Situated in the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France, the city of Chambéry has been the capital of the Savoy region since the 13th century. The city boasts panoramic views of the Alps due to its location within a valley flanked by the Bauges and Chartreuse ranges as well as Lac du Bourget, the largest natural lake in France. Since the 11th century, Chambéry has been referred to as a “crossroads to the Alps”, with the city founded at the intersection of ancient routes through Dauphiné, Burgundy, Switzerland, and Italy.
Chambéry is linked by the motorway network via the A41 from the north and south, A43 in the west and the tunnel of Fréjus links the city to Torino Italy to the east. The city is served by the Chambéry Airport also known as Chambéry Aix-les-Bains Airport. This international airport is serviced by routes from the UK as well as seasonal charter flights. From Chambéry-Challes-les-Eaux station direct TGV high-speed rail services to Paris are available as well as the regional TER services to major regional centers. Chambéry is located 523 km from Paris and the journey to Chambéry on the TGV takes around 3.5 hours, with the line continuing through to Torino.
Being a small town, Chambéry can easily be covered on foot however there are local and regional buses available. Bicycles are also available for rent from the Vélostation in front of the train station. There are excellent cycle-only paths running from the town’s north to Lac du Bourget as well as one on the south-side of the city going to the vineyards.
There are several historical sites in Chambéry for you to explore, including
- Château de Chambéry was the powerbase for the Duchy of Savoy. The castle once housed the Shroud of Turin but is now government offices.
- The medieval quarter still features several old style streets and alleyways.
- Fontaine des Éléphants, the Elephant Fountain, is Chambéry’s most iconic landmark. The fountain dates back to 1838 and features the busts of four life size elephants, for which reason the locals jovially refer to it as “the four without arses”.
- Place St-Leger
- Cathedral de Chambéry
- Place du Palais de Justice
- Hotel de Ville
To take in the surrounding landscape, during the warmer months rent a paddle boat at Lac du Bourget and visit the surrounding vineyards or during the snow season take to the slopes.