Aix-les-Bains is a French town located in the Savoie department in the Rhone-Alpes region. It is the third largest thermal town in France, and has the biggest French fresh-water marina in. You will be seduced by the natural environment and all the assets this 28,000-inhabitant (called the Aixois) town has on offer! If you want to relax in a beautiful environment, Aix-les-Bains is for you! It is located beside the Bourget Lake, the biggest natural Lake in France with unique views over the Dent de Chat and boasts amazing thermal infrastructures.
Aix-les-Bains is a full Savoyarde town and boasts all the assets of the region, from the gastronomy to the historical past. Aix-les-Bains owes its development partly to its status of thermal town. Indeed, during the Belle Epoque (from 1896 to 1914), the town was the holiday destination for princely and wealthy families. Hence it participated a lot to enrich its cultural heritage. Aix-les-Bains is also an industrial town with some big companies such as Areva (ex Alstom), a large industrial area (Savoie Hexapole), etc.
The town is traditionally divided into two parts, the low part, by the lakeside and the high part where you will find the town centre. At the beginning there was only the highest part; indeed it was built in the height as to avoid the rise in water level. Nowadays, the Lake is regulated by the CNR dam, hence there is no flood risk anymore.
Due to its natural environment and its industrial activities, Aix-les-Bains is a very dynamic town, where population keeps increasing year by year. 72% of dwellings in the town are main homes, among them, 21% are detached houses and 78% apartments. 50% of residents are landlords, while 45% are tenants. House prices in the area (€3,112 /sq m in 2009) are slighty lower than the national average (€3,197 /sq m in 2009), which makes it a very interesting investment taking into account all the assets the town and the area boast. As the town centre is started to be glut, new dwellings are now built in the surroundings of the town. Moreover, former palaces, vestiges of the Belle Epoque, are nowadays converted into apartments.
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Historical heritage: Aix-les-Bains has its history written on its historical monuments and vestiges: from the Gallo-Roman era to the Belle Epoque, take a tour on 2,000 years of history! From the Gallo-Roman era you can admire the Campanus’ funeral arch. It is nine metre high and is decorated with a frieze. From the same period you will also find the Roman thermal baths. Around 120 BC, Romans built comfortable baths according to the period standard: one hot bath, one warm bath and one cold bath. All of them were decorated with marble, columns and sculptures. Nowadays you can still see theses vestiges inside the National Thermal Baths. In 1850, the King Victor Emmanuel the second, made built the Casino Grand Cercle, which is still the casino in use. The roof has been covered with beautiful mosaics with gold background. The list could go on and on. Do not miss the numerous palaces, vestiges of the Belle Epoque period!
Good food: the Aixoise gastronomy is the typical Savoyarde cuisine, based on local produces mainly taken from the mountains. In addition to the renowned Fondue Savoyarde, and Tartiflette, you will be delighted by the Crozets (special local pastas, prepared in gratin), the Pela (kind of Tartiflette but made in a pan, whence its name), etc. If you like cheese and potatoes then you will love the Savoyarde cuisine! Moreover, thanks to the lake you will also be served fresh fishes, such as trouts and pikes. You will also love the local mushrooms, and not to mention the local wines, especially the white ones, used in the Fondue! As a desert you will be served the typical blueberry pie and the milk jam.
Thermal baths: Aix-les-Bains is the third thermal bath in France. In 2007, it welcomed 30,000 visitors. As many thermal baths in France, the origin of the baths comes from the Antiquity, from the Gallo-Roman era. The National Therms are divided into two main buildings in two different places: the Pellegrini Baths, and the Chevalle situated in the height of the town. There is also the Marlioz baths located in a 10 hectare park. The water of these baths can treat respiratory apparatus problems, such as sinusitis, rhinitis, as well as pneumology illnesses, as bronchitis and tracheitis.
Tranquillity and scenery: if you are looking for a peaceful place surrounding by nature, then Aix-les-Bains is definitely your place! Between lake and mountains, Aix offers plenty of activities, and beautiful landscapes. From the town you will see the Dent de Chat peak, the only peak of the mountain range visible from Aix. Ask a local to tell you the legend about this peak! Besides Aix has a beautiful natural environment, it makes a lot of efforts inside the city in order to be in harmony with nature. You will find various parks and green spaces, such as the Japonese Garden, the flowered Thermal park, the lakeside esplanade, the Corsuet forest, etc.
Cultural heritage: as already mentioned, Aix-les-Bains benefited from the Belle Epoque as far as culture is concerned. It has a theatre, located inside the Grand Cercle Casino, and also an outside theatre, situated in the flowered Thermal park. The latter can welcome 3,000 for outside concerts. The town was also one of the first one in France to house a cinema. Nowadays it has no less than three cinemas, the Victoria, the Rex and the Toiles du Lac d’Aix-les-Bains. The Victoria welcomes art films and also the second casino, smaller than the first one. As far as museums are concerned, you can visit the Lapidaire museum, which is home of numerous statutes and ancient objects. Another important monument is the Lamartine library, which was named after the renowned French poet.
Apartments: they are the main dwellings in Aix-les-Bains, as they represent 70% of housing. Half of them have 4 rooms and only 9% are studios. Apartments are well equiped, with 94% of them have central heating, and 58% have a private garage.
Town houses: they are small houses located at the heart of the town, hence close to all amenities (shops, schools, etc.) or by the lakeside. They all come with a garden of around 80sq m, a private garage, equiped kitchen. They usually have at least 3 rooms, a linving room, a bathroom and an independant toilet. As Aix is not a big town, all amenities, and the lake are at a walkable distance.
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