Top 10 things to do in La Rochelle

La Rochelle
Top 10 things to do i ...

La Rochelle is the prefecture of Charente-Maritime. But it is above all a major commercial port, which has a rich and turbulent history. Its heritage is well preserved and lovers of old stones will be thrilled. Moreover, the city is an artistic center, open to influences from all over the world. Without forgetting that La Rochelle is also a coastal city and its relationship to the ocean is omnipresent.

You will make great maritime discoveries there… Let's go for a Top 10 activities and visits to do absolutely in La Rochelle.


Opening photo credit: La Rochelle © Delphotostock / Adobestock

1) Visit the different districts of La Rochelle

La Rochelle has managed to preserve its heritage over the centuries and whatever the period or the style you like, there is something to satisfy your curiosity and amaze you.

Do you prefer to take a tour of the city independently, at your own pace and according to your interests? Aux'Tours de la ville has brought together all the ingredients for a good visit in small bags: a map, good addresses, games and puzzles, gifts and surprises of course!

Unless you want to share this discovery and take a guided tour? In this case, the Association des Guides de Nouvelle-Aquitaine organizes group walks, so as not to miss any unmissable monument.


Visit of La Rochelle / Photo credit © Kevin / AdobeStock
Visit of La Rochelle / Photo credit © Kevin / AdobeStock

2) Immerse yourself in La Rochelle culture in museums

History and prehistory, local life and culture, arts and crafts, environment and maritime domain… La Rochelle has many museums, on a wide variety of subjects. There is no doubt that you will be able to satisfy your curiosity, whatever your favorite fields.

The Maritime Museum of La Rochelle / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson
The Maritime Museum of La Rochelle / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson

3) Discover an unusual maritime heritage, the lighthouses

Charente-Maritime is an ideal region to learn more about French maritime heritage and in particular the lighthouses. Some can be visited, others simply offer beautiful viewpoints. They are all different and represent technology challenges. Along the Port of La Rochelle, you will see:

Photo credit © Jérôme Rommé / Adobestock
Photo credit © Jérôme Rommé / Adobestock

4) Admire La Rochelle from the ocean

We made you walk the main avenues of the city center and the alleys of the historic center of La Rochelle. Now, we suggest you take a little distance to admire it from the ocean. If you're a real sailor, now's the time to show off your skills and take your friends or family on board for the adventure.

If you have sea legs, but navigation is not your domain. Let yourself be guided by an expert and enjoy a sea trip in a catamaran.

Finally, if you prefer a more classic experience, commented cruises are made for you. Contact La Rochelle Croisières.

Photo credit © Click&Boat
Photo credit © Click&Boat

5) Take a walk on the Canal de Maransou de Rompsay

To make the link between the Sèvre Niortaise and the Port of La Rochelle, a canal was built. It is called the Canal de Marans or the Canal de Rompsay. It is bordered by a greenway, but the most pleasant thing is to take a walk on the water. You have several entry points, where you can rent a canoe, a kayak or a paddle.

Rompsay Canal / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson
Rompsay Canal / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson

6) Go kitesurfing on Aytré beach in La Rochelle

You want to experience strong sensations, to learn a new sport and get off the beaten track... We can only recommend kitesurfing. Aytré Beach in La Rochelle is one of the famous sites for practicing it.

7) Cycling near La Rochelle

Do you like cycling? You have surely heard of the “Vélodyssée” and perhaps even the “Vélofrancette”… These great cycle routes start from or arrive in La Rochelle. Suffice to say that the city offers great opportunities for cyclists of all levels.

Photo credit © Mathilde / Adobestock
Photo credit © Mathilde / Adobestock

8) Hiking in La Rochelle and surroundings

Do you keep your feet on the ground and prefer a good hike? La Rochelle is a coastal town, so it allows you to stroll along the Charente coast, but also on the banks of the Canal de Marans. If you are more of a city dweller, there are also several parks and green spaces in the city, which will allow you to stretch your legs.

9) Cool off and swim in the La Rochelle agglomeration

It's not because we love the city that we cannot enjoy the pleasures of water as a family. La Rochelle has a beautiful aquatic center, with indoor swimming pools and an outdoor leisure park: the Palmiludde La Rochelle.

10) Taste Charente gastronomy

Abundant seafood, local products from Aunis, a quality vineyard... The gastronomy of Charente-Maritime deserves to be part of this top 10. We have selected the best ingredients from local cuisine and local products from Charente-Maritime.


Oysters from Charente-Maritime / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson
Oysters from Charente-Maritime / Photo credit © Lesley Williamson


We hope that this Top 10 things to do around La Rochelle will inspire you for your next vacation in Charente-Maritime.

Did you like our report? Find more on the Guide Charente Maritime blog. Connect to the Charente Maritime Guide Facebook page to be kept up to date with our news. We are also on Instagram @guidecharentemaritime


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