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La Rochelle & France's Southwest Coast


Discover a myriad of fascinating maritime curiosities

7 daysSold out

2019 Tour code: ROS19

About the tour

Fresh seafood, sweet cognac and a seagull train, France is nothing if not surprising. Join us on our brand new tour to La Rochelle and explore a corner of the country that often gets overlooked to discover a myriad of fascinating maritime curiosities.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Discovering La Rochelle

Meet your group and Tour Manager at St Pancras International in preparation for our journey aboard the Eurostar in Standard Premier Class. On arrival in Paris we catch the onwards service south to La Rochelle. Then it's just a short walk to our hotel, Masqhotel La Rochelle. Beginning Day 2 with a guided coach tour of the city, we see sights such as Les Minimes Marina before travelling along the seafront. Afterwards we continue on foot, exploring the city's medieval centre.

  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
La Rochelle
Day 3 - Rochefort and Cognac

This morning we are driven by coach to nearby Rochefort, a town with strong maritime links and impressive riverside façades. Here we embark on a guided walking tour taking in attractions like the Maritime Arsenal, a former naval base, the Hermoine Frigate, a replica of the ship that transported General Lafayette to the US in1780, the Royal Cordage and the Gardens of Returns which helps us understand just how important sea faring was here during the 18th and 19th centuries. We make a stop for lunch before making our way into Cognac country where we visit Maison Boinaud to learn about how this distinctive apple brandy is made, before sampling its flavours for ourselves.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Corderie Royale In Rochefort
Days 4-5 - Île de Ré

We journey to the Île de Ré this afternoon, a unique island known for its salt marshes, idyllic sand dune-littered beaches and Phare des Baleines lighthouse. Whilst on the island we visit Chateliers Abbey, built by Cistercian monks in 1156 and which is remarkably well-preserved considering its age, and St-Martinde- Ré, a town with 17th century fortifications and a bustling harbour. Enjoy some time at leisure and watch the local fishing boats or spend an hour or two admiring the exhibits at the Musée Ernest Cognacq. Day 5 is free for you to explore La Rochelle, perhaps take a boat trip out to the world-famous Fort Boyard.

  • Day 4 - Breakfast
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Saint Martin de Re
Day 6 - Les Train des Mouettes

Travelling firstly to Saujon, we board the heritage Les Train des Mouettes, the train of seagulls and oldest steam locomotive in France, for a fantastic steamhauled journey through the French countryside. The line originally opened in 1876 but closed at the start of WWII, reopening in the 1980s for tourists. It gained its unusual name from the livery of the original carriages which were bright yellow, just like a seagull's beak. After some time to look around Saujon following the return journey, we return to La Rochelle for a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Train des Mouettes
Day 7 - Return to London

We take the train back to Paris, joining the Eurostar service to London on arrival you tour concludes and you are free to make your way home.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.


Masqhotel La Rochelle

Masqhotel La Rochelle, La Rochelle

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Train des Mouettes
La Rochelle & France's Southwest Coast

Helping you plan your tour...


Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis