Chambery (winter only)
Bienvenue to Chambéry ,the picture perfect snow-capped destination just a short hop from Southampton airport. Nestled between stunning lakes, world-class spas, ski resorts and majestic mountains, Chambéry is somewhere to enjoysummer or winter, but winter is when we like it best. Because that’s when we fly there. Whether you board or ski, this Savoie capital is the gateway to 110 major ski resorts - all within easy reach.
But it’s not all about the white stuff. Take a peek past the snow boots and you’ll find a real Italian flavour in these streets.
Art museums feature one of the largest collections of Italian paintings in France, and with its medieval centre and colourful facades, Chambéry is worth an explore. From the maze of alleys to majestic mansions, and the imposing Castle of the Dukes of Savoy, breeze through Southampton airport this winter and enjoy a rich cultural heritage before you perfect your snowplough.
Flybe flies from Southampton airport during the winter in just an hour and a half with package holidays from Esprit Ski, Inghams and Ski Total. Chambéry airport is a speedy 10 kilometres from the city centre, and shuttlebus services operate to coincide with scheduled flights' arrival and departure times. You can also book a scheduled coach from the airport to all the Savoy ski resorts.
Top things to see and do
The imposing Chateau de Chambéry was once the residence of the Ducs de Savoie and the chapel there housed the Turin shroud.
Compact and easy to get around, hire a bike from the Vélostation in front of the train station and follow the cycle route north to the Lac du Bourget.
Get under the skin of the city with guided tours by the Museum of Chambéry.
Off the beaten track
A steep, two-mile walk into the countryside will take you to the tranquil Maison des Charmettes, briefly the country home of Chambéry’s most famous 18th-century resident, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Just outside Chambéry is the very pretty Lac de Bourget. Also known as the grey lake, it’s France’s largest natural lake and surrounded by dramatic vistas.
The Fountain of the Elephants is worth a visit to see - and snap - the four huge pachyderms that face out of the fountain.