Composed of three tall square defensive towers in the 12th century, the fortified castle of Menthon was transformed into a Renaissance residence. In the 18th century, a facade facing the lake was built. In the 19th century, new modifications gave the castle its unique and mysterious allure. The castle of Menthon is a precious testimony to the way in which feudal castles have been able to transform over the centuries, gradually losing their defensive vocation and often becoming sumptuous residences. This one has the distinction of bearing witness to almost 10 centuries of continuous history, since it has belonged to the same family from its origins, that is to say for more than 20 generations. The romanticism of its current architecture would have inspired the director Walt Disney for his castle Sleeping Beauty. The neo-Gothic restorations that the building knew in the 19th century earned it its unique silhouette and made it an architectural and historic jewel of Lake Annecy.
The tours of the castle can be individual or grouped. The duration of the guided tour is approximately 45 minutes. The opportunity to admire a sublime half-timbered gallery, the kitchen and its incredible serving hatch dug into the rock over 15 meters in length, the chapel and its references to Saint-Bernard-de-Menthon, the large lounge, the Aubusson's tapestry room, but also the pilgrim's room or the large library: remarkable, it houses more than 12,000 old works, including a copy of the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert. The château’s gardens then provide an exceptional place to relax: the permaculture vegetable garden and its greenhouses are the subject of dedicated visits, workshops and participatory work sites, as is the vineyard. A catering service is offered on the castle terrace: ideal for a snack with a superb view of the lake.
The castle opens its doors to visitors from April 5 to November 11. It is located 15 km from the L’idéal campsite. Tours are available from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day in July and August, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and holidays during the rest of the season. The price is 9.50 for adults from 16 years old, and 5 euros for children from 6 to 16 years old. The visit is free for children under 6 years old. The visit to the gardens is offered at the single price of 2 euros. By reservation, guided tours of the vegetable patch are organized at a fixed price of 100 euros for 15 people, for a visit of 1 to 2 hours. Snacks are served on the opening days and times of the château for visitors.