La Rochelle Océan Pass 7 days: the city pass on the mobile application gives you access to more than 40 activities included and with discounts in La Rochelle, its conurbation and the surrounding areas. The Yélo and TER public transport are unlimited in the La Rochelle urban area (except for Yélo bikes) as well as one hour's free rental of a Yélomobile car!
Optimal comfort tip: as soon as you buy your pass, remember to call the sites that require booking (check the explanatory sheet for the sites).
You can also organise your stay by theme: boat trips, historical sites, museums, guided tours, leisure, and transport.
Day 1: DISCOVERING LA ROCHELLE'S HERITAGE
The former capital of the Aunis region, La Rochelle, with its prime location on the Atlantic coast, is a city steeped in history. To understand the beautiful and rebellious Charente Maritime, you have to walk along its cobblestones, shelter from the sun under its archways, stroll through its old town with its villas and merchants' houses, and land on the old port.
With your city pass, benefit from one of the tours included by the Tourist Office (reservation required); by bike, by foot, accompanied by a musketeer or between gourmet breaks, the guides will reveal the little secrets of the city from the small fishing town Rupella (the little Rock) to the influential Rochelle. A must for a first visit to the city but also for connoisseurs!
Getting to know the city, its inhabitants and its heritage means discovering its history: the New World Museum, housed in a beautiful mansion, retells La Rochelle's colonial history and its slave trade past. For a panoramic view of the port city, the pass opens the doors of the famous towers of La Rochelle: the Saint Nicolas Tower, the Chaîne Tower and the Lantern Tower. You can visit two towers today and the last one during the week, the pass works independently for each tower entrance during the validity of your pass!
To plunge into the heart of the port city, take the Yélo ferry which will take you in front of the Maritime Museum. This museum allows you to go on board three boats: the former national weather frigate, the trawler l'Angoumois and the tug Saint-Gilles, a visit for young and old alike. Take the opportunity to visit the Museum of Automata and Scales Models for a plunge, this time, into wonder with its 300 characters, scale models and reproductions of old boats, railways and cars.
A favourite for one evening: take the Yélo solar-powered sea bus to the Pointe des Minimes, the largest marina in Europe. From the park, enjoy a beautiful sunset over the sea (20 minutes crossing from the Chaîne tower) (check the timetable).
Day 2: THE CALL OF THE SEA WITH LA ROCHELLE OCÉAN PASS
Start the day with a trip to the sea! Book in advance with your city pass the cruise of your choice between :
- The catamaran morning discovery trip with Kapalouest, to enjoy the pleasure of sailing off the rocky shores. The crew is there to answer your questions about the maritime environment and the functioning of the boat.
- Guided cruise to the famous Fort Boyard with Inter-Îles. Embark to get closer to the famous Fort Boyard and let yourself be carried away by its incredible history from a useless fortress to a famous game show location.
- the cruise linking La Rochelle and Saint-Martin-de-Ré with Inter-Iles (bicycles not included), for a day in the island's emblematic village for an unforgettable day!
- A tour of the bay by pinnace, to discover the must-sees in an unusual manner. (only in July and August)
The pass gives you access to discounts at Tex'Canoe -20%, so why not try a nautical sports activity: canoeing or paddling at sea?
Take the Yélo bus to the town of La Jarne and visit the Castle of Buzay. This beautiful castle and its gardens bear witness to the art of living in the town at a time when trade between La Rochelle and the New World colonies was flourishing.
Other activities in the pass, at a discount (20%), in the La Rochelle area and accessible by Yélo bus, near the Castle of Buzay:
Vertigo Parc, La Jarne: A sporty and fun activity for everyone! In a wooded and natural environment, you will find 8 tree climbing courses with varying difficulties, a mini-golf course, 2 orienteering courses and a labyrinth.
Cognac Normandin Mercier, Dompierre-sur-mer: " The Secrets " is a guided tour in the heart of the wine cellars, including a tasting in the distillery of Cognac and Pineau des Charentes. The discovery of a family and regional know-how.
In the afternoon it's time for a swim! The aquatic centre of Châtelaillon-Plage (accessible by TER) or the Palmilud aquatic centre in Périgny allows you to cool off.
