Things to do here
Poitiers may be the capital of the Poitou Charentes region but La Rochelle rivals it in economic importance with tourism the primary draw for the famous sea port. Close by is the island of Il de Ré, which is connected to the city of La Rochelle by a 3km long bridge built in the 1980s. The island is a major attraction for visitors – from celebrities to campers – and is most famous for its pretty villages of whitewashed houses and its long sandy beaches. The old town in the island capital of Saint Martin is a World Heritage listed site.
Café de la Paix - a La Rochelle institution, the interior of this brasserie and bar belongs to a different, grander age but it is open for breakfast and the tables outside are ideal for people watching. 54 rue Chaudrier, La Rochelle. Phone +33 5 46 41 39 79
A Côté de Chez Fred. Located in Saint Martin on the Il de Ré, the island adjacent to La Rochelle itself, chef Gilles Barre focuses his talents on producing a menu dominated by seafood from the region.
Résidence de France. One of the smartest places to stay in La Rochelle, this small luxury hotel has rooms overlooking a centrally located pool.
Mercure La Rochelle Vieux Port Sud Hotel. Part of the Mercure chain, this four star hotel overlooks La Rochelle’s modern marina and is ideally situated to explore the Old Town on foot.