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Days Out

Zoo-Piscine des Marécottes

Les Marécottes is a village in Switzerland particularly known for its alpine zoo, which houses bears, wolves, greyhounds and other alpine animals that all live together in a 35000 m2 space. The zoo also contains a wonderful swimming pool that has formed naturally in the rocks. The best way to get there is to take the Mont Blanc Express from either Les Houches or Chamonix. The panoramic train journey takes you past fabulous views as it winds its way through the mountains into Switzerland and on to the station at Les Marécottes.

Evionnaz Labyrinth Adventure

Across the border in Switzerland this mammoth maze (the largest permanent maze in the world) and is great fun for all ages. The challenge is not only to find your way to the hidden centre but to fulfil a number of tasks along the way. A full day out! www.labyrinthe.ch

Le Bouveret Aquaparc

Also in nearby Switzerland, a huge water park, with something for everyone. A visit to its three fabulous worlds should not be missed. There is Cap’tain Kids Land, an enchanting world for children; Jungle Land, which guarantees adrenaline rushes and the exhilaration of speed, and; Paradise Land, which offers relaxation and well-being.  http://www.aquaparc.ch

Montreux

In the heart of the Swiss Riviera at the eastern shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) is Montreux. Home to some of the world’s most famous musicians for at least two weeks each year, during the Montreux Jazz Festival which usually takes place in the first two weeks in July. Or why not track down the bronze statue of Freddie Mercury who stands looking over the lack or pay a visit to the Castle of Chillon, the place that inspired Lord Byron’s “Prisoner of Chillon”! Definitely worth a visit!

Annecy

Come here to France’s answer to Venice to experience all the hustle and bustle of everyday life in France. It is easy to see why this picturesque town with its labyrinth of canals is the second most visited city in France (Paris being the first, of course).

Geneva

No longer the most expensive city in Europe Geneva offers a multitude of activities for all ages. Apart from the many public parks that often offer paddling pools for the kids why not tour the United Nations building or Red Cross museum or lake a boat trip around the lake.

Evian

Evian is situated on the south bank of Lake Geneva, opposite Switzerland and occupies a spectacular position between lake and mountains. Birthplace of the famous natural mineral water, Evian has preserved its architectural heritage to its best, a quaint old town which conjures up images of bygone days when the likes of Noel Coward would come to “take the waters”. Places of interest to visit in Evian include Source Cachat (the source of Evian Mineral Water, built in 1903), Medieval church “Notre Dame de l’Assomption”, Funicular railway, The “Pré-Curieux” Water gardens, Evian Masters Golf course, Thermal Baths and the Evian Casino.

Lausanne

In contrast to the historical sites around the fairly recent Olympic Museum offers something for all the family.

Mont Blanc Tunnel

Opened in 1965, the Mont Blanc Tunnel links the Chamonix valley and the Aosta valley. It takes about 15-20mins to drive through the 12km (8mile) tunnel that joins France with Italy. It’s well worth a trip to see what the town of Courmayeur and the Aosta Valley has to offer, even if its only a visit for lunch!

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