When you start looking for holiday chalets and apartments in the French Alps, you'll be surprised at the number of chic resorts that come up. One of the most glamorous is Evian-les-Bains, which boasts gourmet eateries and breathtaking views.
You have probably heard of it already, as it gives its name to the famous bottled water brand. Indeed, water is one of the main attractions of this pretty town nestled in the Alps, with thermal baths that are among the best in the world to tempt you to take a dip.
However, there is plenty more to do as well. Read on for our guide on how to spend your stay in Evian-les-Bains.
Evian is a rich mix of beautiful natural scenery and classy manmade attractions, many of which sprung up to transform the small town into a bustling tourist hub. Of course, it's not just the warm waters of the thermal baths that entice people here, but also the ski resorts that surround it. However, this doesn't mean you should discount it as a holiday destination during the summer months.
The town itself is home to some stunning architecture that is sure to appeal to history fans. Palais Lumiere is one of the most famous sites and is a former thermal spa that was completed in 1902. It faces out on to Lake Leman - also known as Lake Geneva - and is a stunning property, with a white facade and glass dome.
Villa Lumiere Town Hall is another beautiful piece of architecture, which follows classic renaissance design principles. It has been the town hall since 1927 and hosts events including wedding ceremonies. This would be a great venue to tie the knot in as it is still kitted out in much of its original decor, including marquetry flooring, silk screens from Lyon and a fireplace carved from onyx.
Notre Dame de l'Assomption Church differs from many of the other buildings in the town, as it is an early example of Savoyard Gothic design. It was built during the 13th century, although it has been expanded and the subject of numerous restoration projects since then.
Eat and drink
There are some great eateries in Evian that range from gourmet restaurants to cosy cafes. Indeed, comparative to the size of the town there is an abundance of choice when it comes to where to eat.
Some of the most popular restaurants can be found in the town's hotels, such as Hotel Royal and Hotel Ermitage, but there are also some independent options. Restaurant Entre Nous is one choice, where you can enjoy delicious dishes in funky surroundings. Expect to tuck into treats like lamb shank with chorizo and Lake Geneva-caught whitefish dressed with lemon cream sauce when you eat here.
Les Cygnes, at the hotel of the same name, is another great place to dine. The building is a hub of 1920's charm and you will be able to enjoy stunning views of the lake as you eat.
Of course, you'll want to buy a souvenir to bring home with you to remind you of the fun you have had in Evian, and as well as numerous shops, you can also visit the town's market. Taking place every Tuesday and Friday morning, this is where to come if you want to buy ingredients to transform into a meal back at your chalet, as you can purchase Savoyard cheese and fish caught in the lake.