La Rochelle, France cruise holidays
With glistening white buildings lining the old harbour, the city of La Rochelle is known as ‘La Ville Blanche’. Further in, cobblestoned streets and medieval arcades make for a picturesque wander under the gaze of watchful gargoyles – yet the city is far from stuck in the past.
The 14th century twin towers of St Nicolas Fort and the Tour de la Chaine (named after the chain once drawn across the harbour to keep out night intruders) ensure a dramatic entrance when you cruise between them into the French Atlantic cruise port La Rochelle-Pallice.
The medieval city of La Rochelle is just 10 minutes away and offers an intriguing mix of well preserved and restored historic buildings and marketplaces within a lively modern city full of bars and restaurants and with an excellent aquarium. Tickle your taste buds with a visit to the small town of Cognac and its famous Courvoisier, Hennessy and Martell cellars. Along the way, you will pass through ancient towns like Saintes with Romanesque churches, arches and arenas.
A dramatic 3km-long bridge connects the city to the romantic Île de Ré, but despite the island’s connection to the mainland, it still retains its off-the-beaten-path feel with rural lanes leading to long sandy beaches.