Aix les Bains Travel Guide, Savoy, France

Aix-les-Bains is a commune, a French spa and seaside resort, located in the department of Savoie in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. An important city during the Belle Époque of international renown, Aix-les-Bains was a major holiday resort for princely or wealthy families. The thermal springs made it one of the most famous resorts in the world. Thanks to its historic center and several places or monuments listed or classified as historical monuments, the town is labeled City of Art and History. In addition, Aix is located on the edge of the largest natural lake of glacial origin in France and thus has the largest French freshwater marina.

A city at the gateway to the Bauges massif regional natural park and bordered by the largest natural lake of glacial origin in France, Lac du Bourget, Aix is the second most populous municipality in the department, with nearly 30,000 inhabitants. Considered one of the oldest cities of Savoy, born from its hot springs, this spa town is one of the important French spa towns. It was also a major resort during the Belle Époque for princely and wealthy families. Today, this classified tourist resort diversifies its activities on the scale of its agglomeration of 75,000 inhabitants with the Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes brand.

Aix also has other assets such as its Musilac music festival, its historical and natural heritage or even exploited mineral water. The Aix region is also home to some large industries, such as General Electric, the headquarters of Léon Grosse, ABB Process Engineering (Cellier) or Aixam.

According to the classification “Where is it good to live in France?” ” directed by Les Echos in 2015, the employment pool Chambery / Aix-les-Bains is the 6 rank of 304 areas listed. According to a ranking by Europe’s Best Destinations, it is considered the fifth most romantic city in Europe in 2016.

In addition, many cultural events are organized such as the largest pop-rock festival in the region which welcomes tens of thousands of festival-goers per evening in July: Musilac. The city is also one of the most sporting in France: approximately one inhabitant in three holds a license in an Aix sports club and therefore regularly practices a sport among the sixty disciplines that can be practiced in the city between lake and mountains.

Human installations on the banks of Lake Bourget back to the Neolithic, when men settled in villages on stilts along the lake, some of which were recently classified as World Heritage of Unesco. According to archaeological excavations, in Roman times, the habitat developed around the thermal baths and the “temple” known as the Temple of Diana. The existence of hot mineral springs is obviously at the origin of the development of a vicus dependent on the city of Vienna.

From the Middle Ages to the Revolution, Aix-les-Bains was a small provincial town, with around a thousand inhabitants. The city was divided into a village enclosed by a rampart, and ten rural hamlets. In April 1739, following a fire which destroyed nearly half of the city, the reconstruction plan provides for an alignment of streets and town planning rules such as the ban on building houses of more than two floors.

From 1779 to 1783, King Victor Amédée III had a thermal spa built at the origin of the birth of modern hydrotherapy. After a long period away from Aix’s concerns, the lake begins to take a little weight to the late 18 th century. First frequented by boats supplying the troops of the Army of the Alps, it is fitted out for the export of goods.

Hydrotherapy became fashionable with the Empire and brought personalities to Aix-les-Bains. We are witnessing the birth of hotel infrastructure. The number of curists tripled in 6 years and reached 1,200 in 1808, when a street beautification plan was drawn up. The annexation of Savoy into France, in 1860, allowed a new boom in hydrotherapy by removing customs difficulties.

The transfer of the railway line and the construction of the station to its current location in 1866 definitively marked the urban landscape. New types of accommodation are emerging, palaces or, for the more affluent, resort villas. The city center was almost completely redesigned between 1875 and 1910: creation of new urban spaces such as the town hall square, the market square, relocation of the church … Everything aims to ventilate the old center, to structure the urban space according to the sectors of activity. The Grand Port, enlarged, became a tourist spot around 1875 and received the steamers connecting with Lyon and boats for walks on the lake.

From the 1920s, the city diversified its economy. The company La Savoisienne sets up in Aix-les-Bains the first large factory, specializing in electrical constructions. Up to 2 e World War, buildings develop along the main avenues. But the demographic explosion of the 1950s led to the development of successive urban plans which take into account the entire municipal territory. At about the war of 1939, Aix-les-Bains became the 1 st spa with France in the 80s, almost 60 000 spa guests.

It is all this urban history that has shaped the particular geography of the current city, with its urban center, its neighborhoods with the faces of villages, and in particular, these immense suburban areas.

Aix-les-Bains was labeled “City of Art and History” on February 3, 2014. The “Towns of art and history” label qualifies municipalities which, aware of the challenges represented by the appropriation of their architecture and their heritage by the inhabitants, engage in an active process of knowledge, conservation, mediation and support for heritage, architectural quality and living environment.

