Activities in La Rochelle for Families
With its wealth of wonderful beaches to choose from, La Rochelle is automatically a great place for a family holiday, but there are other attractions here that make it even more appealing for those with non-adults in tow. Here are some of our favourite child-friendly La Rochelle haunts:
Probably the biggest draw for young and old in La Rochelle is its cutting-edge aquarium
. Watch little eyes grow wide with wonder as you start your visit in an old 'submarine' that descends to the ocean floor, where a tunnel of jellyfish move their tentacles to the rhythm of classical music. Other standouts include the massive open ocean aquarium packed with otherworldly rays and scary sharks, a jungle area with toothy piranhas, and the peculiar newt-like mudskippers. Education was never this much fun.
Musée des Automates
A must-see for the young and young-at-heart, the Musée des Automates
(Automation Museum) is a little theme-park-style exhibition area at 14 rue La Désirée, where you can see 300 automated dolls from the past two centuries. There is an almost life-size interpretation of Montmartre in Paris, featuring a version of the Moulin Rouge and the funicular railway. next door is the equally enchanting Musée des Modèles Réduits (Scale Model Museum), with its miniature cars, computer-automated naval battles and whistling model railway.
Plage de Chatelaillon
One of the most popular beaches in La Rochelle, Plage de Chatelaillon
is pristine and well-maintained with restaurants nearby catering for even the fussiest eater. With car hire, Plage de Chatelaillon is just 12km from La Rochelle via the straight N137. With its powdery beach sheltered between the Ile de Ré to the north and the Ile d’Oléron to the south, the beach is ideal for children. Enjoy nearly 3km of golden sand and spectacular views of the Îles de Ré, d’Oléron, d’Aix and the imposing Fort Boyard.
Centre Aquatique 29°
If the water at the Plage de Chatelaillon is too chilly for the little ones, head for the Centre Aquatique 29°
, named because the water is maintained at a comfortable and constant 29°C. It has three indoor pool of varying sizes, one of which is designed to catch those adventurous enough to try the massive 110m water slide. Also inside, you’ll find a paddling pool, children’s play area, two bubble pools, and a jacuzzi. For balmier days, there are three more pools and two slides outside, including the 11-metre ‘Jet Gliss’.
One of the biggest family attractions in the La Rochelle area is Futuroscope
, a high-tech science theme park with futuristic style architecture just two minutes from Exit 28 on the A10-E5 motorway (Paris-Bordeaux). Entertainingly educational and great fun, Futuroscope is a playground of 4-D simulator rides and 3-D film shows that present a vision of the future on land and sea and in space. Translation headsets make the the experience even more enjoyable.