Must see attractions in Charente-Maritime

  • Top Choice

    Aquarium La Rochelle

    La Rochelle's state-of-the-art, family-friendly aquarium is home to 12,000 marine animals and 600 different species. Visits begin by descending in a…

  • T

    Top Choice

    Tour de la Lanterne

    Easily mistaken for an ornate church spire, the conical 15th-century Tour de la Lanterne is La Rochelle's beauty queen. It was so named because of its…

  • M

    Top Choice

    Musée Maritime

    In a series of boldly coloured, red, blue and yellow canopied hangars at the Bassin à Flot, the Maritime Museum evokes the history of La Rochelle port,…

  • P

    Top Choice

    Phare des Baleines

    For an overview of the island, follow the crowds to Phare des Baleines, the island's scarlet-tipped, 59m-tall lighthouse on its northwestern tip. Scale…

  • C

    Clocher Observatoire

    A hike up the 117 steps inside the bell stone of fortified Église St-Martin rewards with a mighty fine panorama of St-Martin-de-Ré and the coast. The well…

  • R

    Réserve Naturelle Marais d'Yves

    An easy 15km drive south of La Rochelle, this nature reserve runs a free nature centre where you can peer through telescopes to watch some of the 192…

  • T

    Tour St-Nicolas

    The only tower to be decked out like a house, this 37m-high pentagonal stone tower has leaned slightly to one side ever since building was complete in…

  • T

    Tour de la Chaîne

    To protect the harbour at night in times of war, an enormous chain was raised between the two 14th-century stone towers at the harbour entrance to La…

  • M

    Musée du Nouveau Monde

    La Rochelle's role as a departure point for North America is interpreted at this museum, housed in an elegant courtyard-clad mansion built in 1750.

  • M

    Musée des Beaux-Arts

    La Rochelle's Museum of Fine Arts, housed inside a stunning neoclassical building, hosts an impressive collection of 15th- to 20th-century art.

  • M

    Musée Ernest Cognacq

    This small museum, opposite the tourist office at the entrance to St-Martin de Ré, explores island history through art, ceramics and maritime curiosities…

  • T

    Tour de la Grosse Horloge

    The gateway to the old city, Tour de la Grosse Horloge is a steadfast Gothic-style clock tower with a 12th-century base and 18th-century top.