Urban morphology
The life of Aix-les-Bains is located largely on its heights where its downtown, the economic heart, and its thermal baths (the National Baths of Chevalley and the Baths of Marlioz) are located. Indeed, the history of the town has made it a spa town. Aix was organized around this activity, which was initiated by the Romans. The lower part of the town, located on the shores of the lake, was abandoned because of the risk of flooding. The land was cultivated and there were fish farms. The economic activity is mainly on the upper part, and the urban morphology has adapted. It had to take into account living space for services (racecourse, casino, thermal baths, deluxe hotels, station, hospital and golf, for instance) and the surrounding geography.

Aix-les-Bains includes grand boulevards which are the Robert Barrier Boulevard, Boulevard Lepic, Russia Boulevard/President Wilson Boulevard, the Boulevard of Dr. Jean Charcot/Boulevard Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boulevard. These boulevards are wide and open unlike the streets of downtown, which are narrower, and the other axes, which can be more constrained because of the proximity of the Massif des Bauges and its winding climbs, meeting the more anarchic requirements of the moment without taking the urban fabric into overall account. The town includes various neighborhoods such as Chantemerle, Boncelin, around the railway station, the Sierroz, la liberté, the lakeside, Marlioz, Lepic, Franklin Roosevelt and many others.

With urban expansion and population growth Aix-les-Bains constantly extends, similarly to the neighbouring communes. Little by little, one speaks beyond a city of Aix-les-Bains as such, but the Aix area encompassing an urban plan, with the nearby communes such as Tresserve, Grésy-sur-Aix, Mouxy, Méry, Drumettaz-Clarafond, Sonnaz, as well as other communes. This phenomenon also applies to Chambéry, which is located south of Aix-les-Bains and is considered as the Chambéry area. The urban morphology of these two local watersheds tends to draw them inexorably closer together. In order to reconcile the urban development of the Aix and Chambéry areas, the joint association of the Métropole Savoie has been implemented. The mission is to follow the pattern of territorial coherence (SCOT) of the Combe de Savoie, Chambéry and the Lac du Bourget.

Aix-les-Bains had 20,317 homes in 2017, of which 15,491 (76.2%) were main residences. 18% of the main residences were built before 1945, and 30% were built after 1990. 22.4% of all houses are detached houses and 76.4% are apartments. 52.7% of the main residences are owned by their occupants, 45.2% are occupied by tenants.

1,837 are HLM rent-controlled housing, or 15.7% of the area in 1999, the city did not meet the provisions of article 55 of the law on solidarity and urban renewal of December 2000, which laid down a 20% minimum rate of social housing in the most important municipalities. It further noted that the number of vacant dwellings was quite high in 1999, accounting for 11.4% of the area. The OPAC of the Savoy, with more than 1,657 social homes in the commune, manages the assets of about 2,500 homes, through its antenna Aix-les-Bains. This includes 1,600 of Aix-les-Bains, located in the Sierroz-Franklin neighbourhood among others. Homes with four rooms account for 46% of the overall housing stock, with three-roomed homes at 27.4%, and two rooms at 17.5%. Small housing accounts for about one-tenth of Aix housing (studios: 9.1%). These accommodations are well staffed and equipped, particularly because of the geographic location at the heart of the Alps, since 93.9% have central heating and 58.5% have a garage or a parking space.

With the fact that the town is urbanized almost in its entirety, it becomes increasingly more difficult to build larger houses to accommodate families who don’t live in the city. The edge of the lake and the hills are beginning to be saturated where there is a sprawl from the surrounding communities. It is worth noting the presence of much accommodation within former large luxury hotels, ruins from the Belle Époque, now gone.

Planning projects
Several projects of the municipality are underway in the downtown area, on the western shore of the lake as well as mainly to the south. This is to establish new areas of commercial activity to attract new business to the Aix economic area. The establishment of new residential areas is also scheduled. In collaboration with the municipalities of Méry and Drumettaz-Clarafond, through concerted urban development, the town of Aix-les-Bains contributes to the emergence of an activity called the Savoie Hexapôle area and also enables the development of a commercial area serving all of the southern sector of the Aix area.

The ZAC des Bords du Lac, under construction, will extend over about 15 hectares (37 acres) at the location of, among others, the former municipal campground of Sierroz. This very controversial project is yet to be launched by the Deputy Mayor Dominique Dord’s municipal team. This new district, developed by the Society for the Development of the Savoy was named Aix–du Lac.

A 36 metres (118 ft)-wide promenade was built, between Barrier and Garibaldi Boulevards, named Allée promenade des bords de lac. This is essentially the opening of a road with a narrow lane of traffic in both directions. The rest will be dedicated to pedestrians, cyclists and trees. This lane will host “high environmental quality” accommodation and nearby businesses that will benefit residents of the neighborhood and buildings under construction.

