Discover the French departement of Haute-Savoie


Did you know? 74 is the two-digit number allocated to the French departement of Haute-Savoie. Famous for its ski resorts, mountain cheese and breathtaking landscape, the departement includes the pristine waters of Lake Annecy and Europe’s highest summit, Mont-Blanc.

The French departement of Haute-Savoie

Map of Savoie Haute-Savoie

Map of Savoie © French Moments

The departement of Haute-Savoie holds the number 74 in the alphabetical list of French départements, between 73 (Savoie) and 75 (Paris, formerly Seine). Its name is literally translated in English by Upper Savoy.

The departement is part of the historical province of Savoy. It shares with the south departement of Savoie the same history and culture.

Today it is part of a much larger region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (formerly Rhône-Alpes until the 1st January 2016).

A mountainous region

Glieres Plateau departement of Haute-Savoie

The Plateau des Glières in spring © French Moments

Most of Haute-Savoie is situated in the French Alps and borders Switzerland and Italy. The region extends from Lake Geneva to the north to the Bauges Mountains to the South, and from the Jura Mountains to the west to the Mont-Blanc massif to the east.

Haute-Savoie has the largest range of elevations of all the French departements. The lowest point is 250 m at the Rhône by Seyssel and the highest point is 4,810 m at Mont-Blanc (Western Europe’s highest mountain).

The departement includes two of the three great lakes of Savoie: Lake Geneva (shared with Switzerland, also known as Lac Léman in French) and Lake Annecy. The whole region is found within the watershed of the Rhône.

A fast-growing population

The population of the departement is of 783,000 people in 2014 (called Haut-Savoyards) compared to 494,505 in 1982. The population has been growing by 11,000 people each year since 2005.

The capital city is Annecy (pop. of 160,000) and other major towns include Annemasse (160,000), Cluses (84,000), Thonon-les-Bains (72,000), Sallanches (44,000) and Rumilly (15,000).

A departement with world-famous sites

Haute-Savoie has some of the world’s most renown ski resorts: Chamonix, Morzine-Avoriaz, Megève and La Clusaz to name a few.

Haute-Savoie is a very dynamic region and includes many touristic sites, some of world fame:

Annecy and its lake
Annecy French Moments French base Haute-Savoie

The old town of Annecy © French Moments

Chamonix and the Mont-Blanc massif
Salève mountain Mont-Blanc

Mont-Blanc see from Virage du Plan (1260 m) © French Moments

The French side of Lake Geneva (including Yvoire, Thonon and Évian)
Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva © French Moments

Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva © French Moments

The Aravis Mountain range

Col des Aravis © French Moments

The Cirque du Fer à Cheval
Cirque du Fer à cheval

Cirque du Fer à Cheval by Tangopaso (public domain)

The Chablais Mountains
Chablais Môle departement of Haute-Savoie

The mountains of Chablais in Haute-Savoie (seen from the Môle) © French Moments

The historic town of La Roche-sur-Foron
La Roche-sur-Foron © French Moments

The ruined castle of La Roche-sur-Foron © French Moments

Have you visited the departement of Haute-Savoie? Let us know where are your favourite sites by commenting below!

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Infographics Savoie Haute-Savoie



About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.


  1. Il est très beau ce bonhomme de neige!
    Quel environnement magnifique. Il y a bien longtemps que je ne suis pas allée à la montagne. Trop longtemps.
    Ce chocolat chaud, était bon dis moi?

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