La Rochelle, headquarters of the French department of Charente-Maritime, is a lively port city on the Atlantic coast. The city's exciting nautical past has helped it gain notoriety, as have the imposing medieval towers that serve as gateways to the harbor and the city.
La Rochelle has a huge pleasure boat marina because the city's history is inextricably linked to the Bay of Biscay.
And so, at its center sits the lovely 'Vieux Port' ('Old Harbour').
The city contains a natural history museum, a botanical garden, and an aquarium to showcase its preserved architectural past.
The city is known as the 'white city' because of the prevalence of pale limestone structures, and it is a popular summer vacation spot.
If you're searching for a spot that has delicious seafood, historic landmarks, and a true chill vibe, look no further than the coast. Arcaded pathways, half-timbered homes protected from the salt air by slate tiles, ghoulish gargoyles, and a great network of lighthouses were rich reminders of the city's magnificent seafaring legacy when it was one of France's leading seaports from the 14th to the 17th centuries.
In the 17th century, here is where the first French settlers to Canada departed from. Among them were the Montreal pioneers.
This 'white city' also excels on the environmental front, with well-developed public transportation and plenty of parks and other green areas.
The town's hôtel de ville (town hall), constructed in 1606 and renowned as France's oldest, is being rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2013.
A substantial portion of the 20th-century neighborhood of Les Minimes in La Rochelle was constructed on reclaimed land and is now home to one of the largest marinas in France.
The vibrant Old Town, with its many taverns, cafes, restaurants, and exquisite ice cream parlors, makes for a great destination to spend a few days.
La Rochelle offers many attractions, including its stunning harbor and gorgeous nearby beaches.
If you're willing to venture a bit further, you'll find breathtaking cliff-side shorelines and lesser-known islands that feel far off from France.
Most of La Rochelle's top attractions can be found in and around the city's old harbor.
The area, which dates back to the Middle Ages when the city was established, is now, as it was before, the city's bustling hub.
There is a wide variety of places to eat, shop, and have fun at night, and there are also notable historical sites like the 3 Towers of La Rochelle to visit.