Just about my most favourite place is La Rochelle, a thriving modern city that amongst other things is where the French TGV high speed trains are built, but which also has a beautiful heart, centred around the old port area with the two towers guarding the entrance from the sea. There are marinas, beaches, old streets to explore, masses of good restaurants... everything you could hope for on holiday in France - all in the second sunniest part of France.
Off shore from La Rochelle is the île de Ré, which is now linked to the mainland by a toll bridge. It is a low, sandy island, with some lovely old harbours - the main one is at St Martin de Ré, where you can also see the "ânes en culottes" (donkeys in pants). A bit further south is the similar île d'Oleron, also linked to the mainland by a bridge. Another off shore "island" is Fort Boyard, familiar to British TV viewers, there are boat trips round the Fort from La Rochelle.
Nearby there are plenty of other places to visit, the Marais Vert with its miles of twisting canals through the marshes, Royan with its beautiful beaches and a very good zoo, Cognac where you can visit the brandy distilleries, Saintes along side the river Charente with its roman arch and amphitheatre...
|All photos not otherwise credited are Copyright © S Huddy 2001|
This site was last updated 05-01-2012