La Rochelle is a historic town that was once the Huguenot capital. From its origins as a fishing village, it became a very important port from the 13th century, thanks particularly to trade in salt and wine. The old port in the middle of the town with its two towers symbolises this rich past. To stop for a few moments on a sunny café terrace is a moment of pure pleasure that sets the tone of your holiday. The old town behind the port is perfect for a stroll and is a real voyage of discovery. After passing under the Grosse Horloge (Main Clock) – entrance to the city – through the small streets and under the arches, discover the medieval houses with timber-framed walls and slate, the private luxury residences of the ship-owners and the old market halls.
A historic town centre is today bustling with activity with its many shops and events jostling for your attention during the summer days. La Rochelle is a town on the move. The University, aquarium - one of the finest in Europe – airport and large number of events such as the Francofolies, the International Film Festival, the Grand Pavois… all bear witness to the vitality of La Rochelle. Welcoming and proud of their city, the people of La Rochelle would be glad to guide you through this town that today is nick-named ‘La Belle et Rebelle’ (‘the Beauty and the Rebel’).