In 2013, one of the major projects of the municipal council was the restoration of the course of the River Tillet and the creation of a harbour for boats at the Petit Port near this river leading into the Lac du Bourget. The work amounts to 7 million Euros. By rearranging the small harbor, the city wants to take advantage of the situation by decontaminating the River Tillet, which is heavily polluted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The municipality and the CALB chose for a solution to store the PCB-contaminated soil on-site. The waste transport solution to a specialized treatment center was not successful. Among the comments from various stakeholders in the project, it was said: “It (the contaminated soil) will be placed in a watertight compartment and will be used to make an embankment to widen the roadway of the Garibaldi Boulevard, which runs alongside Le Pêcheur campsite, and to develop sidewalks and parking.

The work to the harbour for boats has also brought upheavals to the level of traffic. Petit Port will become a cul-de-sac. Barrier Boulevard, previously connected to the Petit Port Avenue, will no longer be so in the future, as the municipality decided to postpone the flow of traffic on the Garibaldi Boulevard, this boulevard will become the new main road to get to the Barrier Boulevard through the small streets which form the way of Biatres and, with a fusion of greenery, a new axis between the business district and the Sierroz campsite. The Boulevard du port aux filles will become a one-way street, except for buses.

The town is classified, by official decree, as a tourist resort since 2013. The Green Guide, drawn up by Michelin, gives it “2 stars: Mérite a detour”.

According to a study carried out by the Aix-les-Bains tourist office with a specialist firm, the economic impact linked to tourism would amount to around 70,000,000 euros in 2015, 10% lower than in 2014. Nevertheless, it should be noted that for the beginning of summer 2016, the attendance of the Aix city center is up 10% according to the same source.

In 2014, the reception capacity of the community resort, estimated by the Savoie Mont Blanc organization, was 21,671 tourist beds spread over 3,892 structures. Accommodation breaks down as follows: 1,263 furnished; 5 tourist residences; 38 hotels; 4 structures of outdoor catering; 1 holiday center or village / youth hostel. In the 2016 prize list, the Auberge Saint-Simond table is in the Michelin guide, with the distinction of a gourmet Bib.

In 2016, an official tourism name for the areas near Aix-les-Bains and Lac du Bourget was created: Aix les Bains Riviera des Alpes. According to Le Dauphiné Libéré, the aim of this brand “is to promote the tourist destination locally, nationally and internationally by relying on three concepts: the notoriety of the spa and its treatment waters, the Riviera to which the concepts of “chic” and “seaside” are attached, as well as the Alps, which call for the concepts of the great outdoors and skiing”.

In addition, the town has a main tourist office classified and labeled “Tourism Quality” located in the national thermal baths as well as a second, at the Grand Port, closed in winter. The city of Aix-les-Bains has launched since 2013 in the labeling process “Tourism and Handicap” to make it accessible to disabled the tourist information point.

Water Town
Aix-les-Bains is a city of water: clear and living water from the mountains, soothing and mysterious water from the lake and revitalizing and vitalizing water from its thermal springs. This water with healing virtues has attracted many populations throughout history.

Aix-les-Bains welcomes each year 30 000 spa guests for its spas medicalized rheumatology, ENT and phlebology. Aix-les-Bains has been labeled a health city by the WHO and a nautical resort. The Bourget Lake, the largest lake natural of France, is both a site of unspoilt natural beauty and a place to practice many sporting activities or relaxation.

Aix-les-Bains is the 4 th spa France. Its therapeutic orientations are: the respiratory tract and ENT diseases, diseases of the oral mucosa, rheumatology and phlebology.

Pellegrini swimming pool
Personalized care, rigorous organization, short and targeted cures, dual orientation of care, qualified and multidisciplinary staff, the Aix resort is the destination for well-being and renewal.

Ancient baths
The thermal vocation of Aix-les-Bains comes from Antiquity. From the 1 st century before our era, hot springs were the subject of cultic attention which continued during the Roman period. The village was then endowed with monumental thermal baths. This tradition of baths has been preserved over the centuries.

Aix-les-Bains thermal baths
You will find all our favorites, accommodation, activities, events… according to your treatment dates and your tastes…

Thermal Spa
On the heights of Aix-les-Bains, in the heart of Thermes Chevalley, thermal Spa offers a breathtaking view of Lake Bourget and the palaces of the 19 th century jewels of hydrotherapy. He offers a moment of absolute letting go. The 1600 m 2 of the garden level house thermal water swimming pools, hammams, saunas, gymnastic relaxation room, solariumwhere to improvise your relaxation course. At 34 ° C, the water in the indoor pool invites you to relax; the outdoor one at 28 ° C allows you to enjoy thermal water in all seasons. Upstairs, find the softness of personalized treatments – scrubs, facials, massages – from the best of thermal tradition.

