La Rochelle

La Rochelle 9

Magnificent natural areas and a unique maritime heritage. Setting sail from La Rochelle for a cruise means discovering an exceptional sailing area, islands with a wild and preserved nature and a rich maritime history.

The islands of Ré, Oléron and Aix protect a good part of the bay of La Rochelle from the swell of the open sea, while allowing beautiful cruising destinations less than two hours from the port of Les Minimes.

The destination
highlights

  • A protected bay
  • Beautiful islands nearby
  • A remarkable and preserved historical heritage

Practical information

  • Country : France
  • Official language : French
  • Time zone :
    UTC +1 (November to March)
    UTC + 2 (April to October)
  • Currency : Euro (€)
  • Time at Paris : 21:28
La Rochelle 4

La Rochelle

The historic maritime city, open to the Atlantic Ocean, is home to one of the largest marinas in Europe, Les Minimes.

Its old pedestrian harbour, its emblematic towers and its cobbled town centre will delight you. You can cycle from the Port des Minimes to the Old Port, where there are many self-service bicycles. La Rochelle was a forerunner in the development of cycle paths, which are now numerous and safe.

The local gastronomy is centred around shellfish and fish. Oyster and mussel farmers are at home here. The city is lively all year round, with numerous music and film festivals. Finally, the mild climate of La Rochelle allows you to rent a boat from April to October.

La Rochelle 2

The islands

This wild island offers beautiful beaches and charming villages. Less than an hour’s sail from the port of Les Minimes takes you to the beach at Sablanceaux. Along the north coast you pass La Flotte and then Saint-Martin, whose intact fortifications contain one of the prettiest villages in France. Further north, the Fier d’Ars marked at the entrance by the Banc du Bûcheron. Sailing around the island of Ré will take you about 12 hours (depending on weather conditions of course).

Aix

A small pearl between its two big neighbours Ré and Oléron. Aix is a paradise for lovers of peace and quiet. On this island, there are no cars except for the fireman’s truck and the doctor’s during the season, everything is done on foot or by bike and you can easily walk around in a few hours. The little village is absolutely charming with its streets lined with small local houses with green shutters and hollyhocks. You will discover the house where Napoleon spent his last days on French soil before being shipped to St Helena where he ended his life. There are many sheltered anchorages.

Oléron

This large island is renowned for its powerful and wild nature with large forests and long sandy beaches. Saint-Denis d’Oléron, in the north of the island, is a very good stopover. From here you can take a beautiful walk to the Chassiron lighthouse along the customs path. I front of Oléron, you will be able to see Fort Boyard ; you can’t visit it but you can sail around and discover this fortress which was initially built to protect the mouth of the Charente and the great arsenal of Rochefort. Its functions then evolved into a prison, then abandoned, it is now back to its glory days, known all over the world, thanks to a TV game show.

Our destinations

Board your sailboat and drop anchor in one of our dream destinations. For a short or long cruise, with or without crew, sail as you please and savour every moment.

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