A little further north is La Rochelle, one of France’s loveliest coastal cities in the Charente-Maritime region of France’s west coast. It boasts an unspoilt harbour that is packed with boats small and large. Lined with beautiful seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings that are home to delicious patisseries and boutique shops, La Rochelle is a fantastic town to explore, or simply just sit and watch the world go by.
The city privileges "clean" forms of transport and even offers visitors free bike hire! The famous yellow bicycles can be picked up and deposited from the kiosk at the front of the tourist office. The first two hours are free before an hourly rate of 1.10 Euros. Once on your bike, discover the city at your own pace or head out of town and explore up to 160km of cycle routes.
Held in the same location for serval centuries, the daily market is located a few streets behind the old town. Choose from an array of fresh tasty treats including cheeses, pates and glistening fish and seafood, all as beautiful and delicious as each other. For all you foodies, you will be able to eat delicious oysters and seafood, as well as fresh fish that you can buy at the vibrant La Rochelle market - to cook at home, or sample in the array of good restaurants. The walls of the old town are a popular place for an evening walk, active with boats, buskers and small market stalls. Departing from the port of La Rochelle, you can take a boat to visit the well-known Fort Boyard and also discover the Ile d’Aix, where you can spend the day on the island away from civilisation - no cars are allowed on the island!
Other exciting things to do whilst visiting La Rochelle include the famous aquarium, which has over 12,000 marine animals, as well as various museums and boat rides to islands near the town including Ile de Ré.