La Rochelle - City Guide
Where To Stay
De la Monnaie: This peaceful hotel is located in the heart of the old port. It was originally home to the old regional mint and has a beautiful courtyard.
Atalante Relais Thalasso: This hotel is in a secluded peaceful setting on the Ile de Re, overlooking the ocean on one side and vineyards on the other.
La Rochelle is famous for fresh seafood and there are excellent restaurants aplenty.
Chez Andre, by the port (5 Rue Saint Jean du Perot) is the place to eat and be seen on a weekend. Try the oysters and whelks.
A Cote de Chez Fred (30-32 Rue Saint-Nicolas). This restaurant, next to the town's favourite fishmonger, is packed out for two sittings a night with locals and visitors alike. Dishes include clams poached in cream and grilled red mullet.
Richard Coutanceau, Plage de la Concurrence is the town's finest restaurant. It offers views over the beach and excellent French cuisine.
Things To See And Do
Strolling around the harbour is one of the best things to do to soak up the atmosphere of La Rochelle. There are around 3,600 yachts moored at the Port des Minimes It is possible to climb the three mediaeval towers which guard the port. Tour St Nicolas is the oldest tower, built between 1371 and 1382 and offers a spectacular view over the town and harbour.
If you go a little further along the Queen Duperre and the Quai Vavin you will reach the pretty fishing village of Quartier du Gabut which is full of brightly coloured huts.
Rue de Palais is the shopping heart of La Rochelle and the area to spend your cash. The street is full of beautiful 18th century buildings and colonnaded facades. The market is held at the Place du Marche and the surrounding streets. This is a great place to pick up the local tipple - a bottle of Pineau des Charentes.
Hit the beach at either Plage de la Concurrence or Plage des Minimes.
The aquarium is one of the best in Europe with over 10,000 different specimens of fish and underwater flora, including turtles and sharks. Perfect for the family.
Explore the Ill de Re.
This island is around 30 minutes from La Rochelle by bus, and is connected by a bridge 3km long. The island is about 30km in length and has around 70km of white sandy beaches. It is actually known locally as Re la Blanche because of the white beaches and has been a well guarded secret haven. Strict building controls have meant that the capital town of St.Martin de Re on the island is very well preserved - it is full of white washed houses with pastel coloured shutters and fishermen working busily at the harbour. The island is also the perfect place to rent a bike or walk on one of the many cycle paths and trails on the island. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes should you become a little peckish and shops for picking up original Breton t-shirts and other goods.
Click here for our lowest fares...
Leeds Bradford to La-Rochelle flight timetables...
Edinburgh to La-Rochelle flight timetables...