World War I, she knew all of the "greats" of the time, and developed an individual technique and style particularly well suited to her work. She would climb the mountains on foot, often in the snow, and work quickly, before the paints could freeze. She used the palette knife, as the brush could not be used in the cold. In the final years of her life, her quest for the light had a more spiritual focus. Mademoiselle Lansé passed away in January 2002, having lived in the Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-First centuries!

Taillefer and Roc des Boeufs mountains, across the lake from TalloiresThe fine landscapes can be admired from well-equipped camping grounds both above town and by the lake on the neighboring peninsula of Angon. The town, which has resisted urban development, has retained its old-world charm and easy pace. There is ample parking in the central lot (on the site of an old sawmill), and the water's edge is now free of traffic noise and pollution. Rowboats and pedal boats may be rented, and a guarded beach is open to all.

Those who would like to gaze upon the bay from the other side of the lake can stop at the Hôtel du Lac in the town of Duingt, which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Its medieval houses and streets are among the loveliest in the region.

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Page and images ©1996, 2002 by Robert F. Jeantet

Latest update February 03, 2002