The Thermal Baths of Marlioz
Therapeutic orientations: respiratory tract and ENT diseases – affections of the bucco-lingual mucous membranes.

Spa Heritage
The heritage of Aix-les-Bains is just as rich as it is particular, mainly linked to hydrotherapy, a common thread that marks the different stages of the city’s historical and architectural development from the ancient period to the present day. Exceptionally, the historic thermal baths in particular keep in the same building the different layers of thermal history and important material which testifies to the evolution of thermal techniques.

The 19 th – early 20 th centuries, when Aix-les-Bains became the prestigious resort town where all the celebrities of the time mingled. It is for this demanding clientele that the city, nicknamed ” the resort of queens and the queen of resorts “, has acquired a monumental adornment whose sumptuous decorations we admire today. Hotels and palaces, casinos, theaters, villas multiply and compete in the quality of the constructions and, even more, in the interior decoration, where eclecticism and the emblematic art nouveau of the city dominate.

The city of water – rich in thermal and mineral waters from its sources, lake waters of Lac du Bourget and waters of its 3 rivers – is also distinguished by its inclusion in an exceptional natural setting.
Its landscape heritage has become an integral part of its identity, with its many historic or contemporary gardens – thermal park, hotel gardens, Vidal woods, vagabond garden, Japanese garden…
Seduced by this environment, many writers and personalities shape the history of Aix (Lamartine, Dumas, Balzac, Stendhal, Marie de Solms, Maupassant, Verlaine…), strongly marked by the arts of all disciplines.

Just as much heritage – natural and landscape, architectural, urban and movable, technical and ethnological heritage – that the new City of Art and History service aims to promote and transmit to different audiences, and first and foremost to the inhabitants of the city.

The National Thermal Baths
The old buildings of the National Thermal Baths develop in the heart of the city their imposing facade which can be read, from north to south, as a testimony of their long history.

Historical heritage
The culture of Aix-les-Bains blends with that of its department, whether for gastronomy or for its common history. Its heritage is an anthology of influences resulting from the many historical invasions. It owes a lot to its status as a spa town, which during the Belle Epoque allowed it to grow considerably and gave it a rich and varied heritage capital. Therefore it is classified City of Art and History. The history of Aix-les-Bains is directly linked to Lake Bourget and above all to its hot springs which made it one of the most famous spa resorts in the world.

From its rich past and its recent development, the town of Aix-les-Bains has an important and varied heritage. The town thus has fifteen monuments listed in the inventory of historical monuments and 902 listed in the general inventory of cultural heritage. In addition, it has three objects listed in the inventory of historical monuments and four listed in the general inventory of cultural heritage.

Heritage has also been the subject of studies by the Department of Culture of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in its series “Inventory files” (Studies on heritage). No less than 1,163 buildings have thus attracted some attention.

Arch of Campanus
Lucius Pompeius Campanus, patrician of Narbonne Gaul, had this funeral arch erected in honor of the deceased of his family. It was a tradition in Roman times to build necropolises around spa resorts, the sources of which were said to be linked to the world of the dead. The shape of the arch itself, derived from the gate, symbolizes this passage into the afterlife.

More than nine meters high, built in stones adjusted without mortar, the arch consists of an arcade between two pillars, surmounted by an entablature with architrave, frieze and cornice, then by an attic. The frieze of eight niches was to house the busts of some of the characters to whom the arch is dedicated.

City Hall
The Temple of Diana backs onto one of the most beautiful Town Halls in France. It was formerly a feudal castle, wonderfully situated with regard to the main road linking Geneva to Chambéry. But his keep was stormed by the Duke of Savoy in 1491 and on its ruins was built at the beginning of the XVI th century, the current building. Not in the Renaissance style which was beginning to flourish in Europe, but in pure Gothic style, as evidenced by the low arched entrance door and the cross windows.

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Only the magnificent staircase, later is “renaissance”. It has a stone ramp and very beautiful arches that rise higher and higher.
In 1866, the castle became the Town Hall. It remains in the heart of the city.

Grand Cercle Casino
The Casino Grand Cercle is located in Aix-les-Bains, constitutes a major architectural ensemble in Savoie, like the casino of Évian-les-Bains. This building was built from 1847 and then completely renovated since 1988. It was inaugurated by Victor-Emmanuel II in 1850. This place, symbolic of the Belle Époque, brings together meeting rooms, a theater, restaurants, nightclubs and of course the slot machines.

