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Visit Rochefort : our favorites [plages et carte]

Rochefort is ideally located, just a few kilometers from theocean and close to many points of interest, including Ile d’Oléron, Ile d’Aix, Ile Madame, La Rochelle…

It’s a town steeped in history, once an important maritime Arsenal and home to theHermione. Today, with the label ” Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History), its adorable city center will immediately seduce you.

So you’re probably wondering what to see and do in Rochefort? Don’t worry, 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?

We advise you to park on the huge free parking lot“Roy Bry” with 1000 parking spaces. Below is our itinerary, starting in the city center and ending at theArsenal.

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, as there are already many beautiful buildings to see, and to stay a few days or come back!

Our route from downtown to the Arsenal:

1. Pierre Loti House

This house, dating from 1829, belonged to writer and traveler Pierre Loti. We had the opportunity to visit it a few years ago, and both in his house and in his books, the author has tried to recreate the various landscapes he has visited.

Please note that the house is closed until late 2024 – early 2025 for renovation.

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. This is the heart of the town, the place to be in Rochefort.

Since 2022, the town has installed 2 statues of Les 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’s sure to please young and old alike! Reservations on the official website 6€90 per adult.

5. The halls

This handsome building, built in 1672, now houses 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 to downtown Rochefort, you won’t want to miss this 26-meter-high tower, once used as a maritime communications tool.


7. National Museum of the Navy Rochefort

Another informative museum on 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

A must-see on your visit to Rochefort, a small museum traces the history of this legendary ship, and you can also watch the volunteers at work.

L’Hermione is being refitted in the port of Bayonne until 2024. In the meantime, we advise you to visit the small museum, free of charge, with lots of explanations on the history of the boat. The NOE, a former whaler, is moored in the harbor right next to the workshops.



9. Labyrinth of naval battles and Periscope

This little labyrinth between theHermione and the Corderie Royale is a free activity for the whole family. Right next door is a giant Periscope (fee: €6 per adult).


10. Corderie Royale (International Maritime 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



11. Navy Gardens

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 as soon as night falls, 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 Fourras, 15 minutes away by car. Our favorite beach is the“grande plage“, where you can swim in a huge pool at low tide, and you also have a beautiful view of Fort-Boyard!

You can also explore the sublime, unspoilt beaches of Ile D’Oléron, just 40 minutes from Rochefort.


Practical information (hotels, restaurants…)

Where to sleep in Rochefort ?

Hotel / Guest house

➡️A Rochefort, we recommend you stay at the Résidence de l’Arsenal Royal. The building is sumptuous, the rooms have been tastefully renovated and the hotel is located right in the center of Rochefort, so you can do everything on foot.

➡️A just a few kilometers south of Rochefort, we recommend the incredible B&B La Charentine! The setting is sublime, with a magnificent view over the Charente and a magnificent sunset from the terrace, perfect for an aperitif!

The room is very comfortable and the large swimming pool pleasant. Finally, the hosts are simply adorable and always with the small care. In short, an ideal place to recharge your batteries!

La Charentine
La Charentine


You’ll find what you’re looking for by consulting the various campsites around Rochefort here, which you can sort according to the type of accommodation you require and the facilities on offer (swimming pools, parking, etc.).

➡️Le family campsite L’Abri Côtier is ideally located next to Port-des-Barques, where you’ll find access to Ile Madame, between Fourras and Ile d’Oléron, with a swimming pool!

Where to eat?

  • Les Béatilles, a simply excellent restaurant right in the center of town, with a menu reduced to a few starters, main courses and desserts, all very well cooked with fresh, local and seasonal produce. In short, everything we love! (dishes approx. €20-€25 with a small terrace, booking recommended)
  • Burger Shop, a great burger with lots of local produce and a warm welcome (from €12).
Les Béatilles

Our map

What to do around Rochefort ?

Transbordeur Bridge

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 open to pedestrians and cyclists (for a fee of around €4).


Madam Island

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 make sure you don’t miss …

Allow 2 hours to walk around the island and photograph every nook and cranny, as the place is extremely photogenic! A beautiful and pleasant walk in the middle of nature!



Island of Oleron

We’ve been visiting the island regularly for many years, as we have family on the island. We’ve spent a few months here, so we’ve taken the opportunity to share our best places, addresses and beaches, so you can visit the island of Oleron like a local.


La Rochelle

The town of Rochelle , about 30 minutes from Rochefort, is a must-see. With its towers and charming old port, La Rochelle offers a wide range of water and land-based activities.

It’s been our favorite city break since we moved to the Ile d’Oléron, so we’ve written an article to help you plan your visit to La Rochelle.

We hope you enjoy your stay in Rochefort! Feel free to drop us a line below to let us know if you’re planning this trip, ask any questions you may have here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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