Nicknamed ‘the White City’, the first view of La Rochelle is one of beautiful red-roofed and white limestone-walled houses that shimmer in the French sun.
The Vieux Port or Old Port is the most picturesque area of this lively sea-port town. Three majestic towers, the Tour St. Nicolas, Tour de la Chaine and the Tour de la Lanterne, framed by a dazzling blue sky, guard the entrance to the port. A giant state of the art aquarium is located nearby whose magical sealife and underwater tunnels make a wonderful day out for the whole family. Be sure to take children to visit the Toy Museum with its small theme park filled with automated dolls and miniature models of famous Parisian landmarks. Another unforgettable sight is the spectacular array of luxury yachts with their billowing sails that bob languidly and expensively in the harbour.
The old town is a maze of 17th century narrow streets, elegant boulevards and arcaded walkways dotted with glaring gargoyles that hide a multitude of specialist shops, fashion boutiques and quirky bookshops. Dotted among these are pavement cafes and brasseries serving delicious local delicacies, particularly the fresh, locally caught seafood.
Jump aboard a local tour boat for a spot of island hopping to the nearby Ile d’Aix with its blissful sandy beaches; the magical fortress on Fort Boyard or Ile de Re with its luxury hotels, chic cafes, winding cycle paths and endless sea views.
Above all, La Rochelle is a place where time stands still. Unhurried and easy-going, this is a place in which to kick back and relax with nothing more to do than sip a glass of wine and watch the sun set beyond the harbour.
The following information is correct as of January 2015 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
La Rochelle Ile de Re Airport is located just a mile or so outside the centre of La Rochelle and can be reached by car in 10 minutes. Local buses 7 and 47 operate services from the airport to the city centre in just 15 minutes while taxis are also available for hire outside the airport terminal.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: UK and EU nationals for not require a visa to enter France. However, a passport valid for three months beyond the date of departure is required by all travellers. Nationals of other countries may require a visa. More information can be obtained at a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol is 16 for wine and beer and 18 for spirits. There is a smoking ban in place prohibiting smoking in all indoor public places including bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs and on all public transport.
Best Time to Visit
La Rochelle can be windy and cooler than other inland towns due to its proximity to the coast, however, July and August are often in the high twenties. With over 2,600 hours of sunshine throughout the year, it is a destination to be enjoyed all year round. May and September are quieter months with fewer tourists while December to February sees the most rainfall.
September also brings with it the TV Fiction Festival while mid-October brings Jazz to cater for all tastes. The International Film Festival takes place in July as does Les Francofolies music festival. Poetry, book and sailing festivals also mark the summer months while autumn brings the La Rochelle marathon and many local rugby matches.
Flexible where you fly? Search nearby airports for bigger savings.
Airports near La Rochelle
Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.