• Combine state-of-the-art moving images with historic harbours and heritage attractions; man-made fun with the natural attractions of the Atlantic Coast. All these - and much more - are achievable when you combine a trip to Futuroscope with a short break in the beautiful port of La Rochelle.

    Family fun at Futuroscope amusement park CRTPC©O Héral / M Vimenet / Getty Images / Parc du Futuroscope

    Fourth most important theme park in France, Futuroscope - on the outskirts of Poitiers - offers attractions to enthral, entertain and educate visitors of all ages. Enjoy a mix of movies in Imax, 3D and even 4D format, as well as interactive experiences and a fabulous evening show that combines water, lasers and fireworks on a huge outdoor stage.

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    But why not stay a bit longer and enjoy the contrasting attractions of La Rochelle, historic port on the French Atlantic Coast? Famous for the medieval twin towers that guard the old harbour, La Rochelle offers quaint streets, speciality shops and an eclectic mix of museums as well as a fabulous aquarium, wonderful restaurants and a vibrant programme of arts festivals and sports events.

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    Hotel Ibis La Rochelle Centre

    For a stylish base right in the heart of the action, head for the Hôtel Ibis La Rochelle Centre just a step away from the Vieux Port and 100 metres from the departure point for boat trips to Ile de Ré and Ile d’Aix. The 82 rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with WiFi, and include three suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

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  • Whether you’re travelling with small children or teenagers, all the family will enjoy a short break that combines the thrills of Futuroscope – Poitou-Charente’s unique moving image theme park – with seaside fun on the Atlantic coast.

    Fly into Poitiers airport and it’s just a short drive to the gates of Futuroscope which has a wealth of new attractions as well as many old favourites. Your entrance ticket includes a seat for the spectacular evening show, Lady O, which takes place on one of the largest water stages in Europe.

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    Then head south across the department of Charente-Maritime to the seaside resort of La Palmyre and check into your comfortable mobile home at Siblu’s 4-star campsite, Bonne Anse Plage. Set in a scented pine forest just a short walk from the sandy beach of the Côte Sauvage, Bonne Anse Plage has all the ingredients for a great family holiday including an outdoor pool complex, play area, mini golf, games room and three free kids clubs ranging from tots to teens.

    Campsite Siblu Bonne Anse Plage, Les Mathes

    The campsite is just 1km from La Palmyre Zoo, one of the largest collections of exotic animals in France with some 1600 furred and feathered residents.

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    Still full of energy? Try climbing the 300 steps of La Coubre lighthouse, once surrounded by sea, but now standing on the tip of the peninsula.

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  • Stay in the Art Deco surroundings of the luxurious Loges du Parc hotel in La Roche-Posay for a short break that combines wellbeing treatments with outdoor activities and heritage visits.

    Part of the prestigious Chateaux & Hotels Collection, this elegant hotel in a landscaped garden was built in the Art Deco period and has been tastefully refurbished to combine period style with modern comforts.

    The moisturising and healing properties of waters sourced from beneath La Roche-Posay have been recognised for centuries.

    Today this quiet country town is France’s leading dermatological centre using natural mineral water, internationally famous for its skincare products.

    The refurbished Spa Source opened to the public in April 2012, offering pampering and relaxation treatments alongside medically-approved treatments for specialist skin conditions.

    La Roche-Posay boasts an impressive range of sports and leisure activities.

    So when you’re not relaxing in the spa or by the pool, you can play 18-holes on the Connétable golf course, go horse racing, try your luck in the casino, or just explore the surrounding countryside.

    Stop off at Angles-sur-l’Anglin, an enchanting riverside community classified amongst the Most Beautiful Villages of France, and visit the abbey church at St-Savin-sur-Gartempe to see the fabulous murals of biblical scenes, classified by UNESCO on their World Heritage list.

    And don’t miss Chauvigny with its five individual fortresses and a stunning bird show, Giants of the Sky.

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  • La Rochelle

    The largest marina on the French Atlantic coast, La Rochelle began as a fishing village in the 10th century and boasts not only 1000 years of history, but also a range of activities and events which make it one of the most prominent cities in France.

    Leave your luggage at the 3-star Hôtel Saint-Nicolas right in the heart of the town and then head out to soak up La Rochelle’s maritime atmosphere which effortlessly combines chic with cosy. 

    There are plenty of must-do experiences for the first-time visitor. Stop off at the famous towers beside the harbour to take in the iconic view of town, bay and port. Then go shopping along the historic streets with their stone arcades and luxury boutiques, not forgetting the covered market, an unmissable stop for anyone who loves fantastic food.

    Hôtel St Nicolas

    Then settle down to enjoy some of the best rochelais recipes cooked by Richard and Christopher Coutanceau, on the edge of Concurrence beach. Their delicious dishes will rank amongst the best French gastronomy you’ve ever tasted.

    If you like getting out on the water, take a cruise on a sailing boat – glass of champagne in hand – for an unforgettable view of Ile d’Aix, Fort Boyard, and this picturesque section of the Atlantic Coast.

    Then as night falls, sip a cocktail while you watch a show, or try your luck at the slot machines or poker tables of the Lucien Barrière Casino, whilst enjoying a panoramic view of the bay. The ultimate chic soirée!  For something more lively, head for the bars, pubs and clubs of Rue Saint-Nicolas.

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