La Rochelle

La Rochelle

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About La Rochelle

Premier destination for a sun-kissed summer escape

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.

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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.

Tap into the independent spirit of La Rochelle by visiting boutiques such as Pourquoi Pas (21 rue St Nicolas) and Matlama (61 quai Louis Prunier) for unique and quirky items. Meanwhile the shops of the Rue du Palais are set in old sailors’ houses, and the covered market (Place du Marché) offers plenty of fresh produce. The nearby L’épicerie d’Annabelle (4 bis rue des Trois Fuseaux) is great for local delicacies such as jams and tapenade.

A port city equates to delicious seafood, which can be sampled at Les Flots (1 rue de la Chaîne) or André (5 rue St Jean du Pérot), with the local oysters a real speciality. Le Café de l’Aquarium (Quai Louis Prunier) is close to the aquarium and has a reputation for being family-friendly. As you'll be close to the heart of the Cognac region, be sure to sample a brandy or two, and the aperitif Pineau des Charentes.

Red Bull Cliff Diving

May/June

Crowds of more than 50,000 gather to witness divers plummet from the 14th century St Nicolas Tower as part of this World Series event.

Fête du Port de Pêche

June

Meet sailors, fishermen and fishmongers as you celebrate the city’s rich maritime heritage. The fresh seafood and live music provide an enticing backdrop for the event.

Festival International du Film de La Rochelle

June-July

Big names come to this film festival each year, with only Cannes attracting more annual visitors. A history stretching back more than 40 years is backed up with a pleasing blend of French and international offerings.

Francofolies

July

This annual festival runs over five days and places an emphasis on French-language song. Rock, pop and folk music all feature across the series of performances around town.

Jazz in Août

August

The Museum of Natural History provides an excellent backdrop for a weekend of jazz performances that enables amateur musicians to play live on stage, greatly helping the progress of new talent.

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Key facts

Language:French
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:1 hour 30 mins
Airport code:LRH
Holiday type:City Break

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