Liven up your holidays!

La Rochelle

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente-Maritime

La Rochelle - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Charente-Maritime
8.2
42

Capital of the Charente-Maritime, La Rochelle is well known for its postcard-pretty Old Port picture. Protected by the Chaîne tower and the Saint-Nicolas tower, the old port has inspired numerous artists. After a walk on the quays, the visitor is invited to go along the beautiful narrow streets of the old town. It is packed with interesting mansions, Renaissance residences, and old timber-framed houses. The numerous shops lining the pedestrian streets and under the arcades will delight shopping fans.

The main Renaissance building of the town hall dates from the 15th and the 16th centuries, and boasts a surrounding wall of Flamboyant Gothic style. A building not to be missed! The visit of the city continues with the Fine art museum, the New World museum dedicated to the history of the relations between La Rochelle and the Americas, the natural history museum and the Orbigny-Bernon museum exhibiting earthenware collections, carvings and paintings.

The vast Minimes port is entirely devoted to sailing and attracts sailors from all over the world. Not far from the old port, the aquarium of La Rochelle allows those who love the marine world to discover fauna and flora of the seas and oceans of the globe.

To relax on after visiting the fortified town, there's nothing like a break on the beaches of La Rochelle.

Numerous events liven up the city: the International Sail Weeks in May and June; the International Film festival of La Rochelle, the famous Francofolies music festival in July, Grand Pavois, an international boat show on water in September, and the Jazz music festival between the two towers in October.

Additional information
La Rochelle

Destination unmissable, La Rochelle does not lack of assets to charm its visitors. Port city par excellence with its four ports, the City Blanche bewitches all those who look at the white stone bathed in sunlight in which the buildings are built. The ocean, omnipresent, imposes itself as the symbol of the city, sweeping the nostrils of the visitors of its spray. The old stones also have a say in this landscape bordered by the Atlantic Ocean where alternate low coasts, steep cliffs and sandy coasts alternate. International exchanges have fostered a unique architectural mix, subject to various influences from across the seas. Not far from the shore, the islands of Ré, Oléron and Aix form a natural barrier preventing the swell of the ocean from disrupting the calm of the millennial city. Originally a fishing village founded in the 10th century, it will only take two millennia to become a major port. Its dominance in maritime trade continued until the fifteenth century. But his rebellious spirit is not to the taste of the King and it will bend under the seat of Richelieu in the sixteenth century. Despite its lost independence, La Rochelle continues its economic growth from the centuries to the present day thanks to the proximity of the ocean, always at the center of maritime exchanges.

Things to see and do

La Rochelle can be discovered on guided tours or as a walk. The old port district invites you to relax on the sunny terraces of the cafes while letting themselves be lulled by the gentle lapping of the waves. You can admire the majestic aristocratic villas and the white towers framing the Vieux Port. The walk continues through the market district. There, the stalls of the merchants offer you a multitude of flavors to discover at your table. For shopping, go to the shopping streets next to the town hall. In the early evening, you have to go to the Saint-Nicolas quarter to have a drink while waiting for dinner. And throughout your walk, you can only admire the rich facades alternating with the sumptuous arcades that dot the town.

On the maritime side, the ports are also there to make you discover all the pleasures of La Rochelle. The marina of Les Minimes welcomes you for breathtaking boating competitions. You can also rent a sailboat or a yacht and indulge in yachting on the blue waters of the ocean. It will probably be an opportunity to visit the islands of Ré, Oléron and Aix or to approach the famous Fort Boyard. The fishing port invites you to immerse yourself in this particular profession of fisherman on the high seas. You will learn the underwear and enjoy the morning fishing to do your shopping. Finally, the commercial port invites you to observe its infrastructures from a terrace equipped for this purpose.

The walk does not stop there. You will have the opportunity to visit the towers of Saint-Nicolas, the Chain and the Lantern. The imposing military buildings pointing towards the sky and turned towards the ocean welcome you for a visit in the labyrinth of their staircases. More downtown, it's a dive in the heart of the oceans that awaits you with the Aquarium, with no less than 12,000 species of fish from all oceans.

The walk continues with a step back to immerse yourself in the 39-45 war. The Bunker welcomes you on 300 m² of exhibition to tell you the history of La Rochelle during the Second World War. In a lighter register, the Musée des Beaux-Arts will seduce you with its remarkable collections. And to immerse yourself completely in the atmosphere, you can not miss the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Natural History of La Rochelle.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

It moves all the time to La Rochelle and the events follow each other at a frantic pace. It all starts in May with Sarabande from the girls of La Rochelle. This fully feminine walking race takes place over 5 and 10 kilometers where the joggers compete under the encouragement of the crowd.

In late June-early July, the La Rochelle International Film Festival takes place. No competitions, but simply the pleasure of discovering films from all walks of life. Film enthusiasts will be delighted with no fewer than 200 films to be seen in just 10 days.

During July, the famous Francofolies of La Rochelle await you on site. A hundred concerts are planned over 5 days. Francophone artists succeed each other on stage to the delight of music lovers.

Late September-early October, the Grand Pavois opens its doors to lovers of boating. This boat show attracts no less than 100,000 visitors each year to admire 750 boats. Professionals and enthusiasts will not miss this unmissable event of La Rochelle.

Detailed information

La Rochelle International Film Festival
A town in early summer, a curious and enthusiastic audience, and films from all over the worldFrom 30 june to 9 july 2017
Francofolies in La Rochelle
A summer showcase for contemporary French song and musicFrom 12 to 16 july 2017
Great Bulwark
International floating nautical fair September 2017
Jazz Between the Two Towers
An autumn festival combining passion with discoveryOctober 2017

Photos

La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
Port and La Rochelle photographed with a drone Aquarium
Port and La Rochelle photographed with a drone Aquarium
See photo
The Two Towers
The Two Towers
See photo
The library
The library
See photo
The lighthouse du Bout du Monde photographed using a drone
The lighthouse du Bout du Monde photographed using a drone
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
La Rochelle (© Frantz)
See photo

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Campsites

Hotels

Your holidays
A hotel
A vacation rental
A bed & breakfast
A campsite
A leisure activity
A restaurant