La Rochelle Area (1 Viewer)

Sep 24, 2013
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We've decided to turn right at Calais and head for this area. Going last couple of weeks in June/first week July. Can we expect all the coastal aires to be full or are there some less busy ones. Will probably be posting for other info later re must do places to visit.
 

Gazza333

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Hi. Can't answer all your questions but I will say the aire at La Rochelle was very hard to get on even last month so I imagine June July you'd be very lucky to find a proper motorhome space.

Nice place to see the largest sandune at dune du pilat I think it is

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magicsurfbus

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Use common sense - aim to arrive at medium to large aires around mid-morning when normal turnover's at at its peak with people moving on. Turning up in the dark in the evening is asking for disappointment in the high season.

Have never had problems getting onto the Ave Jean Moulin P&R aire in La Rochelle at any time of the year but I think the entrance barrier closes on Sundays. It's a good jumping off point for a morning foray onto the Ile de Re if you plan to go there. We've used the Bois Plage en Re campsite aire, and the St Clement des Baleines aire on Re, along with the Municipal campsite inside the walls at Saint Martin de Re (supermarket not far away) and all were fine. There's a couple of smaller aires around the island.

Ile d'Oleron has a couple of aires that used to be campsites so they're quite big and have campsite-type pitches but at aire prices. Last time we were there they had automated barriers, and one didn't like foreign cards so have coins handy if you go. There's also an aire near to the waterpark on Oleron (St Pierre?), and a low cost campsite outside the walls of Chateau d'Oleron.

Both of the above islands aren't very MH friendly beyond their aires, and you'll struggle to find day parking without height barriers anywhere so it's best to rely on bikes or public transport to get around.

A bit further down you've got La Palmyre which has a decent-sized aire set a bit back from the beach. Nice spot if you like cycling, exploring beaches, the zoo, watersports etc but the town doesn't have much about it.

Also in the area is the Ile Madame, with its tidal causeway - it's quite small but there's plenty of spots where you could park up overnight with a sea view.
 
May 7, 2011
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Hi, Ile de Re, we found aire too busy, so used basic campsite, La cote sauvage 2star St Marie de Re, as said before bit basic but right on the beach thru a gate , park/pitch on hard sand ,
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Pic's of us and 2 friends pitched up the beach.
forgot to mention they collect moules from the beach each low tide, dutch couple offered us some, but not in to them !!!yuk
 

magicsurfbus

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As an afterthought, when it comes to driving to the Charente coast, if you don't mind putting the hours in you've got two theme park aires about a day's (long) drive from Calais, namely Futuroscope and Puy du Fou. Both give you a good chance of arriving on the coast by noon the next day (or the day after if you choose to visit the parks).

On one notable Easter we hurtled down to Dover from home (NW England) after 4pm on Thursday, then got the early ferry first thing Good Friday (not a bank holiday in France) and made it to Futuroscope by evening. With an early start Saturday morning we'd bagged a pitch on the La Palmyre seafront aire before most French motorhomers had smoked their first Gauloise of the day. Then we stayed put for the rest of Easter before moving on.

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May 5, 2014
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Magicsurfbus & Fidget would you recommend to visit the two islands mentioned above?
She'll we use the bridges or a ferry to crossover?
 
May 5, 2014
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Is it worth the drive and to stay on island for couple of days?

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Abacist

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Lots of nice seafood restaurants as well!

The beaches we used used to have what we called "sand hopper" bugs that plagued the life out of us!

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Feb 29, 2012
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Good places to visit as well
St Jean D'angely. On Compostela route. Aire by plan d'eau.
Fouras, nice small French seaside town.Aire towards la fumee. Boat from there to IleD'Aix. Napoleon's last stand on French soil before being deported. Museum, nice beaches, no cars !
Chatelaillon plage, long beaches but commercial. 3 or 4 aires but will be busy.
D'Oleron accessed by bridge as well as Re. Both very busy in season.
We like La Palmyre, 2 aires. 1 close to beach & port ( see our avitar ) the other at La Bonne Ance. Close to small lagoon & cycle routes through woods. 8€ charge at both.Good Sunday market.
Various municipal sites in towns further inland. The one near us in Surgeres ( nice little town) is close to town. Super U close by.
Enjoy.
Barrie.
 
May 7, 2011
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Simple aire at st vincent / la goulet
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beach just over the road
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magicsurfbus

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Magicsurfbus & Fidget would you recommend to visit the two islands mentioned above?
She'll we use the bridges or a ferry to crossover?

Both definitely recommended and both have bridge access. Especially handy if you have bikes as they're mainly flat and well-served by bike tracks, whereas their town and village streets can be too narrow for MHs and there's bugger all large vehicle parking outside the aires and campsites, except for the odd supermarket. Re is the more upmarket of the two and thus busier, currently one of our favourite French destinations, but Oleron has a similar feel to it and is worth a look. You have to pay a one-off environmental toll on the Re bridge - last time we went it was 16 Euros in the peak season and 8 Euros at other times.

The beaches on the NE side of each island tend to be a bit sedate (read 'dull') as they don't get much swell, whereas those on the SW side are more varied and have proper waves. Generally the sandier beaches are towards the southernmost end of the coastline - further up they're mainly rocks.

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May 5, 2014
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Thanks for all the tips, camps options and Fidget pics. Mmmmmmmm so tempting, can't wait. We are crossing over 13th June, hopping it's before the busy season?
 
May 5, 2014
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Great tips above. Been to Ile de Re about 10 years ago and loved it for the flat cycle trails that link up all across the island. We are going to call in for a few days around 12th June en route further South and then maybe Dordogne. Will probably head for somewhere near Bois Plage as I like the village and brill market. We will probably stay on a site as I like getting table chairs bbq etc out & chilling in the evening and I gather that's not allowed on an aire??? (not been to France since getting the MH so not tested the aires yet but will do that on the way down to see if we like it). Also been to Ile de Oleron and enjoyed it there too but enjoyed the villages and cycling a bit more on Re. La Flotte is lovely also St Martins, Ars en Re, Portes en Re & Loix. May see some Funsters there this year :):)

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May 5, 2014
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Great news Fidget, Thanks again

We are going for two weeks only and thought about visiting Normandy, Brittany and few days down to d'Agde but now with all the good tips on here, we may stay on Ile De Re instead pending the weather.
 

Dave and Ginny

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Thanks to all for the brilliant load of information on this thread (y). It's saved me asking same questions except that we're coming up from the south on way home from Spain. It's an area we want to visit then onto Normandy for 6th June.
 

snowdrops

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There's a muni campsite about 15 mins walk from La Rochelle. Without vehicle it's a coastal walk too, so very pleasant. We'd use it again.

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kelv

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Thanks for all the tips, camps options and Fidget pics. Mmmmmmmm so tempting, can't wait. We are crossing over 13th June, hopping it's before the busy season?
I am also from leicester and we are going to the same area on June the 12th overnight ferry to St malo then first stop yelou site at olonne
For a couple of nights then onto La Rochelle area for a few days and see how it goes
 

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