Not only in Venice, France also has the ultimate Carnival Annecy!
Unsurprisingly, the Annecy Carnival attracts thousands of visitors with its stunning Annecy landscape and romantic lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Every year in winter, an elegant and mysterious carnival takes place in the French Alps town of Annecy with people wearing masks in the beautiful Venetian style, the Annecy Carnival is one of them the most beautiful in France!
Venice Festival of Annecy - in the Old Town
What is the Annecy Venetian Carnival?
As its name suggests, this event is reminiscent of the great carnival held in Venice, Italy. The use of Venetian masks during the Annecy Carnival was first introduced by ARIA (a local italian association) on March 16, 1996. Several dozen people marched with masks their Venetian style.
Masked people by the lake
The following year, more than 40 people participated in the event. As it has grown in popularity over the years, it ranks as one of the major cultural events held in Annecy (with about 350 masks). Now known as the Carnaval Annecy festival, it takes place over two days in February. The event also includes parades, conferences, exhibitions and concerts.
Across the canal is a ferris wheel. It makes a great decoration for many photos.
In contrast to lavish festivals such as those in Dunkirk and Nice, the Annecy Carnival is often described as a sophisticated and luxurious event. No parades are held with marching bands, instead hundreds of masked people quietly roam the streets bordering the canals of the old town. This takes place from 10am on Saturday and Sunday. On both days at 2 p.m. all costumed people stepped onto the stage set up in the Jardin de l'Europe by the lake.
Two people wearing costumes by the canal de Vassé
Explore the Carnival Annecy
In the Annecy area, you can walk by the lake through the Avenue d'Albigny and reach the center of Bonlieu before 10 am. You will find that the atmosphere has become magical with the snow-covered mountains reflected in the lake… and also the sparkling white swans.
Lake Annecy and the snow-capped mountains
Inside the center is the Lake Annecy Tourist Board, a must-see if it's your first time in Annecy. You will receive practical information, maps and tips from the team.
Bonlieu Central Tourist Office.
The Annecy Carnival is a fairly simple event to attend with masked people roaming freely and unfettered throughout Annecy's old town and in the lakeside gardens. Therefore, visitors can find them on bridges, street corners, steps, along canals…
The most iconic site of the carnival and the most famous is… Pont des Amours (literally, the Bridge of Love).
Lots of people on the bridge during the festival
Jules Philippe - A beautiful landscape with majestic white trees on both sides of the lake.
Canal de Vassé and Pont des Amours
Delicious cakes by the canal in Annecy.
The Jardins de l'Europe is where the masks will parade during the Annecy Carnival at 2pm.
A canal over a lake, snow-capped mountains… what a beautiful setting for a carnival!
The calm waters of Lake Annecy surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Alps make for a great setting for admiring the masks.
Annecy's Venice Festival - by the lake
You can visit the beautiful lakeside castle of Napoleon III to admire the splendid masked people here.
Festival participants standing in front of the castle
Besides, the narrow arched streets of the old town provide a great backdrop for the mysterious masks.
Annecy is likened to the Venice of the Alps
A mysterious mask in the old town of Annecy
The most photographed places after the Pont des Amours are from the Pont Perrière - A picture-perfect setting where the canal meets the Palais de l'Isle castle.
On the Pont Perrière is the most photographed place
Close-up of a meticulously decorated mask during the festival
Pose on the Pont des Amours
In case of bad weather, people wearing masks will go under the covers! You'll find them under many old arches in the old town or inside the Bonlieu Convention Center. As soon as the weather permits, they will return to the canals. This makes the Annecy carnival a free and fun event for everyone.