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Situated less than two miles from La Rochelle city centre, La Rochelle Airport is sometimes referred to as Laleu Airport. It serves the scenic island of Île de Ré on the southwestern coast of France. The facility boasts a handful of carriers offering links to destinations around the region and hosts more than 200,000 travellers per year. Arriving passengers are just 15 minutes away from the harbour and historic city centre, and about a half-hour away from the lovely beaches of Île de Ré. Getting around is easy with car hire in La Rochelle Airport, but travellers can also make use of taxis and public bus services.
Who to Book With
Several internationally renowned rental firms have outlets at La Rochelle Airport, including Hertz, National/Citier, Avis and Europcar. Additionally, vehicles are available from local rental agency ADA. All car hire desks are located at the south end of the terminal building.
Need to Know Essentials
In order to quickly acquire a rental car at La Rochelle Airport, you should present the following paperwork at the rental counter:
- Your passport
- Driver’s licence (both parts)
- The credit card used for the reservation
- A copy of your booking confirmation
British drivers generally notice few differences between French roadways and those in the UK, other than the fact that France drives on the right. The use of seatbelts is required for the driver and all passengers. Additionally, breathalyser kits must now be carried in all vehicles. Be prepared to pay tolls on some major routes near La Rochelle, notably the A10 and A87 autoroutes.
Passengers departing or arriving at La Rochelle Airport will not have the huge array of transport options available at other, larger airports in France. However, car hire makes for good value for money and is an ideal way to explore this scenic, and somewhat remote region, although bus and taxi services are also on offer.
There is no rail connection running directly to La Rochelle Airport. However, passengers can connect to the beautifully-restored La Rochelle Railway Station via bus or taxi. From here, trains are available to numerous destinations; there are several daily TGV departures to Paris. Visit SNCF for ticket and schedule information.
There are more than half a dozen taxi companies offering their services from La Rochelle Airport. Look for the taxi stand just outside the terminal exit. Most firms send numerous cars for each arriving flight, although you may want to consider booking in advance if you’re travelling during a particularly busy period. Contact Trans Autonomie, Abielle Taxi or Timing Moto.
La Rochelle Airport to La Rochelle city centre is about £12
Buses depart the airport for La Rochelle city centre every 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday, and a limited number of buses run on Sunday. The route terminates at Place de Verdun and the journey costs about £1. Visit Yelo for additional information. Another bus heads to Île de Ré during the summer months.
La Rochelle Airport is among France’s smaller commercial airports and all public facilities are housed within a single, one-level terminal building. The facility is set on the south side of the airfield and is accessible via Rue de Bethencourt from the N237.
There are 250 parking spaces available to the public in the car park located adjacent to the terminal building. Parking is free for stays of up to 20 minutes. Long-term rates cost around £8 for the first day and £5 for each day thereafter. Short-term rates begin at around £1 for one hour, while a stay of up to 12 hours costs about £6.50.
Passengers can enquire about the wireless internet services at the airport information desk.
There is an airport and tourism information counter located just to the left of the terminal exit doors, in the Arrivals area.
Flight Information: +33 5 46 42 86 70
Airport Administration: +33 5 46 42 30 26
La Rochelle Tourism Information: +33 5 46 41 14 68
Those with special needs and reduced mobility are asked to contact their airline at least 48 hours prior to departure. La Rochelle Airport is well equipped to accommodate the needs of all passengers.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurant l'Escal' Express is located in the public side of the terminal and offers a nice selection of hot meals, crepes, pastries, sandwiches, salads and beverages from Monday through Friday. Passengers in a hurry can pick up snacks, sandwiches and drinks in the snack bar located next to the departures gates (airside).
There are currently no VIP lounges at La Rochelle Airport.
Money and ATMs
There is an ATM and a bureau de change in the passenger terminal; no other banking services are currently available at the airport.
Look for the Aelia duty-free shop in the Departures area. Goods available here include gifts, chocolates, travel accessories, handcrafted soaps, tobacco products, spirits, cosmetics and perfumes. Tax-free rates are available on some items for those travelling outside of the EU.