To do and see
Regarded as one of France’s loveliest coastal towns, its historic port is beautifully preserved with a quayside that bustles with boats both large and small.The harbour front is full of lively cafes, bars and restaurants where you can stop and watch the world go by.
Tourist attractions are everywhere. Walk through the Gothic gateway, Porte de la Grosse Horloge and you enter a maze of pedestrianised streets, flanked by seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings that are now home to boutique shops selling everything from fashion and homeware to delicious pastries and fresh bread, books and antiques.
La Rochelle Aquarium
The aquarium at La Rochelle boasts an impressive 12,000 marine animals, with 75 different aquaria within the complex – that means a massive three million litres of sea water!
It is fantastic for families as there is something for everyone and for children of all ages.
Spread over three floors, the aquarium is arranged according to habitats - the Atlantic ocean, Mediterranean, Oceanic, Caribbean and Indian Pacific.
The stars of the show, though, are undoubtedly the sharks. Housed in a huge tank set in the centre of the aquarium. It extends through all three floors, allowing you to see them from many different angles.
As the regional capital and a university city, Poitiers can boast a heritage of 2,000 years of history . Surrounded by the rivers Clain and Boivre, the promontory of Poitiers welcomes its visitors in a historic centre of great character, embellished by the presence of an exceptional number of monuments that evoke its rich medieval past.
Those who like city rambles will enjoy discovering the picturesque narrow streets of the city, the half-timbered houses and everything that adds to the charm of this city of character. To be sure of seeing the most of the city’s heritage, let yourself be guided by the "Poitiers pas à pas" (Poitiers on Foot) circuits.
Located near Poitiers and set in 130 acres,this amazing science theme park uses audio-visual technology to create both breathtaking and informative special effects. Giant screens, 3D cinemas, circular cinemas and other state-of-the-art techniques create an experience unlike any other.
The park has buildings with futuristic architecture along with relaxing green parks surrounding each of the pavilions. Suitably enjoyable for both children and adults Futuroscope is a great attraction, but allow plenty of time to see all the exhibits. Although the films and exhibits are in French you can hire headphones with commentaries in English .
The summer months have spectacular evening shows,but start quite late (10.45)
Pu du Fou
Unmissable live theatre at this truly remarkable theme park. Considered by many to be one of the best theme parks in Europe.With a cast of thousands, a night time spectacular " Cinescenie" is not to be missed. Daytime shows include re-enacted gladitorial and viking battles, jousting and more........
A great website, log on for all the info.
Vallee des singes (Valley of the monkeys)
This very popular and fascinating attraction provides a unique experience to see monkeys and gorillas close up, living in a natural habitat in semi freedom.
Set in a park of 16Ha there are thirty species of monkey totalling app 400 animals. Visit the site for more details.
Ile de re
Just north of La Rochelle this beautiful Island has a selection of wonderful beaches, and ten small towns to explore. Possibly the best way to enjoy the island is by bike (hire avaiable).
The island is well known for its salt and oyster production, and there are many fine restaurants.
Just half an hour away is the Marias Poitivin, known locally as "Green Venice". A delightful area of canals and marshland approximately 100 000 hectares .
Coulon , the nearest town is described as one of the most beautiful villages in France - "Les plus beaux villages de France", Coulon has a tourist information office and a number of boat hire companies and bicycle hire shops.
Arçais. Smaller and less crowded than Coulon, this peaceful village with its whitewashed houses, colourful shutters and riverside gardens has been influenced by water transport for centuries. Located just over 20 kilometers west of Niort on the D115, the town has a tourist information office and a number of boat hire companies and horse riding centre.