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Anyone been to La Rochelle and/or Rochefort?

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Apr 29th, 2013, 03:53 AM
  #1
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Anyone been to La Rochelle and/or Rochefort?

We think of visiting there when going down from Loire to Dordogne. Worth a visit?
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Apr 29th, 2013, 04:00 AM
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La Rochelle was OK but wouldn't go out of my way.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 04:20 AM
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La Rochelle is one of the most charming seaside cities in France.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 04:27 AM
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Kerouac, what's charming about it?
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Apr 29th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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We loved La Rochelle when we visited several years ago. It's home to a historic port and beach, close to vineyards, oyster yards, and a half hour drive from Ile de Re, an island where many French families vacation in the summer.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 07:00 AM
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We spent 2 nights in La Rochelle about 5 years ago & loved it. We're renting a gite on the Ile de Re for 2 weeks next year.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 29th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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La Rochelle is probably on our top-5 list of French cities. The old port, the friendly people, the history and archetecture. AND our favorite gourmet restaurant, Coutanceau, right on the beach...now THAT'S living!!!
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Apr 29th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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We did for a couple of days--the drive is too long for a one day visit. On the way to and from, there are interesting Romanesque churches to visit, and stops in the Charente to try cognacs or pineau des Charentes. I recommend it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...45839973/show/
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Apr 29th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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I like La Rochelle a lot, and think it's well worth seeing. But I dont understand your itinerary getting from the Loire to the Dordogne - how do you end up in La Rochelle?
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Apr 29th, 2013, 09:14 AM
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I love La Rochelle. Should you go dine at Les Flots
and drive across a magnificent bridge to Ile de Re.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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La Rochelle is absolutely lovely, as is Ile de Ré, but in no way is it a day trip from the Dordogne. It deserves a full 3-4 days minimum, plus some time to enjoy the Cognac area on the way there. Plus Saintes.

And I don't understand your itinerary, either. La Rochelle is hardly on the way from the Loire to the Dordogne.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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I think La Rochelle is do-able if you visit & stay in the western Loire near Angers - but not from the Blois area in the eastern Loire.

Angers to La Rochelle - 2 1/2 hrs
La Rochelle to Sarlat - 4 hrs

Blois to Sarlat - 5 hrs

So if you stay in the area around Angers for your Loire portion of your trip - it only costs you 1 1/2 hrs added driving time to get to Sarlat (over 2 days) versus staying near Blois and driving from there to Sarlat in 1 day.

Day 1
9:00-11:30 drive to La Rochelle from Angers
11:30 - visit La Rochelle. Have lunch & dinner there, stay overnight

Day 2
Visit more of La Rochelle in the AM
1:00-5:00 drive to Sarlat

That's 1 1/8 days in La Rochelle - which is about the amount of time we spent there. We visited just about everything - including the animation museum. We did not visit the Ile de Re. We got to La Rochelle by train from Paris and then took the train to Nantes.

Stu Dudley
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Apr 29th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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It looks like my explanation for the delights of La Rochelle might be superfluous.

It is a beautiful historic city with a stunning old port, excellent seafood restaurants, a cultural life second to none, and it was even the inventor in France of the free municipal bike system. They were a little optimistic, though, and all of the bikes were quickly stolen.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 03:00 AM
  #14
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Thanks everyone.
The plan is to visit La Rochelle after Loire and before Dordogne. I think, like Stu said, it's do-able.
No comments on Rochefort because it's not worth a visit?
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Apr 30th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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It is more of a naval city.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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I don't think you would have time for both La Rochelle and Rochefort. You don't need to add any more stuff to your already full plate.

I don't recall if you're visiting Paris at the first or last part of your trip - but it looks something like this:

- land at CDG, rent a car, and drive to the Loire. Nights 1-4 in the Loire - 3 1/4 days. Jet lag recovery??

- drive to La Rochelle. Spend night 5 there. 1 1/8 days

- Drive to Sarlat & spend nights 6-11 there. 5 days

- train to Paris & spend nights 12-16 there. 4 1/2 days

I wouldn't want to subtract any days from any of the places on this itinerary. We plan to visit Rochefort in late August/early Sept next year when we'll be in La RochelleIld de Re for 2 weeks - so all I've done on Rochefort is research. But I think there are just as many interesting cities around the Dordogne (Perigueux, Figeac, Sarlat, Cahors) as Rochefort. You will have to drive through Saintes - which seems more interesting to me. Perhaps if you leave La Rochelle early on day 6, stop for a 1 1/2 hr visit to Saintes. I've never seen Rochefort's name come up on Fodors, but I have seen Saintes mentioned a few times.

Stu Dudley
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May 2nd, 2013, 04:37 AM
  #17
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Thanks Stu. You got it right. I think we just might skip the Atlantic coast in order to keep it sane. Will post our itinerary tomorrow for final inputs.
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May 2nd, 2013, 04:38 AM
  #18
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By the way, you Dordogne document is extremely helpful.
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May 2nd, 2013, 04:39 AM
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