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La Rochelle: our top 10 most beautiful beaches

La Rochelle

The good news is that the city of La Rochelle is located on the Atlantic coast, so during your stay you can take advantage of the opportunity to bask on one of these beautiful sandy beaches! This is theactivity to do in La Rochelle.

Wondering which is the most beautiful beach in La Rochelle? In this article, we invite you to discover the 10 most beautiful beaches in and around La Rochelle.

Our top 10 on our map

A few explanations about the type of beaches you will find in and around La Rochelle:

  • 3 beautiful sandy beaches are located in the immediate vicinity of the town center. The only drawback is that they are very busy in summer.
  • The beaches south of La Rochelle are located in the Pertuis d’Antioche, wedged between the Ile de Ré and the Ile d’Oléron, so it’s an area with a lot of mud. Swimming is therefore recommended at high tide.
  • Île de Ré and Île d’Oléron are good options if you’re looking for beautiful, unspoilt beaches for swimming, both at high and low tide.

What is the water temperature in La Rochelle?

Water temperatures in La Rochelle vary with the seasons. In summer, it can reach a pleasant average temperature of 20 degrees, offering ideal conditions for swimming. This year, it was 21 in September! After that, the temperature drops to around ten degrees in winter, so we don’t enjoy it as much.

1. Plage des Minimes: a must for families

This is the nicest beach for a swim in La Rochelle. Located close to the Minimes marina, it stretches along a beautiful promenade, offering a breathtaking view of the ocean.

This pretty sandy beach is ideal for families. Its fine sand and shallow waters make it a safe place to swim.

Off the coast, you’ll see the lighthouse at the end of the world. It’s a replica – the original is in Patagonia, at the southernmost tip of Argentina (at the true end of the world ;)!

It’s also an ideal spot for late-night sundowners. Supermarkets are available nearby and bars are located on the seafront.

Advantages :

  • A 30-minute walk from the Old Port and accessible by public transport or bicycle
  • Large beach, even if very popular in summer
  • Summer water sports activities

2. Plage de la Concurrence: right in the town center

From the center of La Rochelle, we recommend you walk along the Parc Charruyer to the beach (approx. 1km). This small downtown beach is perfect for a seaside stroll or a short swim after a day’s sightseeing.

Advantages :

  • Close to downtown
  • Pleasantly landscaped walk
  • There are several restaurants and cafés in the area, including the Michelin-starred Christopher Coutanceau.
  • View of Fort Saint-Nicolas and the entrance to the Old Port
La Rochelle

3. Chef de Baie beach: ideal for a seaside stroll

Plage du Chef de Baie is a small, sandy beach a little way from the center of La Rochelle (about 5km from the town center). It’s close to the port area, but still offers a pleasant, tree-lined environment. A large, pleasant lawn overlooks the beach. A bar is available in high season.

Advantages :

  • It is less popular than the previous 2.
  • Easily accessible by bike.
  • Swimming is also possible at high tide, as a large green area overlooking the beach is accessible at high tide, with picnic areas.

4. Châtelaillon beaches: a pretty seaside resort

The seaside resort of Châtelaillon-Plage, around 15 kilometers south of La Rochelle, is renowned for its characterful seaside villas.

Châtelaillon beach stretches for around 3 kilometers, bordered by a pleasant, well-maintained seafront. As with all the beaches south of La Rochelle, make sure you check the tide times – swimming is only possible at high tide, otherwise you’ll be in for a mud bath.

Advantages :

  • Pleasant seaside resort
  • Large beach with landscaped waterfront
  • Possibility of seeing Ile d’Aix and Fort Boyard, weather permitting

5. Beaches on the Ile de Ré: the most beautiful beaches

We’re not going to hide the fact that the most beautiful sandy beaches near La Rochelle are on the Ile de Ré. The island’s beaches are famous for their postcard-perfect scenery. With their fine sand and crystal-clear waters, they’re perfect for swimming, sunbathing and sunset strolls.

The most beautiful beaches are to be found mainly on the south and west coasts of the island, framed by dunes or lush forests, such as those at Gros Joncs (around 20km from La Rochelle) or La Couarde.

Advantages :

  • Large, unspoilt beaches
  • Close to La Rochelle

Just a reminder: the Ile de Ré bridge is not free.

grande plage de Saint-Trojan

6. Aytré beach: 15 minutes from downtown La Rochelle

This sandy beach stretches for around 2 kilometers, and is a good option within easy reach of La Rochelle. It’s particularly popular with water sports enthusiasts, and in the low season it’s the meeting place for kitesurfers.