Inaugurated in 1850 by King Victor Emmanuel II, the Grand Cercle Casino was dedicated from its birth to pleasure: people come here to converse, read, listen to music, dance and above all to play. Initially a modest games room with a removable theater, it became at the end of the 19th century the real rallying point of the city. This is because, competition from a new casino requires, we have just added several lounges, a romantic “French” theater and a restaurant.

A great Venetian mosaicist, Antonio Salviati, restorer of Saint Mark’s Basilica, collaborator of Charles Garnier at the Paris Opera, covered the ceilings with splendid mosaics with gold backgrounds. For this marvel, he needed 3,500,000 small glass cubes set with 25 tons of cement.

Then the theater, too small, becomes only the hearth of a theater even bigger than built the architect Henry Eustache. The mosaic artist Cavaillé-Coll continues to decorate the ceilings in a more colorful palette. If you are going to play in the splendor of the Grand Cercle, also see in the Salon Baccara a painting bearing the impact of a ball: it was shot by a player.

Casino Grand Cercle was ranked 19 among French casinos on the basis of its gross gaming revenue for the year 2012.

Castle of the King’s Rock
The Chateau de la Roche is a castle of the XX century. It is located on the heights of Aix-les-Bains, built on the hillside, the castle dominates a good part of the city and overlooks, among other things, the racecourse and the golf course. It was built in 1900 by the city architect Jules Pin (elder) as well as by the company Léon Grosse. This castle is now classified as a historic monument.

It is built on a terrace supported by semicircular vaulted bases. Outside the castle, in its outskirts, is a very dense forest made up of centuries-old trees, undergrowth, and plants common to the region. The castle currently belongs to an owner of Haute-Savoie. Noting that it has been abandoned for many years, the city is trying, after several major degradations noted and after multiple interventions by firefighters solicited for fires, to acquire this monument. But while it had fallen into ruins for fifteen years, abandoned by its former German owner, the city had the €. In 2015, an industrialist from Haute-Savoie bought it in order to renovate it and turn it into a private cultural center for 530,000 €.

Built by the city architect Jules Pin senior, it’s madness! A true oriental palace, with a keep, a terrace, balconies and railings, this eccentric castle, completed in 1900 by the company Léon Grosse, is today classified as a historical monument.

Notre-Dame church
The Notre-Dame-des-Eaux church, parish of the Assumption is located in the city center of Aix-les-Bains. Built according to the plans of the architect Arthur Bertin in a Romano-Byzantine style, it was inaugurated in 1899. The apse of the church is lit by stained glass windows produced by Lucien Bégule, a master glassmaker of Lyon origin.

The square in front of the church is transformed during the week into a public car park due to its central location in the urban fabric.

The palaces and hotels Aix
Among the other great buildings in Aix, we must list the great palaces, vestiges of the Belle Époque and for the most part now transformed into collective dwellings. However, these retain their imposing exterior facades as well as their masterful entrances decorated most of the time with wrought iron canopies. These palaces are the Beau-site, the Grand Hôtel, the Bernascon (partly destroyed by a fire in August 2015 ), the Splendide, the Royal and the Mirabeau.

To satisfy wealthy customers, several palaces were built in Aix-les-Bains: the Grand Hotel and its atrium designed by Pellegrini, the Splendide and its lounges with symbolic frescoes and lapis-lazuli columns, the Bernascon, the Excelsior, the Mirabeau, the International… Witnesses of the past, of the Belle Epoque, palaces today punctuate the Aix countryside.

It was after 1850 that these characteristic, ostentatious buildings with strong architecture flourished. They are images and showcases of the world, always bigger, always more beautiful. Everything is therefore oversized, but of high quality: neo-baroque, neo-classical, neo-Louis XVI, mosaic and ironwork work, gardens recomposing a gently domesticated wilderness… Today, palaces are converted into residences.

palace- hotel Le Splendide (1884) built by Gaudens Antoine Rossignoli;
palace The excelsior (1906) built by Gaudens Antoine Rossignoli;
palace Le Bernascon (1909) built by Jean-Marie Bernascon with its annex the Villa Regina. Almost half of the building was destroyed by fire on August 18, 2015;
palace Le Royal (1914) built by Louis Rossignoli;
palace Le Mirabeau (1910) built by the architect Martinet;
the Grand Hôtel (1857) built by CB Pellegrini with an annex “Les Ambassadeurs” in 1877;
the Beau-Site Hotel (1883);
the Hotel des Iles Britannica (1891);
the International Hotel (1893), burnt down in 1985-1995, now renovated;
the Hôtel l’Astoria (1905-1906), permanently closed;
Hôtel Le Panoramic (1929), currently building.

