Flowery Medieval Village of Yvoire

I booked two nights in Annecy thinking that there’ll be so much to see so we need 1.5 days…it turned out Annecy is quite small so we finished exploring it in an afternoon. Thus, I had to do some research at night to plan for where to go the next day. I decided to visit Yvoire, the Medieval village known for being with lots of flowers. The drive from Annecy to Yvoire was almost an hour and the toll was €4.80.

We got there early in the morning so we had no issue finding parking at one of its public parking lots. After parking, we walked into the village and it no people since we were early; the shops not even open yet. There’s a tourist information center right outside the entrance to the village, it was still closed. The entrance to the village, the medieval houses decorated with bright red flowers and plants.

All the houses there have a least some pots of flowers, they really added colors to the cold-stone-looking Medieval houses.

I like this house almost wrapped by this tree.

At 10 AM, we walked to The Garden of Five Senses (Jardin des Cinq Sens – Yvoire) when it first open; the admission fee was €12. Since it is one of the major attraction in Yvoire and highly rated, I had a high expectation of it having lots of flowers like the village is known for. Guess what, it was a complete rip-off!!! Its name “Five Senses” sounded awesome isn’t it but it doesn’t live up to its name at all!

The garden barely has flowers, mostly plants….besides the view of the Château d’Yvoire as the backdrop, nothing pretty about the landscaping!

The garden is so small that each section of the “five senses” is just like a block like this one.

The “hearing” sense is a small fountain that you can “hear” the dripping sound of water….are you serious?

I looked happy but very regretted that we paid €12 each!!! Compared to
Palazzo Borromeo and its magnificent garden at only €17 that we visited days before, this is a HUGE disappointment.

This is probably the only flower that I have never seen before and worth a picture.

We literally are done with the garden in 15 minutes and Jason too thought it was a waste of money, we rather have an extra meal than that!

We continued to explore the town and shops started to open by that time.

We walked down to the pier where boats docked on Lake Geneva:

Not much interesting at the lake, we walked back to the center of the village to check out the shops. Most shops are art galleries, which it’s also known for.

Things are very expensive in Yvoire, probably due to its distance to Geneva, Switzerland.

Now the village has more tourists and bus tour groups.

The sun angle was a bit higher to give less shadow so it was better for photos.

This cafe shop is super cute decorated with hearts.

The view of Château d’Yvoire again:

For lunch, the restaurant that I bookmarked was closed that day, urg! We walked around and check out the menus of the other restaurants…..most of the menu is French only….no English menu meaning not tourist traps?

Food prices are very high in Yvoire, more expensive than in Annecy, most of the restaurants we checked out, the main course cost €30-40+! We settled on having lunch at Le Bateau Ivre. I picked the menu of the day for €20 and with my limited French, I know the main course will be a duck dish. I couldn’t figure out the appetizer and Google Translate did a poor job translating…I want to make sure it’s something that I can eat. I asked the waiter who speaks limited English, not surprised being in France, he tried to describe it but it was hard. At last, he bought it out to show me, it turned out to be a cantaloupe LOL!

I was wondering what dish will be cooked or made with a cantaloupe? Here it is….a bowl of freshly cut cantaloupe hahaha! The cantaloupe was super sweet! I had my serving of fruit for my baby 🙂

My main course was a duck leg with mashed potatoes. The duck and sauce were very good, you can’t go wrong with duck in France!

Jason ordered a steak and it was €32! The steak was cooked perfectly, medium rare as Jason preferred.

For dessert, I actually can pick anything from the dessert menu (where normally it cost €7-10 per). I chose creme brulee and it was very smooth and creamy. My menu of the day for €20 was an incredible value for 3 courses!!!

After lunch, we continued walking around the village and it turned out we already walked all those streets.

Another group of bus tour arrived…

We decided to leave since there are no new places to explore in the village.

Next stop, we drove to Château de Ripaille; less than half an hour away.

The admission was €10 each and we were the only visitors when we got there! After we entered the gate, we saw those 5 flashing Ferraris in different colors woah! The chateau has two sides: one is the chateau open to the public and another is a private mansion…probably the owner lives there who owns those 5 Ferraris. Which color should I drive today? hahaha!

Jason was having a fun time taking pics with each of the supercars. He said that is well worth the €10 than that Five Senses garden LOL.

The first room inside the chateau was like a small museum with its medieval letters and books.

Next is the kitchen which we heard voices from the staff having their lunch.

We walked up to a few rooms like this one:

Small dining area compared to other chateaus:

Fireplace but the room looked empty:

Another living room:

This is the restroom with running water tub:

The rooms in the chateau weren’t luxury looking like other chateaus and mansions. Then out to the garden…..not much landscaping here.

We walked down to the wine cellar and saw those massive wine barrels.

After the cellar, we walked out and it was a lot walk back to the entrance through this grassy road with no views. I almost thought we got lost!

We finally got out and back to the entrance. The chateau was nothing special nor spectacular so I wouldn’t recommend it if you have other things planned.

Without other plans, we drove back to Annecy and did our laundry so we have fresh smelling clothes in our luggage. The laundromat takes credit card and my 4-digit pin credit card worked perfectly, plus, they offered a discount (5 or 10%? I forgot) when paid with a credit card. It cost €4.50 to wash and €4.05 to dry.

Laundry took time to wash and dry but fortunately our hotel is right next door so we went back to our room during each wait and set an alarm. After laundry, we walked to dinner – at Maï Restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant. For some reason, I was craving for spring rolls and they have few choices: veggy, shrimp, and beef. The waiter speaks very good English and he recommended shrimp and beef; he said he can do half and half which was greatly appreciated. The spring roll skins looked burn on some – fried too long, but they tasted good.

We both ordered beef pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and I forgot to ask if they can fully cook the beef……I had Jason to take all the raw-looking pieces.

Pho always looked and tasted different than the ones at home, this one was okay. The soup base was flavorful, the beef was good quality, the noodle was not the chewy kind but acceptable. Our dinner was €41, very inexpensive in Annecy, I remembered the 22 CHF pho across the border in Switzerland.

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