"La Rochelle, dépt. Charentes Maritime, I'll return" Top 5 Page for this destination La Rochelle by Norali

La Rochelle Travel Guide: 151 reviews and 472 photos

Charming La Rochelle

My La Rochelle page is finished !. On Dec. 14 2003, this is the first French page I finished. I thought Paris would have been the first but .. NO, LR is first... Very probably, Ile de Ré would be second.


When I think of la Rochelle, "charm" immediately comes to my mind. It's all about that.

The charm of La Rochelle by night, the charm of the towers, the ships, the buildings... L'Hôtel de ville included.

Shops are tiny but nicely set. Sheltered by the so-called arcades...

Museums... it's not every city that has the Musée du flacon à parfum... Musée du Nouveau Monde, Musée des Graffittis anciens. But La Rochelle has all of that, plus some other nice things.

My discovery of La Rochelle was interesting, joyful... I was guided by a friend, who works in the tourism industry, a real Rochelaise who knows and loves her region very well.

You may find this page huge, it's because I am learning about history of La Rochelle, hence the long tips cc history. Actually, they are summaries of texts I read about La Rochelle. Mind you! This page is to show what I saw and also to help me kepping up my documenting and learning about La Rochelle.

Yachts, boats, ships

First European marina... Those yachts I've seen were impressive. They come from all over Europe.

While walking along the quay, I heard from an expansive guy talking behind me that those from UK and Sweden were the most impressive ....

Everything in the city reminds you of the sea. Wood lumber on facades, like on ancient ships... Lighthouses... Antiques and trinket shops... Many themes are related to sea, shipping.

And food! yes, food is **sea-ish**, off course!


Architecture from past centuries

Walk through La Rochelle and you would notice that: roughcast façades (en crépi)... like eaten by the seasalt and rendered flaky.

La Rochelle has many buildings from XV and XVIII centuries. The protestant city had known influences of peoples who tried to control access to the sea. At times in its history, it has been French then English then French then English again... catholic, protestant... Very independent and rebellous population, who resisted Royal authority. Eventually, it became French, after being under siege for months, hence a severe starvation .. It was in Richelieu era, 1628 October..

Above all, it used to be an area open for trade since La Rochelle had a port for trading activities.

Architecture... interesting... plain and flaky white walls, plastered with wood lumbers sometimes.. or with slate tiles. Middle Age architecture.

Some townhouses that belonged to rich and powerful families who traded spices, woods. Often, with some stone carvings on the façades.

Or colourful in Gabut area...

In fact, I just fell in love with the city. I remembered having told my cousin that La Rochelle would be my retirement place if I were rich. Still cracking up remembering that.

Believe me, I am too young to think of that. I've never looked for a retirement place but put it this way, this city has it all: elegance, quietness yet lively, clean and some identity you can't miss. Life may be expensive, especially for young locals, but one may find a quality of life over there. Still, I noticed some room for creativity, probably business dynamics. And not only in the port activities and shipping field.


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Elegance, architecture, good food, interesting antiques shops, safety
  • Cons:One week is not enough to discover La Rochelle.
  • In a nutshell:Classy but accessible town. A city with a rich past but already with its feet all in our millenium.
  • Last visit to La Rochelle: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated Jan 5, 2005
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Reviews (40)

Comments (27)

  • VincentJJ's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2006 at 2:51 PM

    Gr8 pages about Rochelle. Will be there this week! Greetings.

  • Escadora7's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2006 at 9:14 AM

    Beautiful night-picture! Nice tips! Best wishes, Ash & Eve

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2006 at 8:05 AM

    I love La Rochelle...from the timbered buidings, the delightful park that runs through the town...to the gorgeous fruits de mer! Great pages Norali! Blu

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2005 at 1:36 PM

    this is by far the better la Rochelle i have come across, one a college NY state & the other a suburb in Johannesburg ;-)))

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2005 at 1:16 PM

    This is a great page! Aaaah... sitting on a terrace, soaking up the sun, enjoying a drink, watching the sailing boats. This must be a great place to visit! :-))

  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2004 at 12:02 PM

    Yes! Blvd de Clichy is where it's located. I did not see any "Satines" either ..... but each time I walk thru the area, I always imagine the days of Les Bohemes with Toulouse!

  • shrimp56's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2004 at 1:29 PM

    I LOVE markets like this ....

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2004 at 6:52 AM

    Excellent page! I've always wanted to go to La Rochelle...

  • rozehill's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2004 at 3:14 AM

    Brilliant pictures and lovely tips

  • irisbe's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2004 at 4:34 AM

    had a glance, will return :-) a well of information! extremely good page!


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