La Rochelle without the car... easy peasy !

Couple sur un vélo sur le port
Kamel Lahmadi
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Here in La Rochelle we like cycling, we wander round the streets and lanes, we take the boat to go to the islands, we hop on a bus to go across the city and see the surrounding villages... live your life the La Rochelle way and leave your car in the car park and enjoy your travels by discovering La Rochelle and the surrounding area in a different and more sustainable way.

Good plan n°1 : bikes Yélos !

And yes, La Rochelle was the first town in France to offer public bikes in 1976. Since then the fleet has grown significantly and there are several different ways to hire bikes either short or long term (with a travel pass). If you are just visiting La Rochelle it’s better to go for the short-term rental which is available from April to September at the Chalet Yélo located in the Place de La Motte Rouge in front of the Tourist information centre.

Good plan n° 2 : discover the surrounding villages

La Rochelle’s charming neighbouring villages are easy to explore.  An old town, picturesque lanes, an oyster pond, a typical port, castles... go and discover an incredible heritage and outstanding countryside. By bike, follow more than 160km of cycle lanes and paths around the city. On foot, follow the walking trails that have information signs to find out more along the way! Maps are available at the tourist information centre.

Good plan n° 3 : the big white sandy beaches

If the south of La Rochelle offers couples the chance to swim and laze about at its 3 beaches, in the centre and north of the city you can also experience big white sandy beaches on the outskirts of La Rochelle in Aytré and Châtelaillon-Plage which is classified as a seaside resort.

To go to Aytré you can hire a Yélo bike or take the n°1 Yélo bus (or the 41 on Sundays). To go to Châtelaillon-Plage, you can go by bike by following the Vélodyssée track (N°1 EuroVelo route) for 13.7km. You can also take the N°16 Yélo bus or the number 9 “Mouette” coach or even the train with fixed service intervals.

Good plan n° 4 : visit the islands by sea

Given how lucky La Rochelle is to be by the sea and surrounded by loads of islands, it would be a shame not to get some fresh air from offshore!  Whether you go to Ré, Aix or Oléron Island, they all have their own individual identity and charm! Go for a cruise that leaves from La Rochelle, on a speedboat, a sailing boat or a catamaran.

Good plan n° 5 : La Rochelle City Pass

Smart, practical and economical, the La Rochelle City Pass is a passport that allows you to discover all the must-see sites and it gives you access to the city’s public transport to travel around as much as you want over your chosen period (24h, 48h, 72h). Equipped with your City pass, you can use buses, “passeur” sea buses, sea buses, public bikes and the Yélo night bus with preferential conditions but also the TER trains which cover 6 stations in La Rochelle and the surrounding area: La Rochelle Gare, La Rochelle Porte Dauphine, Aytré Plage, Angoulins, Châtelaillon-Plage and La Jarrie.
 
So are you read for a trip... without your car?