Rochefort is an ideally located city, only a few kilometers from theocean and close to many points of interest, the island of Oleron, the island of Aix, Ile Madame, La Rochelle …
It is a city full of history, formerly an important naval arsenal and the home port of theHermione. Today, with the label ” Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History), its adorable city center will immediately seduce you.
It’s a city we love to explore and can easily be visited in a day on foot. Below we give you the route we followed as well as all our advice to facilitate your visit on our map.
- Visit the city center on foot in one day
- Where to park?
- Our route downtown and arsenal :
- 1. Pierre Loti House
- 2. Place Colbert, the city hall
- 4.Museum of old-time businesses
- 5. The halls
- 6. Signal tower
- 7. National Museum of the Navy Rochefort
- 8. The Hermione’s workshops in Rochefort
- 9. Labyrinth of naval battles and Periscope
- 10. Corderie Royal (International Sea Center)
- 11. Navy Gardens
- To do with children
- Where to swim in Rochefort ?
- Practical information (hotels, restaurants…)
- Our map
- What to do around Rochefort ?
Visit the city center on foot in one day
Where to park?
We advise you to park on the huge free parking lot“Roy Bry” with 1000 parking spaces. Then we propose you below our itinerary, which starts in the city center and ends at the arsenal.
Count on 3 hours to complete the entire tour (excluding time spent in the various museums). We advise you to visit 1 or 2 museums maximum because there are already many beautiful buildings to see and to stay a few days or to come back!
Our route downtown and arsenal :
1. Pierre Loti House
This house, which dates from 1829, belonged to the writer and traveler Pierre Loti. We had the opportunity to visit it a few years ago, in his house as in his books, the author has tried to recreate different landscapes visited.
Attention the house is closed until June 2023 for rehabilitation.
2. Place Colbert, the city hall
This pretty square in the center of Rochefort, is surrounded by two restaurants with two pleasant and large terraces as well as many stores.
Since 2022, the city has installed 2 statues of the ” Demoiselles de Rochefort“, in homage to the famous film shot in Rochefort in 1966.
4.Museum of old-time businesses
This large museum, retraces on 4 floors the history of the trades and commercial professions of the past. It has an important collection of posters, posters, maps… Old businesses have been entirely reconstituted, life size, hairdresser, bistro, photographer, ironmonger…
It’s a place that will appeal to young and old alike! Reservation on the official website 6€90 per adult.
5. The halls
This beautiful building built in 1672 now hosts a pleasant market on the first floor.
Days and hours of operation: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 7am to 12:30pm
6. Signal tower
During your visit of the city center of Rochefort you can’t miss this 26 meters high tower, which was used as a maritime communication tool.
Another informative museum about the navy and the history of the many ships built in the famous arsenal. You will observe models, maritime objects, paintings…
Reservation online, on the official website, 6€ per adult or pass see below.
8. The Hermione’s workshops in Rochefort
It is a must to visit during your visit to Rochefort, a small museum traces the history of this mythical ship and you can also watch the volunteers working live. Until 2023, the Hermione is being renovated in the port of Bayonne. In the meantime, we advise you to visit the small museum, free of charge, with lots of explanations on the history of the boat.
El Galeon, a Spanish ship, is moored in the harbor right next to the workshops until August 26, 2022.
This small labyrinth located between the Hermione and the Royal rope factory is a small free activity to discover with your family. Just next door is a giant Periscope (6€ per adult), we did not visit it because we found the price a bit high.
10. Corderie Royal (International Sea Center)
This is the museum to do in Rochefort, if you only do one. The visit begins with the projection of a film relating the history of the rope factory, then several manipulations are proposed (pulleys, knots…) finally you will attend a demonstration of creation of a rope.
Pass to the Corderie Royale, the National Maritime Museum, the Giant Periscope and El Galeon Andalucia, 26€ per adult
To finish your visit, you will cross this beautiful garden, then you can reach the free parking in 10 minutes on foot.
To do with children
In addition to the various museums that the city offers, do not miss :
- Accro-mats: a tree climbing course on a boat (15€)
- Océana Lumière: a tour that opens its doors at nightfall, with beautiful staging and lighting effects, a successful immersion in the history of sailors (1 adult and 1 child 26 €)
Where to swim in Rochefort ?
The nearest beaches are located in Fouras, 15 minutes by car, our favorite beach is the“grande plage“, you can swim in a huge pool at low tide and you also have a beautiful view of fort boyard!
Practical information (hotels, restaurants…)
Where to sleep in Rochefort ?
- A few kilometers south of Rochefort, we recommend the incredible bed and breakfast La Charentine! The setting is sublime, with a magnificent view of the Charente and a beautiful sunset from the terrace, perfect for an aperitif!
The room is very comfortable and the beautiful pool pleasant. Finally, the hosts are simply adorable and always with the small care. In short, an ideal place to recharge your batteries!
- In Rochefort, we recommend you to sleep at the Residence de la Corderie Royale, the building is sumptuous, the rooms have been renovated with a lot of taste and the hotel is located in the center of Rochefort you can do everything by foot.
Where to eat?
- Les Béatilles, a simply excellent restaurant, a menu reduced to a few starters, main courses and desserts, all very well cooked with fresh products (dishes about 20€-25€ with a small terrace reservation recommended)
- Burger Shop, an excellent burger with lots of good local products and a great welcome (from 12€)
What to do around Rochefort ?
Built in 1900 by the engineer Ferdinand Ammodin, is an impressive work of metallic engineering allowing to link the two banks of the Charente. At the time, it allowed about ten vehicles and pedestrians to cross the Charente. Today the bridge is still active for pedestrians and bicycles (paying activity about 4€).
Ile Madame is accessible from Port des Barques, through the passe aux bœufs, which is only accessible at low tide. Tide times are available on the internet and posted at the parking lot, so don’t forget to look at your watch to avoid missing …
Count 2 hours to go around the island and photograph its smallest corners because the place is extremely photogenic! A beautiful and pleasant walk in the middle of nature!
Island of Oleron
We have been going to this island very regularly for many years because we have family on the island. We plan to go there for a few weeks in September 2022, we will take the opportunity to share with you our best places and addresses, patience articles are coming 😉
We wish you an excellent stay in Rochefort! Don’t hesitate to leave us a note below to tell us if you are planning this trip, or to ask any questions you may have, we will answer you with great pleasure!