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Elisabeth and Alain Perrin are the kindest hosts with their immaculate and very well-equipped apartment. Situated on the second floor (with a lift) it has a sunny aspect and views across to the Old Port at the heart of La Rochelle. The patio balcony, leading off the open plan living/dining/kitchen was warm enough for lunch on Christmas Day! But when the weather got colder the apartment was delightfully warm.
The location is very quiet at this time of year and there is extensive parking nearby as well as a covered garage, but you really do not need a car for a short break here. The airport is close to town and there is a bus link or a reasonable taxi ride. Thereafter you can relax in the pedestrianised heart of the city, which is a short walk across a couple of bridges or an even shorter ride in the electric ferry, which runs only a 100 metres away from the apartment to the other side of the harbour.
Walk in the other direction and you can visit the amazing Aquarium and the Maritime Museum as well as the huge yacht basin. No more than ten minutes walk will bring you to the magnificent railway station where you can not only catch the TGV across France, but also a bus to the airport or one to the charming Ile de Ré.
La Rochelle is a delightful place to wander around, with its waterfronts, ramparts, towers and arcaded shopping streets. On a practical level there are several Carréfour City supermarkets within ten minutes' walk of the apartment. As to the food, what can one say? Whether in the simple cafés and bars or the smarter (but not very expensive) restaurants the quality is generally excellent. However, you should not miss the opportunity of visiting the superb covered market for vegetables, meat and above all fish and seafood and take it back to the apartment to prepare yourself.
One word of warning, the airport is very small and the duty free may not be open out of season. It is best to buy your regional specialities to take home in town.
La Rochelle is a delightful city ecological city (it has pioneered public bicycles, which work well on its flat terrain). In high season it is a mecca for sailors from around the world, but its café society atmosphere continues in the winter and it would be hard to find a better base from which to sample it than this apartment.
We loved this property. Everything carefully thought-out and owners really helpful. As we are elderly, we greatly appreciated having a lift to the 2nd floor and and a most comfortable bed.
Location could hardly be better. A quick walk round the corner every morning to the bakery and many good restaurants close at hand.
Main street is noisy but this problem solved by keeping the windows closed at night and using the fans.
David and Judith Joy