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Visiting La Rochelle: what to do? What to see?

Couple en vélo face aux tours
Les Conteurs
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As a couple, on your own or with family, visit La Rochelle in Charente Maritime. On the agenda for your getaway: charming little olde-worlde streets, trips out to sea, bike trips and 100% nature ... not to mention local products for you to discover on the market stalls!

Absolute must-sees: all the heritage of the old town, the historic heart of La Rochelle

La Rochelle reveals its best-kept secrets and greatest architectural treasures to curious visitors who tread the cobblestones of its streets.

Vieille Ville La Rochelle
© Francis Giraudon

Start your tour under the Grosse Horloge clock tower which marks the entrance to the old district of La Rochelle. Along the way: half-timbered houses, alleys and arcades, vaulted secret passages, gargoyles, large 18th-century shipowners' mansions … the whole history of La Rochelle is told through its exceptional heritage.

During your tour of the old town, make sure you look up to observe the sometimes discreet details on the facades of houses and monuments. To help you, plaques hung on the walls of streets and alleys have plenty of stories to tell.

La Rochelle: an open-air museum
Visit La Rochelle with a guide

 

Visit La Rochelle by sea: trips to do out on the water

Located on the ocean’s edge, La Rochelle is a maritime city par excellence. Its surrounding waters, protected by the islands of Ré, Aix and Oléron, offer exceptional sailing conditions. 

Setting off from the Old Port, at the foot of La Rochelle’s towers, take one of the boats for an exciting sea trip and enjoy the fresh sea air. Head off to discover the landscapes of La Rochelle’s coast, its limestone cliffs, its astonishing Lighthouse at the End of the World and famous Fort Boyard.

Balade en mer La Rochelle
© Fred Le Lan

In the Minimes district, the Pleasure Marina, the premier port on the Atlantic coast, is a welcome sight for sailors looking for a stopover. While the surroundings and quays of Port des Minimes are ideal for wonderful walks among the boats, they’re also perfect places to learn to sail or practise all kinds of nautical activities.

Book your sea trip from La Rochelle
Port des Minimes in La Rochelle

 

Go green: heart-of-nature trips to do in La Rochelle

La Rochelle is the ideal setting for recharging your batteries and getting away from it all in a protected natural environment. 

The first thing to do during your stay: swap your car for a bike, your shoes or even the sea bus! Pedestrian sector, cycle paths, hiking trails, self-service bicycles, ferryman and electro-solar sea bus ... here, you can easily turn your trips into fun moments. Take the opportunity to stroll through the many parks and green spaces in the heart or on the edge of town, some with sea views.

Sentier littoral La Rochelle
© Fred Le Lan

From beach to beach and port to port, the coastal path and its various features can be discovered during long walks or bike rides. Cycle fans can take the Vélodyssée path which passes through La Rochelle. Nicely laid out, safe and with plenty of tourist stops, this cycle route is suitable for an outing for two, with friends or family.

Cycle rides in La Rochelle
Take the ferry and the sea bus

 

Stroll through the markets of La Rochelle: from stalls to dishes, try out the local flavours

Unmissable places for fine local food, the markets of La Rochelle are a great way to discover the region. Here, you can find typical products from the region such as oysters, “farcis charentais”, goat’s cheese and “pineau”, as well as meet the producers.

If you like fish, shellfish and crustaceans, lots of restaurateurs offer the unmissable seafood platter and cook sea bass, stone bass and other fish direct from the auction at La Rochelle’s fishing port. Don’t miss out - book your table on the terrace overlooking the sea.

Fruits de Mer La Rochelle
© Marine Chaudun

The markets of La Rochelle
Restaurants in La Rochelle

 

La Rochelle in 1, 2 or 3 days: the unmissables

CdA La Rochelle

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