The city of Aix-les-Bains is dotted with many historic buildings as well as buildings of character. From the Gallo-Roman period, there remains the “Roman funeral arch of Campanus”. This arch was erected by the patrician of Narbonne Gaul, Lucius Pompeius Campanus, in order to honor the deceased of his family. The arch has a height of over nine meters. It consists of an arcade between two pillars surmounted by an entablature with architrave, the whole made of cut stones adjusted without the addition of mortar. The arch includes a frieze, a cornice and an attic. The frieze of eight niches was to house the busts of some of the characters to whom the.

There is also as a landmark building, the Ancient Baths or National Baths. Around 120 BC, the Romans built comfortable baths in Roman fashion as was done throughout the empire. This structure includes several baths, namely a hot bath (caldarium), a lukewarm bath (tepidarium) then a cold bath (frigidarium). All the pools are lined with marble. The rooms were decorated with columns and sculptures. Currently the Roman remains are still visible inside the National Baths.

Note also the current town hall of Aix-les-Bains; originally it was a residence of Conrad the Pacific and the former castle of the Marquis of Aix of the XV to XVII century. Backed onto the town hall is the Gallo-Roman temple, known as the Temple of Diana, which has become the Lapidary Museum. This ancient sanctuary is one of the three temples fully preserved in France. Now converted into an archaeological museum, the building houses many statues and ancient objects as well asbronze age.

In May 2019, the city’s war memorial as well as the municipal Alsace and Lorraine monument were listed as historical monuments.

Cultural heritage
The city of Aix-les-Bains benefits from several facilities to promote culture. The presence of the Grand Cercle casino allows the town to have a theater. It has a capacity of nine hundred seats and a stage of twenty meters by thirteen. This Italian-style theater has an orchestra pit, an organ set and a cinema screen.

Even more original, Aix-les-Bains has an outdoor theater called the Théâtre de verdure located in the city center, in the floral park of the thermal baths. It offers a capacity of three thousand seats for outdoor concerts. Tea dances are regularly organized there, as well as events. One of the main rooms in the town is the Aix-les-Bains convention center. They organize exhibitions, conferences, concerts, comedy shows, and many other artistic and cultural events.

Aix-les-Bains was one of the very first French cities to have hosted a cinema. Today it has two cinemas, the Victoria and Les Toiles du Lac d’Aix-les-Bains. The creation of the Les Toiles du Lac multiplex, offering eight screens, eliminated an old cinema located in the city center: Le Rex. The Victoria, with its five rooms, should be kept and is still in operation. This should gradually accommodate films by authors, art and essays. In addition, this establishment has the particularity of housing the second casino of Aix-les-Bains. Smaller in size than the Grand Cercle casino, the Nouveau Casino, which is its trade name, has a nevertheless honorable game park with its forty-five slot machines, its ball table, thirteen reels, fifteen video-reels and ten -sept video poker.

The Casino Poker Bowl or Poker Bowl is a recent establishment which opened its doors during the year 2010. The place has many activities such as bowling alleys, rooms for seminars and receptions, a bar-restaurant and of course, a room with 63 slot machines among others.

You can visit the Lapidary Museum. Backing onto the town hall, this former Gallo-Roman temple, known as the Temple of Diana, was converted into an archaeological museum. The building houses within it many statues and ancient objects as well as from the Bronze Age. You can contemplate the remains of the lake towns of Lac du Bourget. Another place of memory and cultural influence, the Lamartine municipal library has an important documentary fund. Its name is a tribute to the poet and writer Alphonse de Lamartine.

Several learned societies of Savoy are present in the town of Aix-les-Bains. These associations allow enlightened amateurs and specialists to come together around various themes, including regional history or the study of regional cultural heritage. Are present, in particular, in the town, the Société du Patrimoine de Savoie (SPS), founded in Aix-les-Bains in 1993 or the Société d’Art et d’Histoire d’Aix-les-Bains and its region, also founded in 1993. From 1975 to 2007, the city had the Center for Lacustrine Archeology in Aix-en-Savoie.

The Faure museum
The Faure museum exhibits, as part of a majestic villa from 1900, the donation made to the city of Aix-les-Bains by Doctor Jean Faure (1862-1942), a rich collector of paintings and sculptures from the years.The permanent collection is visible, as is the temporary exhibition ” Du pixel au pigment ” by Marc VUILLERMOZ. Discover the collections: Impressionism, Eclecticism, Rodin, Lamartine, Ceramics.

