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Aix-Les-Bains, Riviera of the Alps, is good for your health with the BeFit Festival

9 min read

Aix-Les-Bains, Riviera of the Alps is a thermal city, living a permanent dream, berthed on the incredibly exotic and wide Lake Bourget, deep in the Savoie french area, famous for its Alps massif neighborhood. The presence of pure water, with many mineral virtues, all around the town, lead it naturally to this thermal traditional, thus since Antique times. A well-being culture carried on nowadays with 2 medical thermal centers (ENT and rheumatology specialities) and 11 private spas, spread through the town. Furthermore, the second edition of the BeFit fitness festival held this year, in June and renews the willing of the locality to be a spot for sports and wellbeing, only an hour away from Lyon!

Swimming, sailing and golf are already popular sports, since ever, in Aix-Les-Bains. The annual Be Fit fitness festival came to complete this offer with fitness activities, taking advantage as well of the lake proximity for water sports. The first event was launched in 2017 and sponsored by the local “Le Dauphiné Libéré” daily newspaper and the car manufacturer Mazda. Famous for many years for his discover an offer of soft and accessible sports activities, related to water, anchored on the values ​​of well-being and health specific to the territory of Aix-Les-Bains, Riviera of the Alps, come next year attending the Be Fit festival! Located in the heart of the green bay of Mémard, between the Main Harbor and the Vagabond Garden, the Be Fit village welcomes you in an exceptional and conducive to wellbeing. Beach, huge lawn park, make this spot a perfect place to enjoy the full immersion experience of the BeFit festival with also food-trucks, serving organic dishes. Views below of the festival spot and those vintage itinerant food vans (photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux).

Be Fit works hard to stand like a real multidisciplinary event that immerses all the fitness enthusiasts, through the world of fitness, yoga, running, paddling, Qi Gong and Nordic walking. For 2 days, from 9 am to 6 pm, the participants could take part in large free gatherings accessible to all, as well as specific paid sessions supervised by internationally renowned coaches, such as:

– Many Fitness sides sessions lead by Lucile Woodward, Thibault Geoffray, Erik Domi, Julieu Dumoulinand; including also Emi Fit with Sveltus Fitness and CrossFit by Elephas team from Chambery.
Typical Yoga and even Dynamic Yoga, to relax your body and mind with Mika de Brito, Lilian Durey, Annick Lila, Salome Cadoux, Solange Da Silva, Allan Bouvet and Fiona Kerr.

Paddle to immerse yourself in the heart of nature, also including a variant easily availing to the lake delights, on behalf of Yoga Paddle. A great occasion to find a communion to find a serenity, in communion with water, on your board.

Qi Gong to harmonize your body, breathing and spirit.

Nordic walking to regenerate your body, but also meditationelliptical bike, Zumba, trail & many others !

A rich and varied offer of animations complete the program of the workshop: demonstrations, concerts… A festive atmosphere is sustained all along the weekend!
The Be Fit village includes many wellbeing professionals stalls of manufacturers (Synergic natural protein gainer, Mémé birch sap beverages…), activity providers… Last but not least, the festival is a supporting of the Odyssea Savoie association and succeeded to gather 100,000 euros, within 12,000 smiles.

Last but not least, the Be Fit is a display for the new “Aix-les-Bains Riviera des Alpes” entity, launched three years ago. The conglomerate aggregates and boosts the communication of 28 communes around the lake of Bourget, with a challenging goal to 10 years to become the reference wellness destination. At the same time, the structure bets on its own trademark through a strong brand identity, with turquoise color code, evoking the waterside surrounding. This is also declined with an anthology of derivative products with his effigy, like a unique fragrance, composed of lacustrine mint, cyclamen and woods undergrowth, that real estate agencies notably use to perfume flats to sell! Developed by the Arthur Dupuy laboratory in Montpellier. An essence that could be found as well in food flavors for the making of macaroons (proposed during the festival) and body perfumes. In an other hand, design water bottles and other dedicated goodies could be found in the Tourist Office, located in the former National Baths of Aix-les-Bains, an History city, strongly connected to the universe of pure mountain water (photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux).

“Perfume is the most intense form of memory”, said Jean-Paul Guerlain…

Indeed, the thermal city of Aix-Les-Bains is much impregnated by Roman Antiquity where remains are still standing all around the city center, like the roman Temple of Diana (photo on the left side), discreetly located behind the city hall, the Campanus arch and also the Roman ruins visible from the lift inside the former Art Deco thermal baths (photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux).


Since Antiquity, the buildings of the national baths have continued to evolve and expand but since the year 1772 and the initiative of the Duke of Chablais led to the awareness of this wealth and gave birth to a royal bath building project. The first National Baths of Aix-les-Bains edifice was inaugurated in 1783, however the, by the time, called Victor Amédée baths were quickly under-sized. Consequently, a first annex was completed in 1832, under the reign of King Charles Albert.






Views inside the National Baths of Aix-les-Bains building and from the rooftop (photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux).

After the rise of hydrotherapy, new needs in buildings were felt. As early as 1855, the construction of a new spa was studied. The project was then given to the architect Pellegrini but was completed only seven years later, in 1862, due to financial issues. This new site was completed in 1881 in the Revel annex, soon followed by another, the Lecoeur annex, completed in 1899. After a long stop, only interspersed with renovation works, a new phase of important construction was started from 1933 with the so-called Pétriaux baths which considerably increased the built-up area of ​​the departure.

