La Rochelle & Ile de Ré
With their rich history and fascinating heritage sites, picturesque coastline and varied family attractions, La Rochelle and Ile de Re rank amongst the highlights of the French Atlantic Coast.
A fishing village in the Middle Ages, La Rochelle is famous today for its beautiful Vieux Port, guarded by medieval twin towers. Relax at a restaurant on the quayside, discover the temptations of historic shopping streets fringed with arcades, and visit the city’s many museums. Step on board the ships of the Maritime Museum and visit the Aquarium – one of Europe’s largest.
Easy to explore on foot, La Rochelle also operates a bike hire scheme with 160 km of designated cycle tracks. The city has a vibrant contemporary scene too with music festivals, sports events and shows throughout the year, including Le Grand Pavois, Europe’s biggest floating boat show.
Take the toll bridge to Ile de Re, known as The White Island for the quality of its light and whitewashed houses. Explore the island’s ten villages which include two classified amongst the Most Beautiful Villages of France; follow a network of trails by bike or on horseback; and wander the Vauban ramparts of Saint-Martin-de-Ré where you might even spot one of the famous ‘Donkeys in Trousers’.