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La Rochelle Property Listings and Info

For buying and selling property in La Rochelle

The liveliest port in France

La Rochelle is situated on Poitou-Charentes' Atlantic coast and benefits from a warm gulf breeze. The town has a historic centre, bustling port and active cultural scene. It has a population of 120,000, many of whom are students from the local University. La Rochelle has a very young and chic atmosphere. In July and August many young people and families choose to holiday here.

The rise to success

La Rochelle is a very contented and peaceful town, somewhat in contrast to its volatile past. The town evolved from a small fishing village into a wealthy and thriving port thanks largely to the export of salt and wine. The local merchants claimed to be among the first Frenchmen to do business with Africa and America.

The militants

La Rochelle started to throw its affluent way of life into jeopardy, however, when its traditionally protestant community showed a more aggressive attitude to Catholicism and the monarchy. The final straw came in 1568 when all Catholic churches in the town were destroyed. A six month siege ensued that left the townspeople so desperate that at one point there were reports of them eating leather to stay alive.

A diverse town

There are four distinct neighbourhoods in the town. The 17th to 18th Century city centre has been well protected from both development and traffic by an alert city council intent on preserving its historic atmosphere. The delightful Minimes marina is also a place where pedestrians can stroll at ease. The University is found here, as well as Technoforum, a research centre for new technologies. Further away you will find the industrial and residential suburbs.

Escaping the mainland

The last neighbourhood is Ile de Re, an unspoilt island linked to the mainland by an impressive 2.9 kilometre bridge. In the north you will find a large number of wildlife reserves, salt marshes and oyster farms. The East is mostly residential. The sandy beaches stretch for miles, encircling the island.

On guard

At the harbour there are two impressive 14th Century towers offering equally impressive views over the town and out to sea. In order to protect La Rochelle during times of war the townspeople hung a giant metal chain in between the two buildings, which stopped boats getting into the harbour at night. One more tower not to miss is the Tour de la Lanterne. Inside you'll find English graffiti carved into the walls. The perpetrators were not ignorant youths but rather English soldiers who were imprisoned here some 200 years ago.

How to get there

There are regular flights into La Rochelle from Ryanair. Air France, Flybe, GB Airways and British Airways all fly into Nantes further to the north. The TGV train service will take you to La Rochelle from the Channel Tunnel via Paris. It is possible to get to the town by boat also, but not directly from the UK.

La Rochelle property prices

Finding somewhere to stay in La Rochelle is very costly during the summer months. With this in mind the town makes a good investment for anyone looking to rent out their property. The resale price is also likely to be good, as the town will remain attractive for many years to come. British tourists are visiting La Rochelle, although it seems to be the Parisians who are most likely to buy a second home here. Ile de Re has the most expensive properties although the rental market is also strong. In summer around 500,000 visitors go there more than willing to spend around 900 euros a week. This is not a trend that continues year round, however.

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La Rochelle AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS La Rochelle?

On the coastline of the Charente-Maritime department, in Poitou-Charente.

La Rochelle Property Map


Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map


Charente-Maritime Guide

  Charente-Maritime Map

Population: 120,000

Access: Has its own airport and TGV station.

Economy: This cosmopolitan city benefits substantially from the port, the presence of the university and tourism.

Interesting fact: The locals were among the first to trade with the New World.


Sextant France
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