Other landmarks of Aix-les-Bains include many Belle Époque sightseeings, straight from the “Golden Age” of thermal industry dominating a high dynamic and attractive town, in terms of tourism. There was more than 100 hotels spread through the city before, proving the notoriety of this locality, proposing many entertaining services like the Casino.





Thus, the Belle Epoque era left an impressive mark of legacy in the city center, but also with the Casino Grand-Cercle where formely prestigious parties were held inside (stain glass, wooden hall and painted ceiling pictured here, photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux), the thermal baths, the centennial golf and the hippodrome both supplanted by the wondrous Château de la Roche du Roi (left below in an old postcard). Finally, this bucolic style also wears the Faure Museum containing the sculptor Auguste Rodin’s second largest collection (right below, photo credits: Aix-les-Bains Tourist Office).

The Culture in Aix-les-Bains, doesn’t stop here… Regarding the festival side, the MusiLac Music Festival has been on for 15 years and is the third festival of France between lake and mountain. This blockbuster event seduces a undeniable pop-rock audience, every July, with 100,000 spectators over 4 days. Fans of classicism and Belle Époque period, may enjoy Les Nuits Romantiques festival, mostly tainted of Romanticism on the musical program and not to forget, an exclusive representation in the Grange Batelière (picture left below, photo credits: Aix-les-Bains Tourist Office), that would be accessible by boat (20 minutes) for the play.






In another side, the Chautagne village is a typical Riviera craft site with several specialties, like ceramics and an ancestral coffee roasting machine. Once again taking the opportunity of the plenty of water nearby. Not far from the Hautecombe Abbey (picture right, photo credits: Savoie Mont Blanc), on the opposite shore of the lake, a 12th-century royal burial site and the Mont Revard proposes mountain bike, Alpine and cross-country ski trails spots.

This Savoie area is also very dynamic in terms of gastronomy! Like in the Lake Geneva, the fera fish is available at some famous restaurant tables. We also could find the flagship fish of the Lake Bourget called lavaret, as well small perch and trout, with even mussels harvested on site, available at the end of August. Those are not easy to find publicly since most of the fishing is dedicated to the gastronomy scene.
The “Bistrot du Port”, ideally located in front of the harbor, is an example of typical restaurant where youcould enjoy those lacustrine products. The place owns a huge terrasse where are regularly organized outdoor concerts with professional musicians, like Michael Jones or the legend of Blues, Donald Ray Johnson, 1979 Grammy Awards winner with his disco band “A Taste Of Honey” (photo credits: Alexandre Plateaux).

The Aix-Les-Bains valley is also a rich territory regarding craft brewery. Beer enthusiasts could indeed find different local breweries, with each its own spirit and mood.

For instance, the Brasserie Caquot is a family affair, runned by two brothers. Their range of three kinds of beers (two classics: white and amber, and one made with verbena). Their beers, posing in front of the Casino, are mainly produced with products from organic farming, certified by their suppliers. These products limit the impact on the environment and also greatly increase their taste. In the same vein, they chose the electrical energy for their machines that do not use fossil fuels such as gas… They also have the privilege to harvest wild hops in fields, forests and marshes, and have this hops in the same production village.

Water represents 95% of the weight of beer, the brewers had then understood that the quality of the waters deriving of the Alps was essential to the development of a beer of high quality.

The multi-awarded Brasserie du Mont-Blanc, located in La Motte-Servolex, proposes a set of multi flavors, directly inspired by the mountain fruits and plants (the “Bleu” with blueberries, the “Violette” with violet-cranberry, the “Verte” with Génépi) and also IPA and seasonal beers like the “Brassin d’Hiver”. The water is taken from the Enchapleuze spring at 2 074m on the very slopes of Mont Blanc. Filtered by moraine sand and gravel, this exceptionally pure water is the reason for this special of these local beers. Unique recipes were created selecting the finest ingredients (water, malts, hops, spices). At every stage of production, the master brewers follow these recipes to the letter while taking all the time needed. Top fermentation (around 25°C) is preferred to bottom fermentation. Although difficult to implement, the rich aromas developed in top fermentation are worth it. Unlike industrial breweries, those beers are aged for over four weeks. This maturation stage is essential for ripening, developing delicate and subtle aromas and arriving at a perfect balance. For instance, La Blanche du Mont-Blanc received yet another award in 2015, elected the best white beer in the world, all categories combined. With this recognition, Brasserie du Mont-Blanc became the first craft brewer to join an elite club of eight winners. This prize represents an exceptional win with over 1 000 beers from 30 countries in competition. In 2013, this Blanche had already been chosen the best white beer in the world in its category. In 2017, at the International Breweries’ Competition, Brasserie du Mont Blanc was the first French Brewery since its creation to receive a world gold title. La Rousse du Mont Blanc has recently been voted World’s Best Beer at the International Breweries’ Competition, one of the most renowned international contests in which more than 2,000 beers from 46 countries compete. In 2014, La Rousse du Mont-Blanc won yet again world’s best amber at Global Craft Beer Awards. In 2011, La Rousse had already been chosen the best amber beer in the world at the World Beer Awards.

Located in the heart of the Alps, the Brasserie des Cimes is installed since late 1998 in Aix-les-Bains. Today with a team of fifteen people, the brewery continues its development with 3 ranges of beers: the first consists of 6 beers of specialties, the second is focused on beer styles more pointed, and the third is more gourmet, fruity and floral. Enlightened neophyte or specialist, from the Honey Mousse to the Imperial Stout through the Yeti, Brasserie Des Cimes will allow you to find beer for your glass (photo credits: Brasserie des Cimes).


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