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Discovery trails

Promeneurs sur les quais devant les tours de La Rochelle
Kamel Lahmadi

Trips and walks

In the heart of La Rochelle

Discovery trails are hiking trails that value local heritage. If you are a fan of walking, nature or history, everyone can follow these trails and discover amazing sites.

You will find a well here, an old mill there, a stream, the remains of a castle or even a cartouche engraved into a stone wall. What is our heritage telling us? La Rochelle is an area that blends nature and culture beautifully to achieve a perfect harmony.

There are 17 sentiers de découverte (discovery trails), creating 1-4 hour loops for you to walk, starting from the villages surrounding La Rochelle which you have got to explore! They have lots of informative posts that will draw your attention to details about the cultural and natural heritage like the flora, fauna, birds and a thousand and one marvels for you to feast your eyes upon. The routes are available for free in the town halls and La Rochelle’s tourist information centre.

The lure of the coast

From north of the Pointe St-Clément to south of the Baie d'Yves, the dirt paths go along the changing coast, sometimes along the fine-grained limestone cliffs, sometimes along the sandy beach and even through an urban channel through the paved docks around La Rochelle’s Vieux Port. 

Perfect for walking fans, you can choose to do sections of this 70km coastal path that is broken up with the odd fishing cabin here or there on the horizon.   There are lots of places you can start from. Start at Coup de Vague in Marsilly, going up towards Esnandes, at the Pointe de Roux in Aytré heading towards Pointe du Chay in Angoulins, at the Port du Plomb between Nieul-sur-Mer and Houmeau or the one from Loiron to Angoulins, or start from Boucholeurs heading towards Baie d'Yves.

Walking or cycling!

This relatively smooth and rounded landscape and the beautiful horizon of La Rochelle’s countryside are perfect for cycling. The cycle path routes aren’t too difficult and are suitable for all levels. Also, the Vélodysée and Vélofrancette véloroutes have stages in La Rochelle. With your helmet on, your calves rearing to go and your picnic in your saddle bag, you’re off on a lovely bike ride with that salty sea smell and invigorating fresh air!

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