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.