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La Rochelle area - any top tips of things to do / must sees?

(20 Posts)
Portofino Sat 06-Jul-13 08:20:42

We are off in 2 weeks time for 3 weeks in a gite complex. We will be about 10 mins from Chatellailon plage and 30 mins from La Rochelle. Top recommendations much appreciated.

peppersquint Sun 07-Jul-13 10:58:43

Ile de Re - for cycling, beaches, walks, wildlife, meal out - I would recommend St Martin de Re for meal and people watching, Ars en Re for markets, pottering and Bois en Re for beaches.

La Rochelle - Aquarium is a great day out, good shopping, visit old port and nice and compact to walk around.

Royan - La Palymre zoo - lovely spread out zoo and great for kids (though polar bears are a bit sad)

Saintes - for history/Roman ruins etc..

Cognac - nice history, shady cafes and walks - and urm...cognac smile

Puy du Fou - a bit of a drive (hour and a half) but worth it - honestly (see previous threads for tips etc...)

Les Sables d'olonne for alternative beach life, zoo, shopping, shell museum etc...

Ile d'Oleron - less commercial than Ile de Re but nice walks, fishing villages and beaches

Rochefort for history and jazz festivals in July/August (Wednesdays)

Hope this helps

Portofino Sun 07-Jul-13 13:02:23

Thanks so much. We've done Saintes and Cognac already, but looks like loads to do in between laying by the pool.

Portofino Sun 07-Jul-13 13:03:01

I am definitely going to Ars en Re. grin

aftereight Sun 07-Jul-13 13:11:56

Agree with peppersquint's list, bit just to add Fouras on the coast too; nice seaside town with 4 beaches, a road train and overlooking Fort Boyard.

The lighthouse in Ile de Re is worth visiting/climbing, and has a good gift shop.

Tiredtrout Sun 07-Jul-13 13:22:20

If you don't mind travelling oradour-sur-glane is worth a visit or Rochechouart

Cremolafoam Sun 07-Jul-13 14:05:01

la Roche Courban chateau fairytail castle

Little boats for kids nice town pretty
st savinien sur Charente

futuroscope in poitiers

cycle plus picnic on Ile de Re

Klingyston Sun 07-Jul-13 14:09:37

The Aquarium in La Rochelle is amazing. Lighthouse at end of Oleron. Trip to fort Boyard from Boyardville on Oleron.

Cremolafoam Sun 07-Jul-13 14:21:15

My dad has just phoned from La Rochelle and says he and dmum had great day out yesterday

My dsis is further down the coast and recommends accrobranche - treetop adventuresgrin

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 07-Jul-13 14:25:10

You could search for Pmf? (ages self)

Otherwise, another vote for l'Ile de Re and Puy du fou.

Portofino Sun 07-Jul-13 16:47:27

Ooh dd loves throes tree climbing things.

Portofino Sun 07-Jul-13 16:53:01

Pmf? Googling brings up lots of political stuff....

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 07-Jul-13 19:20:26

Pmf was a robot that helped teach schoolkids French (as part of a series of textbooks), millions of years ago in my youth He looked like Dusty Bon, avec un beret, je pense.

But I think I am getting mixed up, and perhaps he didn't live in La Rochelle... That was the Tricolore series of books, IIRC. Or perhaps they are one and the same?

Janek Sun 07-Jul-13 19:26:45

a friend of mine always recommends eating here (she has stayed here too). She is quite a gourmet and says it is the best vegetarian food she has ever had. Oh yes, they're vegetarian, if that doesn't put you off...

peppersquint Sun 07-Jul-13 19:38:18

Hazel - I remember him and he did live in La Rochelle

On a totally separate note - did anyone have a german text book in which a family had a dog called "Lumpy"?

Cremolafoam Sun 07-Jul-13 19:42:07

It's near les Mathes so could do climbing treetop thingy and then zoo later in the day. My tip would be to go to the zoo later in the day for less parking issues( nightmare) and less people. It's open quite late in the evening and is VAST !
I have spent a whole day there and not noticed the time until my tummy told me it was def time for more steak frites!
Lots of baby animals ( major breeding prog)and the apes are amazing - a way at the very end- orang-utans chimps and gorillas.
There is a nice restaurant just south of the zoo called Le Flandre.( in the forest behind la Grande Cote beach.
It's q pricey tho so maybe not avec les enfants wink

redcaryellowcar Sun 07-Jul-13 19:53:57

Take waterproofs, we spent a very rainy day cycling around il de rae (sp?) was warm but very wet and when we got back and recounted this to French friend she said always potential to rain in that part of France (was in August!)

redcaryellowcar Sun 07-Jul-13 19:55:41

Take waterproofs, we spent a very rainy day cycling around il de rae (sp?) was warm but very wet and when we got back and recounted this to French friend she said always potential to rain in that part of France (was in August!)

SJisontheway Sun 07-Jul-13 20:01:50

Highly recommend green Venice (marais poitevin) for a day trip. Hire a boat and do some exploring

Cremolafoam Sun 07-Jul-13 20:35:44

Porto here's a bit more info on the climbing place
It's called the Parc indian forest or something equally un-pc

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