Island Hopping & Beaches
Island Hopping & Beaches information
Several islands are scattered around La Rochelle, including the nearby Île de Ré, as well as a trio further south.
Accessible only by boat, the tiny crescent-shaped Île d'Aix (pronounced 'eel dex'), 16km due south of La Rochelle, has some blissful beaches. Between the Île d'Aix and the larger Île d'Oléron (linked to the mainland by a free bridge) is the fortress-island Fort Boyard , built during the first half of the 19th century.
Inter-Îles has sailings from Easter to early November to Fort Boyard (adult/child €18.50/11.50), Île d'Aix (€27/17.50) and Île d'Oléron (€27/17.50), plus sailings to Île de Ré (€18.50/11.50) from Easter to September.
La Rochelle's tourist office also has information about reaching the islands by public and private transport.
If all you want is a quick swim and a blast of sunshine then head to Plage de la Concurrence on the edge of the old town. It's popular with locals but note that the water can be very polluted. For more pleasing beaches head to Île de Ré .