La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes

La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast was once one of the busiest port cities in France, alive with the hustle and bustle of sailing ships and merchants taking goods all over Europe and the New World; now it’s the largest yachting marina in France with moorings for over 3500 boats, and very much a maritime centre with a new deep water port and a collection of historic ships. The city is full of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that line the narrow streets and arcades in the historic centre and the old town. You can easily while away a day browsing about, watching the world go by, but to be honest, there’s a lot more you can do. Soak up some rays on the beach, go and find out about the sea creatures who live in the Aquarium beside the floating harbour, have a mooch around the Maritime Museum, or catch a boast trip to the Ile de Ré, where you can see The Lighthouse of the Whales. A good day out.

All information correct at the time of writing