Once again, swimming is not possible in this area at low tide. It’s an ideal beach for strolling and enjoying the coastline.

Advantages :

  • It’s the closest wild beach to La Rochelle.
  • Large beach for walking

7. Fouras beach: and its natural swimming pool

Fouras is a pretty seaside resort about 30 kilometers south of La Rochelle. This small sandy beach is located in the heart of the town of Fouras.

It’s ideal for families, as the beach is shallow and at low tide a water retention basin acts as a pool to avoid getting stuck in the mud.

The beach is also just a few kilometers from Rochefort, a town full of history that we recommend you visit.


  • Swimming possible at low tide in the water retention basin
  • Swimming with a view of Fort Vauban and Fort Boyard
la rochelle plages
Fouras beach

8. Beaches on the Ile d’Oléron: wild beaches

One of our favorite beaches, Plage de Vert Bois, is about 1h10 from the center of La Rochelle. This is a good option if you want to spend a whole day on a beautiful wild beach during your stay in La Rochelle.

More generally, we know the island very well, as we’re currently living there. It is renowned for the diversity of its large, unspoilt beaches, both on the ocean side and on the mainland. With 100 kilometers of coastline, you’ll find a place to lay your towel and enjoy!

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your beach, as we’ve listed the island’s most beautiful, wild and picturesque beaches in an article far from the resorts, which you can consult here.

la rochelle plages
la rochelle plages

9. Anse de Pampin beach with view of the Ile de Ré bridge

Plage de l’Anse de Pampin, 7km north of La Rochelle, is a peaceful beach overlooking the bridge of the Ile de Ré.

It’s a pebble beach, so don’t forget to bring shoes for walking in the water, and swimming is possible again at high tide.

10. Paradise Beach: the secret

Located around 9km to the south, this small sand and pebble beach is a good option for a quick swim at high tide. It is less crowded, making it ideal for those seeking peace and privacy. Nestled in a natural environment, this beach is also a great option for strolling by the ocean near La Rochelle.

Our tips for your visit

Where to stay in La Rochelle?

Looking for a place to stay during your stay? To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, we’ve put together an article detailing the most interesting areas to stay in La Rochelle, as well as some unusual addresses.

Don’t forget to book your stay in advance, especially in high season, as La Rochelle is a popular destination for holidaymakers, and we understand why!

Notre top 3 hebergements

  1. Notre coup de coeur : l’Hôtel Saint Nicolas nous avons séjourné dans ce magnifique hôtel lors de notre séjour à La Rochelle. Il est idéalement situé dans le quartier Saint-Nicolas, le port et le centre-ville sont accessible à pied. La décoration est soignée, et cosy idéal. Nous nous sentions comme à la maison. Bref foncez y !
  2. Logement insolite : La Rochelle sur L’eau : la Rochelle est une ville au bord de la mer, profitez en pour dormir sur un bateau dans le port de la Rochelle. 
  3. Bon rapport qualité / prix € : Le Manoir Hôtel est un bel hôtel trois-étoiles situé à proximité du centre-ville. Cet ancien hôtel particulier a été entièrement rénové pour offrir des chambres intimistes et pleines de charme. C’est un excellent rapport qualité prix.

Take a cruise to explore the coast

From La Rochelle, you can opt for a cruise to Île de Ré, Île d’Aix, Île d’Oléron and/or the mythical Fort Boyard.

These cruises are the perfect opportunity to learn more about this magnificent region, learn a few maneuvers and admire some of its most famous scenery.

Where to rent a boat?

Ideally, of course, you should hire a private boat, so you can explore the La Rochelle area at your own pace and get within reasonable distance of Fort Boyard.

Don’t panic if you’re new to sailing: you can rent a boat with or without a license and with or without a skipper. You’re bound to find a formula to suit your needs.

To rent your boat, we recommend that you use the Samboat platform. Quite simply, they have the most comprehensive range of boat rentals, and their site 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.

We hope you enjoy your swim and your stay in La Rochelle ! If this article has helped you find your dream beach, leave us 5 stars below to encourage us.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll be delighted to get back to you.

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Je m'appelle Floriane, aventurière et passionnée de voyages depuis mon plus jeune âge. J'aime plus que tout partager nos récits et astuces de voyage avec vous. Nous aimons les escapades courtes ainsi que les voyages longs. Ce blog est né après notre Tour du Monde en sac à dos. Nous avons également réalisé un tour d'Europe en famille.

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