What to see in France

La Rochelle, camping to discover an exciting city

Vue sur le port et les tours à La Rochelle
Vue sur le port et les tours à La Rochelle


Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, La Rochelle is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is also the most densely populated commune in Charente-Maritime. A city full of light thanks to its white stone buildings, Renaissance houses, town houses and pretty half-timbered residences, La Rochelle is home to a wealth of architectural treasures, such as its famous three towers, medieval relics listed as Historic Monuments, and the Old Port district, which many famous painters and photographers have always appreciated. La Rochelle also boasts a wealth of cultural attractions, including the International Film Festival and the Francofolies festival of French-language music. Camping in La Rochelle is an ideal way to discover the city.

Campsites in and around La Rochelle

A single campsite in La Rochelle The Municipal le Soleil ** campsite, but a large number of campsites in the surrounding area, where you can rent a mobile home to visit La Rochelle.

The Huttopia Chardons Bleus *** campsite is located on the Ile de Ré in the commune of Saint-Marie-de-Ré, 26 km from La Rochelle. A rejuvenating stay between ocean, vineyards and forests awaits you to explore by bike. You can rent a luxury mobile home near La Rochelle and enjoy the swimming pool and its beautiful wooden terrace, all in keeping with the natural spirit of the site.

Les Peupliers campsite **** is located less than 20 km from La Rochelle, in La Flotte, and offers luxury mobile homes, even for a single night. It has an aquatic area with a 250 m2 heated swimming pool, a waterslide and a paddling pool, all close to cycle paths and just 800 metres from the beach.

Must-sees in La Rochelle

With more than 800,000 visitors a year, the Aquarium de La Rochelle, located opposite the Old Port, is a delight for visitors. It features 12,000 animals of 600 different species, making it one of the finest in France.

The towers, listed as Historic Monuments since 1879

Three towers remain from the medieval fortifications. The Lantern Tower dates from the 15th century and is the tallest of them all. It was used as a lighthouse, now the oldest on the Atlantic coast, and later as a prison. There is a superb panorama from the top of the tower. Relatively massive and built to protect the Old Port in the 16th century, the Saint-Nicolas tower is no longer hiding its inclination due to the age of its foundations. Lastly, the Tour de la Chaîne (Chain Tower), linked to the Tour Saint-Nicolas and restored in the 20th century, was used to close the channel to boats entering the port.

Two of the three towers in the port of La Rochelle
Two of the three towers in the port of La Rochelle© iStock

The Vieux Port district, the city's main landmark

Now a marina, its two emblematic 13th-century defensive towers at its entrance have retained their glorious image. Today, the area is renowned as an ideal place to enjoy a drink, meet up with friends and take a stroll after dark. As you stroll along, you can admire the superb Porte de la Grosse Horloge (Big Clock Gate), built in the 12th century and home to a bell and clock since 1478, when the old gate was no longer needed. Just 100 years after the towers, it has also been listed as a Historic Monument.

View of the marina and the Grosse Horloge
View of the marina and the Grosse Horloge© iStock

The Town Hall, an architectural masterpiece

Listed as a Historic Monument since 1861, it is the oldest town hall still in use today. Crenellated towers, Corinthian columns and gargoyles decorate this Renaissance building. An initial fire led to major restoration work at the end of the 19th century, resulting in an extension to the building, but a second fire in 2013 destroyed the monument's historic roof structure, requiring more than six years of repairs before the building could be reopened to the publicimage

Façade of La Rochelle Town Hall
Façade of La Rochelle Town Hall© iStock

Maritime Museum, a museum afloat

Located in the Old Port, since 2015 it has been complemented by an "on land" section. It houses a collection of ships, almost all of which have been classified as Historic Monuments, and on which you can even sail. Created in 1988, it also gives children the chance to visit the weather frigate and come away with a diploma!

Beaches in the city

Here, the seaside and the beaches would tend to be forgotten in the face of a city with such an important heritage, but this is undoubtedly also the real wealth of La Rochelle, which creates its balance, a complete city that is both a seaside resort and a historic city. The beach at Les Minimes, in the Vieux-Port district, is the largest beach in the commune, while Chef de Baie is more discreet and therefore perhaps less frequented, which can have its advantages, especially as its sand is particularly fine and pleasant... La Concurrence and l'Houmeau are other pleasant beaches to visit when the heat of the city makes itself felt.

Plage des Minimes in La Rochelle
Plage des Minimes in La Rochelle© iStock

What's for dinner in La Rochelle?

There's nothing nicer when you visit La Rochelle than sitting in the sunshine by the harbour and enjoying some oysters from Oléron with a few drops of lemon, a glass of white Charente wine and a slice of Poitou-Charentes PDO butter on a slice of good bread. Because, yes, oysters are eaten with bread and butter in the south-west. Here, you can also try farci charentais, a kind of vegetable pâté, and grattons, browned pork that resembles rillettes. Chabichou du Poitou is a PDO-protected goat's cheese with a melting, cone-shaped paste, a delight for cheese lovers. Finally, and to finish on a sweet note, let yourself be tempted by the galette charentaise, reminiscent of Breton shortbread, which you can choose plain or with chocolate or almonds - food lovers beware!

Restaurant terraces in La Rochelle
Restaurant terraces in La Rochelle© iStock






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