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La Rochelle

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is the premier destination for a sun-kissed summer escape, or just to enjoy the many delights of a relaxing port city. Known throughout the world for its individual style and character La Rochelle doesn’t do gaudy franchises, but instead will seduce its visitors with an enchanting selection of independent retail boutiques, delicious fresh-caught seafood and perhaps even a sample of the world’s most famous brandy.

A major port city throughout the Middle Ages, La Rochelle still retains a strong individual character. The Vieux Port area, with its historical towers and old lighthouses, is the town’s main focal point, and there are good hotel options in the vicinity. The 26-room Hôtel Atlantic (23 rue Verdière) is located just 50m from the port, while the sleek La Monnaie Art & Spa Hôtel (3 rue de la Monnaie), located in a 17th-century building, actually overlooks it. And if it’s top-tier comfort you’re after, the five-star Résidence de France (43 rue du Minage) also has an outdoor pool.

La Rochelle has long been celebrated for its independent spirit, and many of its shops share the free-thinking outlook. Great little boutiques like Pourquoi Pas (21 rue St Nicolas) and Matlama (61 quai Louis Prunier) are good for quirky one-off pieces, while the arcaded Rue du Palais is full of diverting stores located in old sailors’ houses. Elsewhere, the covered market (Place du Marché) showcases a wealth of fresh produce, and the well-stocked shelves at nearby L’épicerie d’Annabelle (4 bis rue des Trois Fuseaux) are similarly ideal for picking up local delicacies, from jams and terrines to tapenades and olive oils.

Unsurprisingly there’s excellent seafood to be had in La Rochelle – try Les Flots (1 rue de la Chaîne) or the atmospheric André (5 rue St Jean du Pérot) for proof. The local oysters are renowned. Visitors with young families are advised to bag a table at Le Café de l’Aquarium (Quai Louis Prunier), which serves top-notch set menus as well as being ideally located for the aquarium itself. La Rochelle also sits close to the heart of the Cognac region, making it a fitting place to sample the world’s most famous brandy and its close cousin, the aperitif Pineau des Charentes.

Red Bull Cliff Diving
May/June
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series includes La Rochelle on its annual tour. The occasion sees divers leaping off the 14th-century St Nicolas Tower in front of crowds of more than 50,000. A truly spectacular occasion.


Fête du Port de Pêche
June
The Fête du Port de Pêche is a one-day celebration highlighting La Rochelle’s maritime heritage, as well as showcasing the important role the port still plays today. It gives a chance to meet fishermen, sailors and fishmongers, sample fresh seafood and enjoy live music. 


Festival International du Film de La Rochelle
June-July
Only Cannes draws more annual visitors than La Rochelle’s film festival, which has a 40-year legacy and includes a balanced programme of French and international works. Unlike Cannes, there’s no grand prize, but it still attracts big names from the cinema industry.


Francofolies
July
A well-established summer music festival geared primarily around French-language song, Francofolies runs for five days each year and puts on a series of concerts at different venues around town. Rock, pop and folk all feature.


Jazz in Août
August
This weekend of jazz performances has a reputation for rearing new talent – the festival hinges on giving amateur musicians the chance to play on a live stage. It’s held in the Museum of Natural History.


 

ESSENTIALS

Language
French
Currency
Euro
Time zone
GMT +1
Flight time
1 Hour 30
Holiday type
City Break , Sightseeing , Summer Sun

WEATHER

30/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
15°C
min
26°C
max
31/08/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
14°C
min
25°C
max
01/09/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
15°C
min
28°C
max
02/09/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
16°C
min
29°C
max
03/09/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
15°C
min
28°C
max
04/09/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
17°C
min
29°C
max
05/09/14
Sunny skies
Sunny skies
19°C
min
30°C
max
Jan
10°C max
4°C min
Feb
11°C max
4°C min
Mar
14°C max
6°C min
Apr
16°C max
8°C min
May
20°C max
12°C min
Jun
23°C max
15°C min
Jul
25°C max
17°C min
Aug
25°C max
17°C min
Sep
22°C max
14°C min
Oct
18°C max
11°C min
Nov
13°C max
7°C min
Dec
10°C max
4°C min

AIRLINES

TODAY'S WEATHER

Sunny skies 26°C
15°C
min
26°C
max
62%
huimidity

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