Day 3: LANDING IN THE SOUTH VENDÉE AND THE MARAIS POITEVIN!
Your city pass offers you activities outside the La Rochelle area, with little hidden gems further inland in the South Vendée and the Marais Poitevin. Be sure to make the most of it!
In the heart of the Marais Poitevin regional nature park, take a trip in a small boat, in Coulon near Niort, through the wet marshland, nicknamed " The Green Venice ". The boatmen from the Cardinaud jetty, using their 'pigouille' (a pole used to slide the flat-bottomed boat), will take you through this maze of canals bordered by ash and poplar trees. Or head for the Bazoin jetty, located in the Marais Poitevin in Charente, where you can take a trip in a boat, kayak, or paddle to discover the local fauna and flora.
Continue your day of " quiet and fresh air " by going to the forest of Mervent-Vouvant in the Vendée. Here you will find the last remnant of the Lusignan castle: the Tour Mélusine de Vouvant. Legend has it that it was built by the fairy Melusine; what is certain is that from the top of its 36 metres, it offers a sublime panoramic view of the forest, the river and the medieval streets of Vouvant.
Other discoveries in the South Vendée :
- The House of the Master of the Dykes, in Chaillé-les-Marais: located in the dry marsh, discover the ecomuseum on life in the marsh. This original museum is housed in the former dyke master's home.
- The House of the Mill, Rives-d'Autise: bucolic and authentic, through a fun and educational scenographic tour, retrace the miller's life and his 1728 water mill.
- The House of the Marais Poitevin, in Coulon: Discover the mysteries of the Marais Poitevin, from its creation to the reasons for its existence through a large screen projection.
- Georges Clemenceau's house and gardens, in Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard, come and discover what was G. Clemenceau's holiday home in the 1920s. A place full of memories, you can find traces of his travels or a collection of Asian arts... without forgetting the flower garden facing the ocean.
- (On discount) the Castle of Terre Neuve, Fontenay-Le-Comte: explore this historic monument, a famous Renaissance castle, for its alchemical chimney and its philosopher's stone. Stroll through the sumptuous rooms as Nicolas Rapin, companion of King Henry IV, or Georges Simenon and many others once did.
Day 4: STROLLING IN LA ROCHELLE
The museums of La Rochelle are full of surprises to discover: their architecture, gardens and especially their collections. Walk in the footsteps of naturalist explorers in the Museum of Natural History. Through the superb zoology gallery, the prehistory and protohistory rooms, the ethnology rooms and then the plant garden with its scents from the 5 continents, it is a local look at the world. Go back in history and discover life in La Rochelle during the Second World War with the Bunker Museum. This museum takes you inside the incredible 300m² blockhouse in the centre of town. At the end of the day, you can relax in the Lucien Maylin swimming pool with its Olympic-size pool, its slide and its saunas.
Tip: An original idea for your day trip to La Rochelle, change your way of moving:
Rent a scooter at Mobilboard La Rochelle (discount with the pass). They also offer original segway tours of the city.
Bike rental: Cycling Tour (discount with pass) offers a wide range of bikes (city bikes, mountain bikes, family bikes, electric bikes, etc.). A good idea to take advantage of the many cycle paths of the destination.
Day 5: HEADING SOUTH: ROCHEFORT, FOURAS AND THE ISLE OF AIX
With your valiant sidekick in your pocket, La Rochelle Ocean Pass; discover new activities south of La Rochelle for the day - or even two days. Cross the Charente River with the Rochefort Transporter Bridge. This amazing 176m long structure, listed as a historical monument, has a fixed part (suspension bridge) and a mobile part (mechanical lift) with a gondola that transports you to the other bank.
Come and learn more about the manufacture of ropes for the Royal Navy at the Royal Ropery, an emblematic building of the Rochefort Maritime Arsenal. Enter the workshops, and discover the daily gestures of the workers, the transformation of the material, the evolution of the techniques, and the activity of a great manufacture!
On the Isle of Aix, the city pass gives you access to Fort Liédot ( booking required). Classified as a historical monument, this fortification hidden in the heart of the forest was built by Napoleon I and lasted 24 years.
