How nice to explore a city so close to where we live!
We’ve passed by Chambéry on several occasions when travelling more south, but we had actually never stopped to explore the city and its surroundings. We are glad we did now!
The Old Town and the Traboules
Chambéry is located in the Savoie region of France, at approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by car from Geneva. Chambéry has a beautiful old town with ‘traboules’ (narrow passage ways through buildings that get you from one street to another). We knew Lyon has a lot of these passage ways, but we never knew Chambéry had them too. Most traboules get you to an inner court about half way. People of course actually live here, so when you walk through these passage ways, remember to stay quiet out of respect. There is also 1 aerial passage way left in the old town, located in ‘Rue basse du Chateau’.
This is the main square of the Old Town with terraces and restaurants on it and a view on the clock tower which is a bit of a landmark in Chambéry. Year round, on every second Saturday of the month a flea market is held here, with some real professional stands with cool designed furniture made of used and old items.
We loved the colorful store called ‘La Traboule’ (119 Place Métropole)! A gift shop with a lot of cool things for in around the house!
The Savoie region is home of the famous French cheese called ‘Beaufort’. I was once told Beaufort is the Rolls Royce of cheese, and I have to agree, it’s really good! We went for some local cheese and delicacies shopping in the Old Town center.
Chambéry has a Museum of Fine Arts in the city center, which focuses on the relationship between the Savoie region and Italy, mainly Turin.
Apparently Chambéry also has a strong link with elephants… We were wondering why but this is due to a General who was a native to Chambéry and who was located in India for years. He made a fortune there and gave a lot back to the city, so they have created a fountain with four elephant statues in his honor. Since you cannot see the elephant’s behinds, they are called the ‘butt-less four’ in Chambéry 😊. The elephant theme has been adopted by the city. Every year for a few years now, an Elephant Festival is held in summer with light shows representing elephants.
Chateau de Comte de Challes
We dined and stayed at this Chateau and it was a lovely place! The Chateau is a bit outside of Chambéry, yet close by. You can easily go here with your family, but it is also a nice place for a romantic get-away. There is a swimming pool and a playground and the garden is lovely. The restaurant is very good and their wine menu impressive. You can also buy wine to take home with you at a discounted price.
Mont Revard was only a short drive from Chambéry. There is a nice restaurant on top with a panoramic terrace. We loved the different observation decks on Mont Revard which give you a breathtaking view over Aix-les-Bains and the Lac du Bourget! One of the observation decks has a glass floor. When we were there the glass floor was a bit dirty from muddy shoes, so I did not really ‘experience’ it at that moment.
In winter time Mont Revard is a place where you could go cross-country skiing. In Summer they have some cool activities for children. There was a summer toboggan run, one run where you just go off and one run where you will take off, fly, and land on a big air cushion!
We will definitely visit Chambéry again soon!