France: On The Road
Paris, the city of love and a thousand other clichés, still holds a certain mystic. But no matter how many written words this great city has commanded - however familiar this town may appear - Paris will always remain an enigma, a magnet for millions of visitors from around the world.
Discover Chambery Franceby Jeff Steiner
Chambery, located in the heart of the French Alps is the once capital of Savoie. It sits just near Lac du Bourget (Bourget Lake), looked upon by the Alps that surround it. Chambery is a city that can be both visited in the winter and summer. In the winter there are a number of ski resorts within easy driving distance. In the summer those same Alps that were skied, become hiking and backpacking trails and campgrounds.
The center of Chambery is the 'old town' it includes a Chateau, once the residence of the dukes of Savoie, a 15th century Cathedral and a fine arts museum. There is also a 'Fontaine des Elephants' (Elephants Fontaine) built in honor of the Comte de Boigne, who bestowed upon the city much wealth. A large portion of his personal wealth came from India, hence the Elephant Fontaine.
The center of Chambery offers not only tourist attractions but also many shops for buying your favorite French goods. If you are lucky it might be market day and you can buy some fresh local produce. Like so many cities in France Chambery is not only charming, it is also small enough to be walked comfortably. You will be able to see the center without getting sore feet! But if you do have that fear there is a tourist 'train' that will take you through the center and let you visit with as little walking as possible.
Chambery makes a good base for exploring the French Alps especially during the winter as it is within easy driving distance of such ski resort towns as Grenoble, Albertville, La Clusaz, Courchevel, Alpe d'Huez, Chamonix and Val d'Isère. In the summer other outdoor activities are possible including hiking and camping. As Chambery is close to three national parks, Parc national de la Vanoise, Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse and Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges. Other close natural attractions include, Lac du Bourget and Lac d'Aiguebelette. Two other popular summer lakes are Annecy Lake, within an hour's drive and Lake Geneva, two hours' drive.
Getting to Chambery is easy as it has a modern airport; the official name is Aéroport de Chambéry. The airport code is CMF. At the moment there are a number of 'no thrills' airlines like Flybe and Jet2.com that have regular service to Chambery. These 'no thrills' airlines fly from selected major European destinations like Amsterdam and Bruxelles along with such UK destinations as, Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester and Southampton.
Chambery can also be accessed by car from the A41 Autoroute Exit 13, Chambery Nord. Chambery is a little over an hour's drive from Lyon and about a seven hour drive from Paris. Chambery also has train access. If you plan on coming from Paris the best thing to do is take the TGV (high speed train), it only takes about an hour and a half and then transfer to a regional train in Lyon that goes to Chambery.
Chambery can also be used as a base to visit other European cities and countries like Geneva, Switzerland and Turin in Italy. Each are within in a two hour drive.
For information on getting to Chambery see - http://www.chamberyairport.net/.
About the Author
Jeff Steiner The author of this article has created a number of sites about traveling in France. Including The Practical Guide to Chambery Airport - http://www.chamberyairport.net/ which offers more information about the Chambery Airport including airport access, car hire, bus transfer...
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