Other things to do in the south of La Rochelle with the city pass:
The Hèbre Museum, for an Art and History break, reveals and explains the city of Rochefort through the eyes of Rochefort explorers but also through a gallery of paintings of great diversity.
The Fort Vauban, in Fouras, a former medieval keep, now a fort, offers a breathtaking view of the Charente estuary and its islands: Aix, Madame, Oléron and Ré.
Head for Royan, the Parc de l'Estuaire in Saint-Georges de Didonne. A site of Échappées Nature, invites you to discover its natural environment, in an exceptional setting, in the heart of the coastal forest of Suzac.
Day 6: HERITAGE OF BROUAGE AND MARENNES OLERON
Explore one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France", a village of stones and water, with a guided tour of the citadel of Brouage ( booking required). This fortress of Charente Maritime, renowned for its impregnability, which rises in the middle of 16,000 hectares of marshland, will surprise you with its beauty and its history (it was the European capital of salt).
Go to the landing of Fort Louvois for an unusual and surprising visit. At the bottom of the bridge on the island of Oleron, Fort Boyard's little brother is a maritime fortification built on a rock accessible on foot at low tide or by boat.
Go to Dolus d'Oléron, to the Marais aux Oiseaux for an educational outing and to raise awareness about saving wildlife. Keep your eyes open so you don't miss anything!
And benefit from a big discount with the city pass: 1 place bought 1 place offered to visit the unmissable Oyster City (Cité de l'Huître). Located in Marennes in the heart of the largest oyster maturing marsh in Europe, the cabins of the city offer you the opportunity to explore, taste and above all have fun in order to dive into the world of the oyster.
Day 7: MORE THAN A VISITOR, AN EXPERT OF LA ROCHELLE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
North of La Rochelle, in the village of Esnandes, nestled between the Marais Poitevin and the Bay of Aiguillon, discover a small treasure of the architectural heritage of the Charente-Maritime: the fortified church of Esnandes. With your city pass, the House of the Bay of the Marais Poitevin offers you a choice of a visit to the church with its ramparts, listed as a historical monument, OR the Mussel Museum, which traces the history of mussel farming from yesterday to today.
A favourite: rent a bike from Cycling Tour to ride up the Rochelaise coast to Esnandes. You will pass in front of the bridge of the Isle of Ré, through the cliffs of the Breton inlet, the coloured "carrelets" of the coast, the various small restaurants with a view of the sea or the oyster farmers of Nieul sur Mer proposing seafood platters... A bike ride to meet the inhabitants and nature.
There is still time to enjoy other activities at a discount with the city pass:
the inevitable Aquarium of La Rochelle.
The Castle of La Roche Courbon, Saint Porchaire: a former fortress from the end of the Hundred Years' War, this private estate is now open to the public. Enjoy the lifestyle of the castle, its garden and its forest for a fun and educational visit.
The Lighthouse, on the island of Ré: to discover one of the highest lighthouses in France.
We also offer you the opportunity to discover the city of Saintes and the Saintonge region through two very distinct visits to choose from: one cruise and one tour:
- The "Balade des gabariers" or the "Balade du fleuve", for a bucolic stroll along the water! Enjoy an escapade full of history and poetry during a commented river trip in a traditional gabarre.
- A guided tour of Saintes to discover the historic centre. During a walk in the lower town or in a glance from the panoramic belvedere, discover the history and hidden treasures of the town accompanied by a guide.
Or let the electric train of Saintes take you along the riverside to the church of Saint-Eutrope, the amphitheatre, the historic centre and the Abbaye aux Dames. You can also enjoy a panoramic view from the Saint-Louis Belvedere!
Not forgetting the stone paths at Crazannes where you can discover the origin of Crazannes limestone, the methods of extraction, transport and the many uses of this natural material... A place where nature takes over from human activities, this amazing place with surprising landscapes will seduce you.
Your week's holiday is coming to an end; you have become a connoisseur of La Rochelle and its surroundings. Its inhabitants, its history, the surrounding areas, their heritage and their unusual and unforgettable visits no longer hold any secrets for you! The Rochelle Ocean Pass 7 days has allowed you to discover the destination in depth!