La Rochelle

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La Rochelle
Port of Entry
46°8.83′N, 1°10.41′W Chart icon.png
La Rochelle.jpg
Entrance to old port, La Rochelle

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The Vieux Port inner basin


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La Rochelle is a port of entry/exit to France. See France.


The Bassin des Chalutiers

There are three options for visitors: the huge Port des Minimes with room for 3,300 boats and two tidal basins, the Vieux Port and the Bassin des Chalutiers. Entrance to the Port des Minimes is possible at most states of tide, although note that minimum depths in the fairway at low water springs are 1.5 meters. Entrance to the two tidal basins is only possible for two hours before high water and 30 minutes after via separate locks and swing bridges. The Bassin des Chalutiers is the quieter of the two basins. The Vieux Port is surrounded by restaurants and car parks. It is reserved for boats under 12m and carries only 1m depth.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

The Port des Minimes is one of the largest marinas in France, with space for 3,300 boats and reportedly plans to increase this to nearly 4,500 by installing additional pontoons. Visiting yachts berth on the long central pontoon. Around the marina there are all the facilities yachtsmen are likely to require plus more chandleries than you can shake a stick at. Fuel is available from a dedicated fuel quay and boats of up to 50 tons can be lifted. The marina is over two kilometers from the town, although cycles and scooters can be hired in the marina.


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Yacht Repairs and Services

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Marine Stores

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Fuel, Water, & Electricity

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Things to do Ashore


Vieux Port from city walls
Renaissance Hotel de Ville
La Rochelle old town from walls

The walk along the old walls, with a visit to the three surviving towers - St Nicholas Tower, Chain Tower and Lantern Tower - is well worthwhile. St Nicholas Tower has an interesting internal structure and great views over the old port, the Chain Tower has a detailed explanation of the history of the city (in French only), whereas the Lantern Tower, which was formerly used as a prison, has numerous engravings in its walls, left by generations of prisoners including English corsairs. The renaissance Hotel de Ville is also most impressive. Maritime history buffs will enjoy the displays in the Maritime Museum in the Bassin des Chalutiers, especially the history of fishing out of La Rochelle, and an additional attraction is Jacques Cousteau's famous expedition ship Calypso.

Grocery & Supply Stores


(Data from visit in 2000) The restaurants around the Vieux Port are worth exploring, especially the Vietnamese Loan Phuong. At the time of visit, the restaurants in the most popular area of the old town, Rue du Chaine, were a bit of a tourist trap and few French families ate there.




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See France.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Atheneoflymington

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