October 13, 2022

Retire in Europe | The Best Place for an Active Lifestyle

And the winner is...

Annecy, France

If you are looking for an active retirement set within a stunning mountain backdrop, look no further than beautiful Annecy, France.

Lake Annecy

This charming city sits at the base of the Annecy mountains and at the north end of pristine Lac Annecy. It is the perfect place to live your active retirement in a gorgeous natural setting.


Annecy has great hiking and cycling

The mountains surrounding Annecy offer a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking at the Agnong waterfall and Fier gorge, mountain biking, ATV adventures and more. Annecy residents and visitors rave about hiking Semnoz mountain, where the reward for the climb to the top is the view across the Alps to Mont Blanc.

lake map

Cyclists can enjoy the 30+ kilometres of dedicated bicycle paths that circle Lac Annecy. 

annecy canal

Annecy is great for watersports lovers

Lac Annecy is considered “Europe’s cleanest lake" and is a haven for active watersports: SAP, wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, diving, and canyoning. Lazier days can be spent as a beach bum, maybe enjoying a private boat tour with some sunset cocktails?

annecy skiiing

If you love to ski, retire in Annecy!

In winter, skiers can choose from nearby resorts like Semnoz, La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, and Manigod.

About an hour away, Chominix and Avoriaz adjoin the Portes du Soleil – a huge cross-border ski domain with access to 13 resorts.

annecy town

Living in Annecy

Annecy is not just for nature-lovers.

Annecy is the capital of the Haute Savoie region, and it has great museums, festivals and architecture. Its old town features charming timber buildings and pedestrian cobblestone streets, while its three canals have earned it the nickname Venice of the Alps.

Foodies love Annecy – and not just because it is the birthplace of Carrefours. Annecy has great outdoor markets, charming wine bars and bistros, and several Michelin-rated restaurants.

annecy mountains lake

Explorers take advantage of Annecy's great location: high-speed trains connect Annecy with Paris (4 hours) and Geneva (1.5 hours), while bateaux-navettes travel along the coastline of Lac Annecy, stopping at scenic villages along the lakeshore.

Learn more and plan your move with our helpful Moving to France checklist!

Best place to retire for an active lifestyle -- Honourable Mentions

Lugano-bench1Lugano, Switzerland 

Nestled between Lac Lugano and the Pre-alps in the Canton of Ticino, Lugano offers Swiss life with a distinctly Italian flair. Lugano’s nearby hillsides have more than 940 km of hiking trails of various levels of difficulty. Lac Lugano is a mecca for boating and watersports. To the north, Val Maggia offers breathtaking nature and fascinating history. 

Lugano has excellent restaurants and museums, including the modern Lugano Arte e Cultura centre, with a spectacular lakeside setting and a world-class art collection. 

logrono-camino-signLogrono, Spain

For some avid walkers, a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago is a life-long dream. While experienced hikers can do the entire walk in about 30 days, the region is well-worth a longer look. 

The small city of Logrono is the starting point for the Logrono-to-Burges leg of the hike. It is surrounded by vineyards selling world-famous Rioja wine. A lively night-life and access to charming towns along the northern coast make Logrono a great place to enjoy an active retirement in Spain


Ready to make a change? Give us a call

Our move specialists are experts in road transport from the UK to the EU and within Europe. We love relocation and would be happy to share our insights with you!

Speak with a move specialist today. 

Learn more about our Moving Services


Still looking? Click on the images to see our winners for the best places to retire in Europe 

Where is the best place in Europe to retire on an island?

Hint...This gorgeous island is not Capri but it is in the same country

What is the best European village for retires?

Hint...This tiny village has spectacular beaches

Where is the best place to retire if you love to play golf?

Hint...This popular area is home to more than 70 golf courses

What is the best European city for retires?

Hint...This French city might be more affordable than you think











Related Posts