Much of the department of Savoie is mountainous and a favourite winter holiday destination, offering every kind of winter sports activity alongside skiing at resorts such as family-friendly Tignes and Val d’Isere. Savoie has the largest number of ski slopes in France and with Albertville was host to the 1992 Winter Olympics. Sporting visitors can relax at the end of the day with a hydrotherapy session at Aix-les-Bains or La Lechere.
The famous Savoie cows reared on Alpine pastures produce a range of delicious cheeses such as nut-flavoured Beaufort and Tomme de Savoie. Treat yourself to a ‘Fondue Savoyarde’ - white wine heated in an earthenware pot rubbed with garlic then hard grated cheese added to make a mouth-watering smooth sauce - ideal alongside Savoie’s light local wines.
Originally, summer tourism made Savoie popular and visitors today still love to hike amongst and climb the peaks and glaciers when the glorious Alpine flora is at its best. A variety of exciting sports are available around the cool green waters of Lake Aiguebelette, kept pure as motorboats are banned.
Close to beautiful Lake Bourget, France’s largest natural lake, stands the remarkable Fountain of Elephants in historic Chambery. The capital from a time when Savoie was still part of Italy, Chambery has something for art, history and culture lovers including museums and the Castle of the Dukes of Savoy.
It is gateway to the Regional Natural Parks of Chartreuse and the Massif des Bauges, and Vanoise National Park, where the fortunate can spot chamois, ibex and golden eagles and admire the delicacy of mountain flowers like blue and yellow gentians and wild orchid