Talloires and Annecy
The charming, idyllic resort village of Talloires (pronounced
“Tal-whar,” from "Tall’eur" in Celtic, meaning “facing the moon”) is
located on the shores of Lake Annecy at the foot of the French Alps in
the Haute-Savoie region of France (bordered by Italy and Switzerland).
The village preserves a heritage dating back to 1018 when it became the
site of a Benedictine priory. This lakeside village’s natural beauty
and the surrounding mountains have inspired artists such as Paul
Cézanne. Today, Talloires is dotted with courtyards, gardens, beaches,
hiking trails, small cafés, and shops, offering respite from the hustle
and bustle of city life. In addition to being a popular resort
destination for European vacationers, it is also a summertime center of
intellectual activity. The former priory (Le Prieure) is now home to
Tufts University’s European Center and its various academic programs and
Just a few minutes away is the city of Annecy, known as the “Venice
of France” with its distinctly Italian feel. Annecy’s small medieval
quarter is laced with canals, flower-covered bridges, and cobblestone
streets. Its quaint cafés, open-air markets, museums, and castles give
you a taste of old France. Annecy and Talloires have been featured in
the New York Times Bestseller "1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A
Traveler's Life List" by Patricia Schultz. Schultz hails the region as
"A Lakeside Jewel in the Savoy Alps".
Directions to Talloires
Flying into Geneva
is best reached by flying into Geneva, Switzerland. The airport in
Geneva is just a one hour car or bus ride from Talloires. The Geneva
airport is serviced by Swiss, KLM (Northwest), and Lufthansa.
Directions from the Geneva Airport to Tufts via Swiss Highway
- When you exit the airport (Swiss side), follow the signs for FRANCE. You will move onto a road that passes in front of a number of hotels and office buildings. Continue on this road and follow the big green signs for FRANCE.
- The signs will direct you all the way to the end of the road. You will come to a light where you will want to turn LEFT. It is best to stay in the middle lane so that once you have turned left; you can take the first right hand turn – following the signs for FRANCE. This road leads you right onto the Swiss Highway.
- Take the Swiss highway towards FRANCE. Note: pay attention to your speed as there are radar traps all along the highway. You will pass through three tunnels and then eventually come to the French/Swiss border (Bardonnex border crossing – with big yellow arches) where you will go through a small Swiss customs area (usually empty and quiet), and then the French customs area (sometimes with officers inspecting cars and drivers).
- Once you have crossed the border into France, go straight – following the BLUE (Péage) Highway signs to Annecy. This is the A41 Highway. Note: THIS IS A TOLL ROAD.
- Drive until you come to a row of tollbooths. Make sure to go to a booth with a green arrow as the others are for FastPass holders. When you get to the booth, press the green button and take a ticket. From the toll booth it is another 7 kilometers to our exit, exit 17 – ANNECY NORD, where you render the ticket and pay.
- Continue towards Annecy but BE VERY CAREFUL because there is a camera radar just before the Annecy Nord exit! The speed limit is 130 kph but the road is going downhill and so it is easy to go too fast!
- Take the Annecy Nord exit. Once again, look for a booth with a green arrow. Pay the toll (you can pay with an American credit card if you don’t have cash), and then follow the smaller green signs to Annecy. Coming out of the toll you take a quick right and you go into a rotary/traffic circle where you will go almost all the way around before you get to the sign indicating the Annecy exit.
- This will move you onto a highway like road. You must move all the way to the left hand lane so that you don’t get pulled into exits you don’t want! Stay on the left and follow the signs to Annecy le Vieux.
- The road will dip under a bridge and spill out onto a street called is called Avenue de Brogny. Continue until you come to the first left hand turning lane and turn LEFT. This puts you onto Avenue de la Plaine.
- Follow Avenue de la Plaine through two lights till you come to a big rotary. Go in the rotary and go ¾ of the way around to Avenue Gambetta. (Look for the sign indicating Le Lac/the Lake or the Imperial Casino.)
- Once on Avenue Gambetta, you will come to a light. Here Avenue Gambetta becomes the Avenue de France and veers a bit to the right. Continue straight down Avenue de France, all the way down through three or four lights until you can go no further.
- At the end of the Avenue de France, you will make a LEFT hand turn. This puts you on the main road that goes around the lake. Follow this road. It will take you through the villages of Veyrier du Lac and Menthon Saint-Bernard (just keep following the signs for Talloires!) and then finally it will take you down some hairpin turns. Just a little bit after the hairpin turns, you will get to the entrance to TALLOIRES.
- The entrance to Talloires is via a traffic circle. Take the first exit off the traffic circle and the road will lead you into the village. Follow the signs to the central parking lot. Once you are in the parking lot, the European Center is on the exact opposite side of the lot from where you entered.
Flying into Paris
From the Charles de Gaulle or Paris Orly airports, travel to the
downtown train station (Gare de Lyon). There is a TGV (train à grande
vitesse — rapid train) that leaves the Gare de Lyon station for Annecy
several times daily. The trip takes three hours and forty minutes. The
one-way train costs approximately $60-100 per person. You must make
reservations for the TGV. These can be made in the U.S., at World
Travel Partners or any travel agency, if you make them at least two
weeks before you travel by TGV, or they can be made in France on shorter
Once at the Annecy train station, take the "Voyages Crolard" bus to
Talloires. Schedules are posted outside the Crolard office door, and
schedules are also online in English. The cost of the bus between Annecy and Talloires is approximately 2.70 Euros (about $4.30).
Flying into Lyon
Talloires can also be reached by flying into Lyon, France. The
Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport is just under two hours from Talloires. The
Lyon Airport is serviced by Delta and Air France and boasts a direct
flight from New York City. Both bus and train service link the
Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport to Annecy.
Information on bus service from Lyon to Annecy.
Information on train service from Lyon to Annecy.