La Rochelle

Feel our top 5 sensory experiences in La Rochelle…

See 3,500 yachts moored in the harbour, which is one of France’s largest. Its surrounding 20th-century district of Les Minimes was built on reclaimed land.

Hear Jazz Entre les Deux Tours in October. This three-day festival has attracted some big names in jazz since its inauguration in 1998.

Smell salty sea air and all the Atlantic’s edible treasures. It’s no surprise that seafood is king along the Atlantic coastline around La Rochelle – local dishes include oysters from Île d’Oléron, bouchot (rope-grown) mussels and crevettes impériales des Marais Charentais (a type of prawn).

Taste Pineau de Charentes, the local sweet wine containing cognac and enjoyed as an aperitif. Around 80% of the annual 14-million-litre production is made in Charente-Maritime, the coastal department of which La Rochelle is capital.

Touch shells, surfboards and fishing rods! You’re spoilt for choice of seaside activities in La Rochelle: sunbathe on the beach, learn to surf or sail, join a pleasure cruise or fish to your heart’s content.

One of France’s most important ports in earlier centuries, La Rochelle (External link) – nicknamed La Ville Blanche (the White City) for its luminous limestone façades – is a maze of attractive arcaded walkways, half-timbered houses, gargoyles and lighthouses.

It’s a green city with innovative public transport, open spaces and plenty of family attractions – and with great rail links, business facilities, a multimedia library and a thriving university, La Rochelle is also thoroughly modern. Take a guided tour to learn about the city’s maritime glory days and its historical links with England.

Getting to La RochelleBy air: La Rochelle, Poitiers or Nantes airportsBy train: 3h from Paris by TGVBy road: A10 from Paris

Further information:La Rochelle Tourist Office2, quai Georges Simenon - Le Gabut17025 La RochelleTel: +33 (0)5 46 41 14 68 (External link)