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Escorted Rail Tours to La Rochelle

A charming French port with rich maritime history

One of the most historically important seaports on the European Atlantic coast, La Rochelle has become one of France's best-kept secrets. Despite its architectural heritage, its diversity of museums, its warm and sunny weather and its unique atmosphere, La Rochelle is a hugely under-rated resort that largely escapes the tourist hordes. The city became a major power thanks to French maritime trade with the New World. Built on a rocky ledge on the marshy Atlantic coastline, at its peak La Rochelle was easily the busiest and most important French port. Even today, La Rochelle is principally a port city, rather than a tourist town, with a fishing port, a commercial port, a sailing marina and a ferry port.

The older parts of La Rochelle are a real pleasure to explore on foot, either by strolling through the Old Harbour, which is lined with seafood restaurants, or by wandering into the historical centre to see the unique architecture, including medieval buildings, Renaissance houses and 18th century residences. Throughout the older parts of La Rochelle you can see evidence of the wealth that trade with the New World brought to the city - it is hard to miss the noble town mansions which belonged to ship owners.

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Sorry, there are no holidays in this category, however we have found 61 holidays in France
Showing 1 to 10 of 37 holidays
A Portrait of the Impressionist's Seine

Cruising the scenic Seine, explore the world of the Impressionist artists, from Monet's famous garden at Giverny to the city galleries of Paris and Rouen. Paired with informative on board talks and shore excursions along both the Route des Abbayes and the Alabaster Coast, this is a tour that delivers the very best of Northern France.

Departs from May 2017 to August 2017.
SPECIAL OFFERView Details
7 days from £1,395per personView tour details
Classic Western Mediterranean Cruise

Step on board the Celebrity Silhouette, for a superb ocean cruise experience through the warm waters of the Western Mediterranean. Boarding at Barcelona, we travel across the sea, stopping at charming ports of call - from Cannes and the Côte d'Azur, to Tuscany and Rome, our tour takes us to the highlights of this beautiful European region.

Departs in September 2017.
12 days from £2,195per personView tour details
Premium Corsica & Côte d'Azur

Experience some of the most glorious destinations in the whole of the Mediterranean such as the idyllic, golden island of Corsica, with its picturesque beaches, and the quintessential holiday spots of the Italian and French Rivieras. Taste one of Italy's most famous dishes and discover the glamour of Monaco and Cannes, all from the comfort of your unique five-masted tall ship, the Royal Clipper.

Departs in August 2017.
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11 days from £3,095per personView tour details
Luxembourg, Trier & Metz Christmas Markets

On this Christmas Market holiday, we stay in Luxembourg whilst enjoying the best of the festive season with visits to the Christmas Markets of medieval Trier and nearby Metz.

Departs from November 2016 to December 2016.
Late departures available
5 days from £475per personView tour details
Carcassonne & the Canal du Midi

From timeless vineyards and sundrenched, rugged hills to imposing Cathar castles and historic abbeys, join us on a remarkable tour showcasing the very best of Languedoc. We explore the iconic walled Cité of Carcassonne, enjoy an excursion to the 'Ville Rose' city of Toulouse and immerse ourselves in local market life.

Departs from May 2017 to October 2017.
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7 days from £1,595per personView tour details
Premium Rhine Cruise

Join us on the wonderful MS Amadeus Silver II as we cruise our way through Germany along the romantic River Rhine. From Amsterdam in Holland, we explore charming medieval wine towns, admire the breathtaking scenery of the Rhine Gorge and then cross into France, exploring charming Strasbourg before ending in the Swiss city of Basel.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
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8 days from £1,890per personView tour details
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to step back in time to a world of romance, indulgence and adventure. Travel in comfort and style as this wonderful tour takes in seductive Paris, vibrant Milan and Venice - the most beguiling of Europe's cities, offering the best in culture, art and architecture.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
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9 days from £4,395per personView tour details
Nice & the Côte d'Azur

The wonderful hilltop towns of fragrant Provence combine with chic resorts and the glamorous principality of Monaco on this exciting rail tour of Nice and the Côte d'Azur. Join us as we discover the French Riviera, which has long been a favoured destination of the rich and famous.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
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7 days from £1,395per personView tour details
Avignon, the Rhône & Provence

Discover Avignon, the Rhône and Provence. Inspiration for artists including Vincent Van Gogh, this region of France oozes history, charm and atmosphere. Staying in the delightful city of Avignon, we explore Roman Provence and enjoy a lunch cruise along the Rhône.

Departs from April 2017 to October 2017.
SPECIAL OFFERView Details
7 days from £1,095per personView tour details
Biarritz & the Atlantic Pyrenees

Superb sandy beaches, a mild climate and a delightful ocean promenade have drawn visitors to Biarritz for years. Here we see the region's lovely coastal resorts, the mighty Pyrenees and the unique Basque heritage.

Departs from May 2017 to September 2017.
SPECIAL OFFERView Details
7 days from £1,345per personView tour details
Showing 1 to 10 of 37 holidays

More about La Rochelle

Medieval town
Among La Rochelle's top attractions is the Renaissance Town Hall, which is one of the true symbols of the city's history and is protected by a huge Gothic wall. Another of the most recognisable landmarks are the three defensive towers that guard the Old Harbour. The medieval towers were built during the turbulent period when the French and English were fighting for control of La Rochelle and the region. It is possible to climb the towers - there are quite a few steps but it is well-worth the exertion.

Fort Boyard
One of the most popular activities for visitors to La Rochelle is a boat trip around the small islands just off shore, where you will see the famous Fort Boyard. You could also visit La Rochelle's aquarium, which is one of the largest in Europe, with over 10,000 sea creatures from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Tropics.

Museums
At the New World Museum you can see art and history exhibits from the French colonies in the New World, while the Maritime Museum offers an interesting insight into the fishing and shipping industries.

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