Vieux Port of La Rochelle in Charente-Maritime

The Charente-Maritime


So much is on offer for holiday-maker in the Charente-Maritime, here are our highlights.

Must sees are the bustling tourist-friendly coastal towns of La Rochelle and Royan, the stunning Île de Ré as well as the deserted, untouched beaches of Île d’Oleron.

The department has four of France’s official most beautiful villages and fascinating historical sites such as the Roman amphitheatre at Saintes.

The Vieux Port of La Rochelle is bright and vibrant, soaked in history and brimming with boutique shops and seafood restaurants. Its long sandy beach, its film and music festivals and its concerts draw in the visitors. The sprawling marina teems with masts and boats ply back and forth, delivering tourists to the famous Fort Boyard and other nearby islands. Le Grand Pavois takes place is September and is Europe’s largest floating boat show.

The Maritime Museum, Natural History Museum and especially La Rochelle Aquarium with its beautifully-lit jellyfish swarms are well worth a visit but if you’re not driving, simply settle in, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the bars and restaurants ringing the marina.

Don’t miss... A ride on the big wheel, for the view. The vaulted shopping arcades. Hire a Yelo bike!

*article written by James Wignall, author of the Family Travel Journal,



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Entry fees, opening hours and other information correct at the time of publishing, February 2019.

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