Aix-les-Bains, Rhone-Alpes: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Aix-les-Bains (Rhone-Alpes, France)
Aix-les-Bains is located in the low Alps to the north of Chambery, on the eastern edge of the Lac du Bourget and overlooked by Mont Revard.
There are some interesting Roman ruins and artefacts to see in Aix-les-Bains, bearing witness to the towns long role in the region. The remains include the Temple of Diane and the Campanus Arch. The best place to see some of the statues discovered in the region is at the Museum of Archaeology.
Aix les Bains is a very attractive town and well worth a visit if you are exploring in the area. Much of its interest dates to the 19th century, and the most prosperous era in the towns history, when Aix-les-Bains revived its Roman role as a spa town.
Exploring Aix les Bains
Wandering around Aix les Bains you will see lots of wonderful architecture dating from the Belle Epoque. With the interest in taking the waters in the late 19th/early 20th century many grand hotels were built as well as the spa baths and the Casino and the Chateau de la Roche du Roi. (The Chateau is on the hillside above the town, and is in a curious melange of architectural styles that I won't even try to describe!).
Aix-les-Bains is one of the best towns in France for seeing the architecture of the Belle-Epoque with many fine examples from the period.
The Ancient Thermes, The Atrium
These were built in 1776 but were enlarged in 1854 and 1932. Their dominant sytle is of the Art Deco era. The large hall of the Atrium now houses the tourist office.
The Grand Cercle Casino
This wonderful building in the Belle Epoque style positively sparkles in the sun. The interior decor contains lots of mosaics, sculptures and large glass windows. In particular it has a wonderful mosaic ceiling and it also has a theatre which is in the French Romantic style.
The Arc de Campanus
The Arc de Campanus is a roman funeral arch which is 9m tall. It stands in the Place Maurice Mollard opposite the Atrium. The stone arch was built in the 1st century. Its exact role is not known and is thought to be either an entrance arch to the Thermes (Aix was a Spa town even in Roman times), or a victory arch or possible even a funeral arch. It certainly adds a certain charm and interest to the Place Maurice Mollard.
The Town Hall and Musee Lapidaire
The mairie (town hall) is housed in the ancient Chateau of Seysset and is a lovely Gothic castle. Next to it is the site of a Roman temple parts of which can still be seen, this houses the Musee Lapidaire with a collection of archaeological artifacts.
Also worth looking out for in the town are the wonderful old hotels built in Belle Epoque style. These are no longer hotels but private appartments. They include the Royal, the Splendide, the Beauregard and the Grand Hotel.
In a villa from the same epoch, visit the Museum of Doctor Faure, for an interesting selection of paintings from the last two centuries (includes works by Pissaro and Cézanne) and a very impressive collection of Rodin statues.
Market days in Aix les Bain are all day Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
While it is still very popular as a spa town today, tourist activities are playing an increasingly important role, especially those related to activities on the lake - hence the most popular stroll through Aix-les-Bains is the pretty walk along the edge of the lake - the Promenade du Lac.
On the lake itself the town has the largest inland port to be found in France, beaches, and numerous water-based activities from canoeing to water-skiing.
Many towns in France are classified Ville Fleurie (town of flowers) but Aix-les-Bains is one of only a few to have the '4 flowers' level of award, and to have national prizes for its flowers. As part of this, there are several large parks and gardens to visit, including the Parc Floral des Thermes, the substantial Parc of Bois Vidal, and the banks of the lake.
Places to visit nearby
The nearby village of Brison les Oliviers makes you feel like you have just stepped onto the Mediterranean.
Nearby Chatillon castle dates to the 13th century and lake Bourget used to be known as lake Chatillon.
Bourget du Lac has a pleasant garden next to its priory. The garden is classed as a 'jardin remarquable'.
Map of Aix-les-Bains and places to visit
Visit near Aix-les-Bains with France This Way reviews
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Aix-les-Bains is classified as a village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*
Address: Aix-les-Bains, Chambéry, Savoie, Rhone-Alpes, 73100, France || GPS: latitude 45.6884, longitude 5.91528
Plan your visit to Aix-les-Bains, Rhone-Alpes
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Aquarium du Lac du Bourget: aquarium (2km)
- Les jardins du Prieuré: remarkable garden (6km)
- Chambery: secteur sauvegarde (14km)
- Nances: ville fleurie 4* (14km)
- Massif des Bauges: regional natural parc (17km)
- Mont Granier: site of natural beauty (25km)
- Gorges du Fier: site of natural beauty (25km)
- Lac d'Annecy: site of natural beauty (27km)
- Roc de Chere: site of natural beauty (28km)
- Annecy: town of art and history (29km)
Market days in Aix-les-Bains, France
Regular market(s) are held in Aix-les-Bains each Wednesday & Saturday all day. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Aix-les-Bains (Francais)