La Pallice is a commercial port situated 6 km to the west of the historic fortress port of La Rochelle.
From the ship you have a nice view of the bridge to Ile de la Re.
This is a commercial port with little (temporary) facilities. There is nothing within walking distance.
When there's no shuttle bus running from the ship into the heart of town, the tourist information will run a free shuttle to get you from your ship out of the harbor (as it's not allowed to get around on foot). The shuttle might only run once an hour. The shuttle drop-off and pick-up point is right near the La Sirene bus stop, from which bus line 1 will take you straight to the main bus station at Place de Verdun in La Rochelle. The bus runs every 20 mins, and costs around 2 euro (coins or small bills).
The shuttle bus from the ship to town (9 Euro). This shuttle will be announced shortly before you arrive (the night before) as not to jeopardize the regular excursion sales of the cruise company.
Very few if any taxis around.
La Rochelle is a quaint and delightful place to stroll and shop for a few hours. Plenty of outdoors cafes.
Printable maps to take along.
Cruise Calendar for La Rochelle
Watch a destination video.
With an exceptional 2400 hours of sunshine per year, as much as the French Riviera, and the neighboring island of Ré, Oléron, Aix and Madame, La Rochelle is an ideal holiday resort. Beaches, greenery, fortifications, chalk cliffs... its beauty and diversity create an ideal setting to profit from life's pleasures. With more than three million visitors each year, La Rochelle is the third most visited city in France.
La Rochelle by night is magic. The light, the ambience, shadows of buildings on the streets, the dark blue sky.. all of that will enchant you, photographers on here. Yes, the reflects of enlightened buildings on water are unforgettable... Because La Rochelle is about that: water everywhere...
Aquarium de La Rochelle: Near the old port: this is the most popular attraction in La Rochelle, and one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The aquarium newly reopened in 2001 after expanding to become six times larger than it previously was. Today more than 10,000 species of flora and fauna inhabit the aquarium, spread out over two levels. The Aquarium de La Rochelle is 100m from the tourist office.
The exhibits are divided according to body of water: the Caribbean Room, the Atlantic Room, etc. There is also a shark tank where various species of sharks swim in over 1.5 million liters of water. In the Jellyfish Tunnel, you can walk through 360-degrees of jellyfish, who swim above and below you.
The towers of the Vieux Port in the rich and powerful town of La Rochelle are remarkable examples of military and palatial architecture. They provide splendid views of the harbor and nearby islands from their round galleries. The Tour Saint-Nicolas guards the gateway to this major maritime trading center and symbolizes the alliance between the king and the town. Like its neighbor across the harbor, the Tour de la Chaîne, the tower dates from the 14 th century and was designed by the same architect who built the Chateau de Vincennes.
Boat trips from the harbor to nearby islands are popular - including trips to Ile de Ré and Ile d'Oleron. Discover the islands of Aix, Oléron and Ré on the horizon. The island of Ré, linked to La Rochelle by a 2km long road bridge, offers wonderful beaches, great cuisine and biking trails.
An inexpensive way to visit the Ile de Re is by bus number 3 from the main railway station (200m from the tourist office, from where the timetable is available). An all day adult ticket cost just 5 Euros, and with this you are able to explore the whole island, and return. Journey time to St Martin's picturesque town harbor is about one hour.
On a shore tour you can explore by boat the serene rural waterways of the 'Green Venice' national park - or relax on one of the lovely beaches of the nearby Ile de Re.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Plenty of free WiFi available at the sidewalk cafes, look for the Wi-Fi Gratuit signs.
Local emergency number: 112
Most shops, businesses, information services, museums and banks in France stay open all day. The exceptions are the smaller shops and enterprises, which may close for lunch sometime between 12.30pm and 2pm. Basic hours of business are from 8 or 9am to 6.30 or 7.30pm Monday to Saturday for the big shops and Tuesday to Saturday for smaller shops (some of the smaller shops may open on Monday afternoon). You can always find boulangeries and food shops that do stay open, however, on days when others close – on Sunday normally until noon.
There's plenty to do in La Rochelle on a sunday, especially in the summer. (Boat trips to the islands, and the town beach). The Aquarium is open all year round and has a great top floor restaurant. The Natural History Museum is well worth a visit. Like most towns in France, Sundays are quite sleepy, the shops are shut but restaurants are usually busy with families getting together for sunday lunch
National holiday dates:
January 1 New Year's Day
Ascension Day (forty days after Easter)
Pentecost or Whitsun (seventh Sunday after Easter, plus the Monday)
May 1 May Day/Labour Day
May 8 Victory in Europe Day
July 14 Bastille Day
August 15 Assumption of the Virgin Mary
November 1 All Saints' Day
November 11 1918 Armistice Day
December 25 Christmas Day
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