During your stay in La Rochelle, we obviously recommend exploring the mythical Fort Boyard.
Known the world over thanks to the TV show that rocked our childhood, it stands majestically in the middle of the ocean, about 1 hour from La Rochelle.
In this article, we’ll give you all the options and advice (times, prices, dates…) you need to get as close as possible to the famous fort during your stay in La Rochelle.
Where is Fort Boyard?
Fort Boyard is located on the west coast of France, in the Atlantic Ocean. It is located between Ile d’Oléron andIle d’Aix, in the Pertuis d’Antioche, a strait separating Ile d’Oléron from the mainland.
This fort is part of the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Its strategic position between these two islands was originally intended to protect the coast from naval invasion, before becoming the famous site we know today.
During your stay in La Rochelle, exploring the fort by boat is a must.
Fort Boyard is not visible from La Rochelle, only from the east coast of the island of Oléron and from Fourras, south of La Rochelle.
A little history
Fort Boyard is a unique historical monument. Built in the 19th century to protect Rochefort’s arsenal, it was put to various uses before becoming the setting for the famous TV game show.
Its horseshoe-shaped structure was a technical feat of the time. The fort is 68 meters long and 31 meters wide, with walls up to 20 meters high.
Popularized by the television show Fort Boyard, which lulled our childhood, it now attracts many curious onlookers. Although it’s not possible to visit the inside of the fort, seeing it up close is an experience in itself.
Cruise around Fort Boyard from La Rochelle
How do I visit the fort?
You can’t visit the inside of the fort, unless you’ve been selected to take part in the Fort Boyard TV game show, in which case you’re welcome to send us a little dedication from Père Fouras!
Your only option is to take a cruise around Fort Boyard and admire the region’s magnificent coastal scenery. During your tour, your guide will share anecdotes about the fort’s history, from its construction to its role in popular culture. Even if we feel we know it by heart, we learn new anecdotes with every cruise.
Boats depart from La Rochelle, south of the old port or from the Minimes port.
Rates to visit Fort Boyard
From La Rochelle, expect to pay around €40 for a 4-hour cruise aboard a catamaran. The cruise departs from the south of the port of La Rochelle, opposite the La Rochelle media library on Place François Mitterrand. We recommend this more intimate cruise than the Inter-island boats.
Private boat rental
Renting a private boat is the ideal way to explore the La Rochelle area at your own pace, and to get within reasonable distance of Fort Boyard.
Don’t panic if you are new to sailing, you can rent a boat with or without a license and with or without a skipper. In short, you’re bound to find a formula to suit your needs.
To rent your boat, we recommend that you use the Samboat platform. It’s very simple, they have the most complete offer of boat rental and their website is very easy to use!
You enter your location, then your dates, then you can filter by boat type (motorboats, houseboats, small boats…), with or without a license, with or without a skipper: in short, you’re spoilt for choice.
Our tips for your visit
- Opt for a late-morning excursion to escape the crowds, or a late-day excursion to take advantage of the ideal light for your photos.
- Don’t forget your windbreaker, because it’s always cooler at sea. If you want to take some cool photos, now’s the time to get out your sailors!
- Avoid excursions in bad weather for a more pleasant experience. On the coast, the weather changes according to the tides, so don’t panic if it’s overcast in the morning, the sun may return during the day.
Feel free to drop us a note below to let us know if you’re planning this getaway, ask any questions you may have or share on social networks(our Instagram) we’ll get back to you with great pleasure!