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La Rochelle Harbour

Flights to La Rochelle

La Rochelle is known for being one of the most attractive and unspoilt seaside destinations in France. Beloved by writers such as Voltaire, Rabelais, and Sartre, it combines culture and history with the simple pursuit of having a great time.

With the airport located only 8km away from the town centre, it’s the perfect option for a quick weekend getaway.

What to See in La Rochelle

The Old Port is the most beautiful part of the city. Ancient buildings made from pale stone, narrow winding streets, and plenty of chic restaurants make the Vieux Port worth exploring. Despite being on the Atlantic Coast, the pale buildings and warmth of the Gulf Stream will have you feeling like you’re holidaying in the Med.

Once you’re in the port area, you’ll notice the three defensive towers: Tour St Nicholas, Tour de la Chaine, and Tour de la Lanterne. These towers were there to protect La Rochelle during the Medieval times, when the English and French were fighting over the pretty harbour town. For a small fee you can visit the quirky museums housed within; exhibits are in English as well as French. 

Instead of taking flights to La Rochelle, celebs prefer to bring their pleasure boats to the Port des Minimes, Europe’s biggest pleasure port. Head down there for a bit of star spotting, and once you’re finished admiring the glamorous yachts you can head to the nearby beach. 

What to do in La Rochelle

La Rochelle is the perfect place to discover on foot. From the promenades of the harbour, to the architecturally beautiful town centre, you’ll find lots to hold your attention during an evening stroll. Wander through the bohemian St Nicolas Quarter and watch the world go by with a glass of local Cognac, or stroll under the archways towards the city hall and discover chic boutiques in the town center.

You can’t take flights to La Rochelle without sampling the seafood. There are plenty of restaurants ranging in price, all specialising in plump mussels Charantais, juicy oysters, and local fish. Prices range from £51 at a posh Michelin Star restaurant, to £9 a head at smaller bistros in the town center. If you don’t like fish, fear not: there are plenty of other restaurans to take your fancy.

Nearby Attractions

When you fly to La Rochelle Airport you can either explore the beautiful harbour town of La Rochelle itself, or make like the French holidaymakers and cross the bridge to the glamorous Île de Ré for a spot of sunbathing and cycling. This is where rich Parisians escape to during the summer months when their own city is flooded with backpackers.

The quirky boutiques of St Martin-de-Ré, the island’s capital, are worth a browse. But the real pleasure lies in hiring a bike and exploring the vineyards and coastline of this flat island.

When to Visit

You’re pretty much guaranteed beautiful weather if you visit during the summer months. If you’re into French music then there’s an extra bonus, as each July the city plays host to the Francofolies de la La Rochelle festival.  The founder of the festival went on to establish a similar event in Montreal.

Out of season, it’s easier to get cheap flights to La Rochelle. You’ll still find plenty to do as the city is home to International Sailing Week, held in May, and the Grand Pavois boat show in September. There’s something magical about sleepy seaside towns once the summer visitors have left, so bring your camera.

 

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