When is Carnival celebrated in Annecy in 2024?
They say that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’. The Carnival of Annecy is a short Carnival, lasting only two days, so don’t miss the opportunity to see this Carnival, which is as fleeting as it is beautiful.
The dates for the 2024 Annecy Carnival have not yet been announced. But, in 2023 it was celebrated from Friday, March 3 to March 5. It’s only one weekend, don’t miss it.
Where is the Carnival of Annecy?
Beautiful Annecy is the capital of the Haute-Savoie department, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in the southeast of France. It is located on the northeast shore of Lake Annecy at the entrance of one of the water gaps (an opening water has carved through a mountain range) in the Savoy Prealps, south of Geneva.
This part of France is among the most beautiful in the country, so even though Carnival only lasts for a weekend you can take a few extra days to enjoy this beautiful city and everything it has to offer.
What is the Carnival of Annecy?
For two and a half days, Annecy turns into Venice’s little sister. Between the end of February and the end of March the Carnival of Annecy is full of masks and takes you to a fantasy world where nobody knows anyone else, even the buildings play a part in Carnival.
The Carnival of Annecy is a high-class event, not as wild as other Carnivals in France. This Carnival is known for its elegant and refined style.
This venetian Carnival has been organized by ARIA (Association Rencontres Italie Annecy – Italian Annecy EVents Association) since 1996.
How is Carnival celebrated in Annecy?
When you think of Carnival some ideas come to mind: revelry, debauchery, crazy dancing, parades, and loud music.
This is not quite the case for the Carnival of Annecy, in fact quite far from it. This Carnival does not have any organized parades; rather, they are more like gatherings near the canals in the old town with costumes and venetian masks.
At 10 in the morning during Carnival, you can see people walking near the canals, and around 2 p.m. they begin to parade through a venue located in the Jardin de l’Europe.
Another unique aspect of this Carnival is that people from all across Europe come to see the masks in a sort of meeting and cult of venetian culture.
This concept of Carnival is not the norm for all the other Carnival celebrations across the world though this is precisely the reason that makes it unique and appealing.
Read our article on Venetian Masks to get acquainted with the characters of Carnival.
History of the Venetian Carnival of Annecy
Annecy and Venice have a lot in common, so much so that they are official sister cities. The goal of ARIA (Association Rencontres Italie Annecy), created in 1995 by the Italian professors at the Lycée Berthollet de Annecy, was to promote cultural exchange with Venice in Italy.
The mission of this association is to promote Italian language and culture in Annecy and has been doing so since 1996. So much so that on March 16th of that year the first venetian Carnival was held in Annecy. This event slowly but surely began to grow until reaching its present state.
The Carnival of Annecy started as a pet project and has grown in popularity to a point where even the founders of this event are beyond belief.
Carnival has become an unmissable cultural event with solid support; in fact, more than 500 masks attend the Carnival over the three days of magic and mystery.
The Carnival of Annecy is a new event when compared with other Carnival celerations in Europe, and from Carnivaland we wholeheartedly support this dazzling newcomer.
Read our guide to the big brother event to this Carnival, the Carnival of Venice.
Accommodations in Annecy
Annecy is as beautiful a place as your likely to come across, located in a unique environment. Although it may seem small, Annecy is full of places to stay.
There are accommodations for all budgets, ranging from luxury hotels to more functional lodging, including villas, guest houses and apartments.
Here is a list of accommodations that includes a wide range of options available in Annecy through Booking.com.
What to see and do in Annecy?
- Georges Volland Square: Located in the old town of Annecy, this is the heart of the city, and we recommend you start your visit here. On Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays this beautiful square hosts a street market where you can experience the best that local cuisine has to offer as well as handicrafts; the market is open from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Visit the Philippe Rigollot Confectionery: Buy a box of chocolates in this confectionery: no need to thank us after you’ve tried them.
- Old town of Annecy: Visiting Annecy is a bit like time travel. When you walk along the Thiou river or the Vassé canal you will feel as if you were in another era, the buildings will take hold of you and not let go until you head home.
- Lake Annecy: Thanks to environmentally friendly legislation and incredible social awareness this is one of the cleanest lakes in Europe. It has two beaches (Albigny and Marquisats) that are surrounded by green areas and good bars where you can stop for a drink. It also provides ample opportunity for aquatic activities for the more adventurous among us.
- Annecy Castle: This castle, built between the 12th and 16th centuries is an architectural marvel that is now the home of the Alpine Folk Art Museum. After you have fallen in love with the castle, we recommend you head out to the terrace and take in one of the most breathtaking views in the world.
- Gorges du Fier: The Gorges de Fier are located just a short 15 minute drive from Annecy. This natural wonder is a canyon that has been eroded by the running water of the river and includes a suspension bridge built in 1869. We strongly recommend you visit the ‘Mer des Rochers’ lapiés.
- Cuisine in Annecy: This region of France is known around the world for its cheese. We are talking about Emmental, Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie. Melted cheese served with boiled potatoes, known as Raclette, is a dish that absolutely cannot be missed.
- Wine in Annecy: Just the fact that you are in France means there will be good wine. Be sure to try Chignin and Roussette, and pair them with any dish from the local cuisine.
All of this at the click of a button at Viator.com
Book your Hotel and Flight for the Annecy Carnival
How to get to Annecy?
If you need to fly to get to the Carnival of Annecy, the nearest airport is Geneva International Airport; from there you can easily catch a train or bus that will put you in Annecy in 45 minutes, tops.
From Carnivaland we believe the Carnival of Annecy is one of the 10 best Carnival celebrations in France, and you can read our article here to discover everything France has to offer.