La Rochelle, France

Rail Guide to La Rochelle


This pretty coastal town combines the charm of the historic Vieux Port with a beach favoured by affluent yacht owners. The port is the main attraction, with the old part containing a mixture of Renaissance and gothic architecture. Among the constructions is an old light house, the Tour de La Lanterne, which offers exceptional views of La Rochelle from the top. The marina is one of the biggest in France, used for mooring yachts and spinnakers; people-watch from one of the cafes or head to the Plages des Minimes to to hobnob among the wealthy. A popular tourist attraction is the ‘bus de mer’ in other words the ‘sea bus’, which takes passengers between here and the old town. Fun fact: Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre and fashion designer Guy Laroche spent part of their childhoods here.