Vieux port de la Rochelle

Three days… in La Rochelle

Looking out over the ocean La Rochelle is a sunny, lively and welcoming place. I took a few days out to discover one of the most beautiful towns along the Atlantic Coast.

Day 1

1 - The La Rochelle Towers

I start by having a coffee in the Old Port before we begin our tour by visiting one of the three Towers. It's great to start off with this fantastic view of the town. At the foot of the Chaîne Tower, we board a ferry (€1) for a quick ride on the water between the two towers. Then it's on to the Gabut quarter of town.

Full rate: €9; free for under 26 years. www.tours-la-rochelle.fr

2 - The Gabut

The former fishermen's district, the Gabut with its colourful wooden houses, reminds us that the town used to be an important trading partner with Scandinavian countries. Today the district is a favourite playground for graffiti artists. On the walls of a derelict factory you'll see an explosion of colour and true works of art. The Gabut is surrounded by two wharves, perfect for a terrace lunch.

3 - The Saint-Nicolas district

I continue my dawdling through another district with a maritime past. Small village within the town, and home to designer boutiques, thrift shops, art galleries, booksellers and second-hand book stalls, today the area is a great place for strolling and shopping. Head to the beautiful terraces on the place de la Solette to relax in the shade. And make sure you stop at the bar La Guignette, favourite haunt of the local youngsters, before you leave. Former rallying point for sailors, the place has managed to hold on to all its charm and authenticity.

La Guignette, 8 Rue Saint-Nicolas. Tel.: +33 (0)5 46 41 05 75.

La rochelle Terrasse Port

Day 2

1 - The Maritime Museum

On a family trip, a visit to the Aquarium is a must. But today I feel like a cultural visit to the Maritime Museum. Situated at the end of the trawlers dock, it stands out with its colourful spinnakers and invites you to see the “La Rochelle, born of the sea” exhibition, which completes the visit of floating vessels. I continue the river theme by stopping for lunch at France 1. From the ship's deck, I savour simple cuisine served with a smile.

Aquarium. Adult: €17,5. Children aged 3 to 17: €12,5. Free for the under 3's.
www.aquarium-larochelle.com
Maritime Museum. Adult: €8. Aged 4 to 18: free. www.museemaritimelarochelIe.fr

Be smart. During the summer you can get reduced rate morning and evening tickets to visit the La Rochelle Aquarium.

2 - A walk around town

Then I set off to discover the town and take a stroll through its famous arcades. From the rue de l’Escale to the rue du Minage, lift your eyes to see the beautiful timber-framed houses and splendid residences that belonged to former ship owners. On the way, you'll find plenty of places to visit such as the Saint Louis Cathedral, the Natural History Museum or the New World Museum with its majestic statue by Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow displayed in the courtyard.

In the evening, I make sure I take a look at what's on at the Coursive, a National Theatre reputed for its outstanding skylights. Some of the Francofolies concerts take place here!

Day 3

1 - The Bunker

Hidden away in the former market district is a strange building: a Bunker. Headquarters of the Admiral and his U-boat commanders during the Second World War, it was built on the quiet in 1941. Kept intact since the Liberation, it's an invitation to discover the story of La Rochelle between 1939 and 1945. Kids will enjoy solving the puzzles and other games.

Adults: €7.50, children aged 5 to 12: €5.50. Tel.: +33 (0)5.46.42.52.89.

2 - The Market

Set in the 19th century market halls, today's market in La Rochelle
amazes me with its smells, colours, atmosphere and fish displays. On the main market days, Wednesday and Saturday, the stalls overflow into the surrounding streets, a real treat.

Central market, open everyday until 1.30pm.

3 - A trip to the beach and a bike ride

With my basket full, I climb onto my bike and head to the beach for a picnic on the sand. The locals are lucky to have three beaches on hand, the Minimes, la Concurrence and the Chef de la baie. The last, a little bit further out from the town centre, is their favourite. Even better, getting there gives me the chance to take a ride along the sea front. On the way back, I stop off at the Corniche brasserie in Port-Neuf. From the terrace, it gives you probably the best view of the town over the bay.

La Corniche, 2 Boulevard Winston Churchill. Tel.: +33 (0)5 46 43 77 77.

3 jours ... à La Rochelle 

City break atlantique

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Yves Marsh National Nature Reserve

The Yves Marsh Nature Reserve is a site where it is particularly easy to approach nature.
Guided tours are offered all year round to discover birds, plants, insects and landscapes of rare beauty.
Muddy foreshore, dry dunes and pannes, marshes and reedbeds, wet meadows, tamarisk hedges, copses and thickets... A beautiful mosaic of environments has been created. On this small corner of the coast, it is home to a multitude of animal and plant species, some of which are very rare.
This area was still underwater in Roman times. Clayey sediments, dune strips and pebbles cut it off from the ocean for good around the year 1000.
Man was quick to exploit the sand. This led to the creation of ditches and depressions. The water table, which has since come to the surface, has created freshwater areas that complement the brackish lagoon, which is sometimes still flooded by storms.

Aire de la baie d'Yves 17340 Yves
- Infiniment Charentes -
- Infiniment Charentes -
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Chambre d'hôtes 7 personnes – Ferme de la Platière

In a renovated 19th-century farmhouse, on a 1500m2 wooded property with a small pond, 3 independent guest rooms, fitted out in the owners' house.
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- Infiniment Charentes -
- Infiniment Charentes -
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Come and enjoy one of our renovated, air-conditioned rooms, our restaurant and our pool.

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Du 08/04/2024 au 05/11/2024
- Infiniment Charentes -
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Gonçalves Thierry - Lavande

Facing the sea and Baie d'Yves
This comfortable 90m² seaside villa with south-facing terrace offers on the ground floor: a living room with fitted kitchen, a sitting room with sofa and two armchairs, a master bedroom with shower room and 160 cm bed, WC, and a small open bedroom with bunk beds. Upstairs, you'll find a suite with sofa bed and shower room opening onto a terrace overlooking Yves Bay. Wi-Fi available. Ideal for relaxing with family or friends, this house and its 450m² garden are fully enclosed.
Secure parking is available in the driveway adjacent to the house.
A cleaning and linen rental service is available on request. Student rentals available from September to June.

28 rue du Port 17340 Châtelaillon-Plage
Du 27/05/2024 au 29/09/2024
- Infiniment Charentes -
- Infiniment Charentes -
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Cyclo boucho

Eric from Cyclo Boucho sells Made in France Vendée bikes by Arcade, in store or to order, new or used, traditional or electric, bike accessories and bike rentals for men, women and children.
Group rates and long stays on request.
New electric bike!

Easter to All Saints' vacations: 9am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 7pm.
July and August: daily, 9am to 7pm.

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Du 01/04/2024 au 30/06/2024
- Infiniment Charentes -
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Coutand Marie Genevieve - Les Miannes

Ideally located between La Rochelle and Rochefort, 700 m from the seafront and 800 m from the beach, Les Miannes vacation home welcomes you to the former oyster-farming village of Les Boucholeurs.
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31 avenue de la Cabane des Sables 17340 Châtelaillon-Plage
- Infiniment Charentes -
- Infiniment Charentes -