The Faure museum was founded in 1949. In the beginning, it was to welcome the bequest of Doctor Jean Faure. The museum is present in a Genoese style villa. Each year, more than 10,000 visitors pass through the Faure museum.

We can see among others paintings by Corot, Boudin, Jongkind, Ravier, Besnard, Puy, Cézanne, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Bonnard, Vuillard, Lebourg, Lebasque, Marquet, Robert Antral, Cottet, Jules Desbois, Aman-Jean, Sargent, Victor Vignon, Constant Troyon, Lépine, and also Adolphe Monticelli, Georges Michel and Jean Victor Bertin.

Aix cuisine is typical Savoyard cuisine based on local products and mountain pastures. In addition to the famous Savoyard fondue, we like to prepare potato- based bognettes for the main course, but also crozets, péla, tartiflette, diots, polenta or rioutes. For dessert, you can only ask for the bugnes or the famous Savoy cake.

The tables of Aix-les-Bains display Savoy cheeses such as Abundance, Beaufort, Bleu du Mont-Cenis, Emmental de Savoie, Gruyère de Savoie, Parsley from Aravis, Reblochon, Tamié, the tomme de Savoie and still many other preparations cheese.

However, the presence of Lac du Bourget and rivers such as Tillet and Sierroz, offer Aix cooks a large range of freshwater fish that make up many local dishes. We like to eat trout, arctic char and lavaret. The surrounding forests and mid-altitude mountains such as Mont Revard offer very popular products. Mushrooms are found in Bauges. The reputation of porcini mushrooms and boletus from Revard cannot be denied. Several vineyards around the town of Aix produce local wines used in many specialties such as Savoyard fondue through the use of white wine. Thus, we find near Aix-les-Bains the vineyard of Saint-Innocent, the vineyard of Saint-Baldoph and in general we consume most of the wines of Savoy.

In addition, the town is labeled “Vineyards and Discoveries”. This distinction is based on the information made available to visitors on the natural and cultural heritage of the labeled territory but also on gastronomy, local know-how, accommodation and catering.

Natural heritage

The mountain
Aix-les-Bains and its lake are located in a valley surrounded by mountains, between the regional natural parks of Bauges and Chartreuse. Le Revard, at the top of its 1,550 m, dominates the city, a huge plateau opening onto the Bauges Regional Nature Park. In summer, it is a paradise for athletes or walkers. If the mountain is beautiful, it offers magnificent belvederes on Lac du Bourget. Like that of Chambotte, the lake takes on the air of a fjord, with the Belledonne mountain range as a backdrop, often stained with snow. In winter, Savoie Grand Revard is the largest Nordic area in France and also a family downhill ski resort. On the other side of the lake, from the esplanade or the Grand Port, stands the Dent du Chat where it is possible to go hiking in summer. At the bottom of the lake, looking north, the summit of the Grand Colombier is a real challenge for cyclists, a stopover point for the Tour de France in 2012.

Le Revard
At an altitude of 1,550 m, the Revard is an immense plateau open to the massif and to the Bauges Regional Nature Park. Alternating forests and alpine pastures, this country has preserved its soul, its traditions, its colorful flora and its exquisite cheeses (tome des Bauges, Gruyère des Bauges, tome de goat…).

In summer: So many marked trails for hiking or mountain biking, in summer. Because Le Revard, oldest of the French resorts, is also a paradise for walkers and skiers. We go up by bike, by car, on foot… but we can descend by hang-gliding and learn paragliding in this high place of free flight. In winter: Oriented to the south-west, from where maximum sunshine and exceptional snow cover, Revard is the largest cross-country ski area in France: 150 km of groomed cross-country trails for skating and classic practice are linked between the stations of Revard, Féclaz and Saint-François. For pedestrians, 60 km of snowshoe trails are marked, a dog sled track… Finally, 13 ski lifts also allow you to practice alpine skiing with more than 50 km of slopes.

Le Dent du Chat
From Aix-les-Bains, on the west shore of the lake, a canine-shaped point culminates at 1390 m. This mountain bears the name of Dent du Chat. For fear of returning empty-handed, a fisherman vowed to throw back into the water the first fish he caught. He did not keep his promise and taken, he grabbed a kitten. Growing up, the charming kitten became a fierce monster, which brought terror to the mountain. Until the day when a brave and Christian soldier made the animal fall into the lake where, it is said, its big back gives rise to storms. Only one of his canines, the Dent du Chat, remained up there.

