La Rochelle “The White City”

La Rochelle

Discover the beauty of the Atlantic Coastline

Looking for a peaceful break with some fresh air, long sandy beaches and ocean water? If Your answer is yes then I might have the answer for You.

Why don’t You make a trip to the beautiful French Atlantic Coast! The coastline has a spectacular beauty and You will find all You need for a fantastic holiday. From the south (close to Spain) and going upwards You have city’s like Biarritz, Archachon, La Rochelle, La Baule etc. In between those city’s You will also find a large number of smaller places, or islands, which are as charming (Anglet, Cap Ferret, Lacanau, l’ile d’Oléron, l’ile de Ré …etc).

Anders and I decided to make a stop in La Rochelle, also known as “La Ville Blanche” because of the white limestone facades, on our way back from Margaux to Paris. We left Château Margaux and the bordelaise region earlier in the day and drove 70km from Margaux to Verdon to catch a ferry-boat (19, Avenue du Phare de Cordouan – 33123 Le Verdon-sur-Mer).

The ferry-boat Verdon – Royan leaves every 45min. and it takes about 20min. to cross the estuary of Gironde. When we arrived in Royan and got off the ferry we had another 70km drive from Royan to La Rochelle.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is one of the most attractive coastal towns in France and it is really a very pleasant place to pass a few days. We decided to stay in La Rochelle for two days and I must say that we got enchanted by the charm of the fortified, medieval and picturesque city with its narrow streets paved with stone slabs and flanked by secret passages, arcades and porches.

La Rochelle has not always been as peaceful as it is today. The history of this originally small Gallo-Roman fishing village that became one of the leading Atlantic ports under the regna of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine is fascinating. During a long period the city was a citadel of French Protestantism, at a time when the rest of France was Catholic. The city was finally surrounded and captured after 414 days of blockage, people  literally starved to death, by the forces of t Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu.

Things You sholdn’t miss in La Rochelle.

  • La Rochelle Towers – St. Nicolas Tower ,the Tower of the Chain and the Tower of the Lantern.
  • La Rochelle Market – Build in 1835 and on of the finest markets in France.
  • La Rochelle Aquarium – A fantastic place!
  • La Rochelle Old Town & Port


Outdoor restaurant in La Rochelle

As we arrived rather late we just made a brief check-in at our hotel and then we went out to find something to eat. We started with a drink in a nice café/bar in the popular waterfront area of the Old Port. The place was filled with people, mostly tourist, this warm and pleasant summer evening. It was really nice and relaxing just sitting there enjoying drinks and gazing at people strolling by.

After a while we got hungry so we  decided to look for a restaurant. As the weather was really nice and warm we decided  to dine outside. We stopped at a crêperie in the Old Town of La Rochelle, just behind the port. The “galettes” and “crêpes” we ordered were really tasty and so was the cider we drank with the meal.


The situation was just perfect!
As usual we wanted to find a hotel in the heart of the city, close to everything. This time we stayed in a hotel located within 50meters from the Old Port, Hôtel Henri IV (31, rue des Gentilshommes – Place de la Caille – 17000 La Rochelle).

Find more hotels at

More hotels in La Rochelle

This was not what I would call a romantic, cosy or really special hotel in any way but it was very well located in the Old Town of La Rochelle. The hotel was clean and the staff friendly and helpful. I can also indicate that we found the price of the room rather interesting/low.

A good start of the day! It was possible to have breakfast in the hotel but we preferred by far to have breakfast in the Old Port. To sit in the sunshine drinking Your coffee and look at the yachts slowly sliding away for the day was just great.

Addresses & Google maps

La Rochelle (Poitou-Charentes, France)
Ferry Boat – 19,  avenue du Phare de Cordouan – 33123 Le Verdon sur Mer
Ferry Boat  –  rue de la Galiote – 17200 Royan
Market – 1, rue Gambetta – 17000 La Rochelle
Aquarium of La Rochelle – Quai Louis Prunier, 17002 La Rochelle
Hôtel Henri IV – 31, rue des Gentilshommes – Place de la Caille – 17000 La Rochelle

*how to use the Google map links