Car Hire at La Rochelle Airport
This information is correct as of August 2015
La Rochelle, one of the foremost seaports of France from the 14th to the 17th centuries, features a number of sights to check out. Half-timbered houses and Gothic structures can be found along its arcaded walkways. The district of Les Minimes, built on reclaimed land in the late 20th century, is also a pleasing sight here, with moored yachts with billowing spinnakers in the harbour.
Where to hire a car at La Rochelle Airport
Exploring the city and the surrounding area can be convenient if you have a rental car with you. Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are the operators to be found in La Rochelle Airport. Transacting with them before your trip is essential, so you can consider the terms and conditions, as well as arrange for the documents you will need to submit.
A valid driving licence and a passport make up the main requirements. You can only use them for up to 12 consecutive months, though, if you come from outside the European Union. Another document to prepare is the insurance, which can cover for unexpected expenses. You will also have to add safety equipment to your list, such as reflective vests and warning triangles. Be sure to coordinate with your provider about these, so you can complete the equipment to keep inside the rental car.
What to expect when hiring a car from La Rochelle Airport
Although La Rochelle Airport is riddled with side routes, it is connected to a major highway. N237 additionally turns to N137 and N11, which puts various cities and communities within reach. Some of the places to check out from here are Rochefort, Saintes, Saint-Jean-d'Angely, Niort, La Creche, Parthenay, Bressuire, Cholet, and many others. It can be difficult to pass along these roads, especially during rush hours. This makes it necessary that you plan your itinerary well or drive outside the busy hours during the morning and afternoon commutes.
Toll roads and congestion charges should be expected, given the number of major routes you will pass by. Major cities in the area will likely have a congestion charge, making it essential to bring enough funds to cover the expenses. You should also watch out for one-way streets and cycling lanes with a GPS device or a detailed map on hand. There are also plenty of petrol stations in the area, with La Rochelle offering a number of possible refilling establishments.
Driving around La Rochelle Airport
Going to the city proper from the airport can be fast, especially on good days. Passing by Avenue Carnot can allow you to get to the city centre at around 15 minutes or so. Avenue Jean Guiton and N237 are also possible routes to take. The parking can be hard to manage, however, making it necessary that you arrange a spot with quality accommodations in the area. This allows for better security for your car and belongings.
Getting to your destination
There are a number of possible destinations from La Rochelle Airport. Some of them are:
Nantes, a historic city founded by the Celts, is also a major port to look forward to visiting. You will find here Les Machines de l'Ile de Nantes, which displays a number of fascinating displays, such as a 45-tonne mechanical elephant and Le Carrousel des Mondes Marine. There is also the Musee Jules Verne to check out, where you will find first-edition books, manuscripts, and theatre cut-outs of the famous author's works. Getting here can be possible on three routes, with A83 allowing for the relatively fastest option at around an estimated travel time of an hour and 50 minutes. Tolls on the way will have to be paid, with parking generally difficult to secure upon arrival.
Poitiers, established by the Gaulish tribe Pictones, is also near the site where the cavalry of Charles Martel defeated the Muslim army of Abd ar-Rahman. Various churches can be found when visiting this city, as well as the Palais des Comtes de Poitou, the seat of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine. The Eglise Notre Dame la Grande, with its west Romanesque facade, can also be a sight to look forward to. Going here can take around an hour and 40 minutes via N11 and A10, with tolls to pay in some parts of the route. Parking can be hard to look for, so be sure to reserve an available space beforehand.
Bordeaux, well known for its beautiful environment, is not to be missed. This World Heritage site features a variety of museums, galleries, and parks to check out. The Basilique Saint-Seurin is also a marvel to view, with its austere and imposing architecture. The Cathedrale St-Andre is also a historical treasure, with its oldest section dating from the 11th century. Most of what you will see in this church was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, making it a major attraction in the city. When going here, you will have to get on A10 from N237. This route has tolls, with around two hours as the usual amount of time to get here.