Previously one of the most important ports for the East-West trade routes, La Rochelle offers a ton of excitement for your sailing holiday. With an abundance of sandy beach coves, charming towns, and interesting historical sites there is no shortage of things to delight and entertain you. Visit the small island of Île de Ré with its UNESCO appointed main port. Or explore Fort Boyard, from the Napoleon era, which is also home to a replica General Lafayette’s frigate, Hermoine. If you go to Île d’Oléron, you can experience it’s renowned vineyards and lush pine forests.
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Located in the Southwest of France, La Rochelle is a very tiny coastal town. While it does have its own small airport, La Rochelle-Ile de Ré airport, it only services about 15 European locations. For most travellers, the best way to get to La Rochelle is by flying into one of the two Paris airports: Roissy Charles de Gaulle or Orly. From there you can get a connecting flight to La Rochelle or take the train.
The Train á Grande Vitesse (TGV) and the Ligne Grande Vitesse (LGV) offer high speed options that travel from Paris to La Rochelle daily. It takes between 2.5-3 hours to get there. The train will depart from the Paris-Montparnasse station, which you can access from the airports using the suburban train and the metro, or you can take the AirFrance shuttle buses that will take you right to the station and run every 30 minutes.
Time from La Rochelle-Ile de Ré Airport to Base - 20 mins by car
If you would like Yacht4Less to arrange airport transfers for you, just ask your charter consultant for more information!
The best time for a yacht charter in La Rochelle is the summer months between May and October. During this time you will get beautiful hot sunny days, and nice strong winds. Average temperatures range from 77ºF and 86ºF (25°C-30°C) and you’ll find water temperatures above 20°C between July and September!
Spring and fall temperatures will be mild, but chillier at around 68ºF/20ºC. Winter temperatures are also not too harsh but it will be a bit rainier than summertime.
For sailing conditions you will find northerly prevailing winds generally. But between May and September you will also find a slight north easterly.
For provisioning during your boat hire in La Rochelle, Yacht4Less recommends the Carrefour supermarket on Rue Nicolas Gargot, in Aytré, which is just a mere 6 minutes from base by car. Or for a more quaint experience visit the central market in the main square of the town (10 minutes drive). If you would like help with provisioning, Yacht4Less is happy to arrange to have your groceries and supplies delivered right to your boat so you can be fully stocked before you leave.
No sailing license is needed in France but experience is recommended, or you could opt for a skippered charter instead for a more relaxed and stress-fre sailing holiday.
La Rochelle offers many mooring and anchorage options as it is such a sailing hub. Some popular spots for overnight anchorages include Île d’Aix, Boyardville, and Saint-Denis d’Oléron.
Île d’Aix is a 3km long natural site. There are about 24 public moorings, but you can also free swing if needed.
Boyardville has about 20-25 visitor berths available in their marina. However there is a max boat length of 14m, with a max draught of 2.2m. If your boat exceeds these guidelines, you will need to request a spot at least 3 days before.
Lastly, Saint-Denis d’Oléron on the north of the island has about 70 visitor berths.
You will find that most anchorages are calm and well protected. The water is rougher outside the protection of the islands. Tidal currents do not exceed 2 knots.
⚓ Day 1. La Rochelle – Saint-Martin-de-Ré
⚓ Day 2. Saint-Martin-de-Ré – Ile d’Yeu
⚓ Day 3. Ile d’Yeu
⚓ Day 4. Ile d’Yeu
⚓ Day 5. Ile d’Yeu – Ars-en-Ré
⚓ Day 6. Ars-en-Ré – Island of Oléron
⚓ Day 7. Oléron – Île d’Aix - La Rochelle
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