Bourget Lake
When Quaternary glaciers retreated 19,000 years ago, they left a huge lake, fed by the surrounding rivers and streams. This inland sea is framed by the last links of the Jura: on the west coast, the steep and wild chain of the Epine which plunges into the lake; on the eastern coast, the soft inhabited mountains of Cessens, Chambotte, Corsuet and the hill of Tresserve.

Lac du bourget is the largest natural lake in france, because its banks remain wild: its west shore has even been called the wild coast. Uninhabited, inaccessible by land, from the sea it looks like an island, with its coves and anchorages. Natural, because its ecosystem has been preserved. At the northern end of the lake, the reed beds are home to ducks, coots, grebes, moorhens, herons and even some cormorants.

The Esplanade and the Port
A privileged place for strolling in Aix, the esplanade is a large wooded park by the lake. Refreshments, snacks, bowling green and children’s games are all amenities that make the place even more pleasant. A long pedestrian promenade, shaded under the plane trees, allows you to stroll while admiring the view of the lake and the Epine mountain. It leads from the small port to the large port, where it is possible to take the path of the dikes.


Walks and hikes
Discover the walks and hikes in Aix-les-Bains: between lake, parks and forests:

Along the greenway: Walk on the Cycle path along Lac du Bourget which gives walkers an entire bank of Lac du Bourget. The diversity of users is the key word here, you can rub shoulders with riders, rollerbladers, children on their tricycles observing some kitesurfs or windsurfers.
Along the water: This round trip path offers a walk as close as possible to the water via a path partly built on footbridges. It will allow you to enjoy magnificent views of the lake, its reed beds and its fauna, but also of the Belledonnes, Chartreuse or Épine mountain ranges.
Lake esplanade between Petit Port and Grand Port: A privileged place for strolling in Aix, the esplanade is a large wooded park by the lake. A long, shaded pedestrian promenade that allows you to stroll while admiring the view of the lake and the Dent du Chat mountain. Refreshments, snacks, bowling green and children’s games. Accessible by scooters, strollers, tricycles…
Historic Walk: This walk in the heart of the city center will allow you to tour the most emblematic buildings and places of the city, and possibly enjoy a visit to the Faure museum.
Water and nature: An easy walking tour in the city center to discover the parks and fountains of Aix-les-Bains. By taking a little height, in the Bois Vidal, we discover an unusual point of view on the city.
Circuit around the golf course: A walk or run around the 18-hole Aix-les-Bains golf course. Combining park and path, on a route with a low drop, this course is suitable for families walking as well as for joggers who will test themselves on the Aixois reference loop! At the foot of the hill of Tresserve, with a view of Mont Revard, this circuit offers walks for all.
The Cave of the Fairies: A small cave on the mountainside with a magnificent view of Lac du Bourget. The Grotte aux Fées will be the goal of a one-hour walk offering an exceptional viewpoint towards Lac du Bourget. A course in the undergrowth and clearing provides access to this small cave. There are many options to get there, especially from Brison-St-Innocent.
From the Grand Port to the Corsuet forest: Loop on hiking trails, which passing on the 2 slopes of the forest of Corsuet, will allow you to discover many landscapes of Savoy. After a start along the river Sierroz the 1 st part you will enjoy a panorama of the Bauges. After passing through the Corsuet cross, the return will take place on the lake side, with a view of the Hautecombe abbey and the Dent du Chat.
Mont-Revard climb: The hike reaches the Revard belvedere 1,200 m higher. The departure can be done from the city center, it will then add about 45 minutes of walking. This marked hiking route allows you to reach the top of Revard by taking the route of the cogwheel train which circulated from 1892 to 1937. Several structures are still in place.

Horse racing
Created in 1883, the Marlioz racecourse in Aix-les-Bains is the only racecourse in the Alps. The Société des courses d’Aix-les-Bains offers 10 meetings per year, from June to August, in 2 stages: 5 days of Premium galloping, then 5 days of trotting. The reception structures, for both professionals and the public, are particularly well looked after. The mountainous setting, the greenery and the shade make it a popular meeting place. Numerous activities for adults and children are organized throughout the horse season.

Rowing, water skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, kite surfing or swimming… discover the full range of water activities in Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes:

Stroll, tan, breathe, relax… You are at the beach with water at 26 ° C. From north to south, the shores of Lac du Bourget have many beaches, some large with a multitude of activities, others more discreet where the atmosphere is peaceful. For more information, see the information page on the beaches of Lac du Bourget.

Aqualac aquatic center
The Aqualac aquatic center in Aix-les-Bains is located in a huge 12-hectare green space next to Lake Bourget. Swimmers benefit from a 50 m Olympic swimming pool and a 25 m indoor swimming pool. Every summer, regular bus transport is provided along the beach line. Bicycles are accepted.

Tags: France