Train Travelling to the Atlantic Sea: TGV & Top Foodie Delights in France

The TGV runs fast. Real fast. One look up from your book, and you have reached your next destination: Travelling #LaBelleFrance at a top speed of some 300 km/h is simply mind-blowing. I marvel at the landscape rushing by the window, pretty fields flying against the blue sky dotted with white puffy clouds. “La Belle France”, beautiful France … Amour, Baguette et Camembert, the ABC of my dear Frenchies. France, I missed you. 😀

La Rochelle is the destination of my travels that day, and I have to smile again at the words of my friends and family: “You fly to Paris but don’t go to Paris? Can you do that?!”


Most of the time, my family & friends have stopped wondering about my many trips and travels. But me passing by beautiful Paris?! The reason is a good one, though: High-speed TGV trains are able to take you straight from the airport to the Atlantic Sea.

“Dear Ms Paschinger! Have you received your train tickets for your journey and do you need any kind of further information? I hope you’ll have a wonderful time in La Rochelle and in France!” The Austrian Ruefa Reisen agency team is really helpful in organising my TGV train travels in France as well as joining me “on the go” through InstagramInternet (that works!) is free on board the TGV. Stepping off the plane to Paris and on to the TGV heading straight for the Atlantic coast, I am able to bypass the city of love in favour of the seaside town of La Rochelle.

Ankunft in Paris: Direkt von meinem Flughafen-Terminal gehe ich hinüber in den gut ausgeschilderten TGV-Bahnhof ...

Arriving in Paris: Straight from the airport, I walk over to the well-signposted TGV station …


… dank der schlauen Vorausbuchung meiner Tickets mit Ruefa Reisen bleiben mir lange Wartezeiten an den Schaltern erspart!

… where thanks to having booked in advance, I am spared long queues like these!


Stattdessen kann ich viel lieber den ersten Franzosen beim Strampeln (und Aufladen ihrer Handys) zusehen!

Meanwhile, I choose to watch the Frenchies having fun “cycling” and charging their smartphones at the same time!


Die TGV-Verbindung von Paris-Charles-De-Gaulle direkt bis La Rochelle erlaubt es, in kürzester Zeit an den Atlantik zu reisen ohne Paris durchqueren zu müssen. Einfach genial!

The TGV train connection from Paris-Charles-De-Gaulle right up to La Rochelle makes for a rapid way of reaching the Atlantic Coast in France.


Für Zugreisen wie diese bin ich zu haben: TGVs sind einfach das beste Verkehrsmittel, um in Frankreich voranzukommen.

Train travelling I like: A good way to save money compared to the rather expensive road charges in France.


La Rochelle as well as its smaller sister town Les Sables d’Olonne are really worth your while. Especially as some of the best seafood of the French Atlantic coast is being served here!

Apart from writing my first ever travel book in the magic surroundings of La Rochelle & Vinca in the south of France, the aim of my trip to France is once again a foodie love affair!

In the city of La Rochelle, you should definitely eat your way through the mobile harbour restaurant “Le P’tit Bleu” as well as trying l’Assiette de Mer at “Coquillages & Crustacés“, a true local seafood dish of a kind. Do not be surprised at the large range of cutlery being served to help you “deal” with the food – it’s just me being surprised as a land-locked Austrian, typically used to spoons, forks and knives only. Check this out.

Angekommen in La Rochelle ...

Arriving in La Rochelle …


… genieße ich den Blick der traumhaften Hafenstadt zu meinen Füßen.

… my friend Anne-Laure and I enjoy a  view over the city from the former defence towers at the harbour entrance.


Hier wird der Charme französischer Kleinstädte spür- und erlebbar ...

The charm of French small towns becomes palpable in a place like La Rochelle …


… Innehalten & Genuss groß geschrieben.

… where people love to stop and take a break.


Dank meiner lieben französischen Freunde vor Ort weiß ich um den Besuch dieses einzigartigen "Lokals" direkt am Hafen ...

Thanks to my dear French friends in town, I am being shown the way to the legendary sea-fast-food place, “Le P’tit Bleu” in the harbour of La Rochelle …


… welches das mitunter köstlichste Fingerfood serviert, das ich in jüngster Zeit verspeist habe. Schmatz!

… with their finger food being one of the best “crevettes” I had enjoyed recently …


… und Lebensgefühl im Hafen von La Rochelle.

… served with chilled white wine and a whole lot of fun and good company.


Hinzu kommt die einzigartige Küstenlandschaft rund um

Moreover, La Rochelle & around is home to the many little, typical “carrelets” fishing huts by the sea …


… deren Verkostung ich mir nicht zweimal sagen lasse: Mahlzeit beim Top-Restaurant "Coquillages & Crustacés" in La Rochelle !!

… whose harvest I am able to enjoy in a place called “Coquillages & Crustacés” north of La Rochelle, complete with strange-looking cutlery served to help you eat delicious sea fare !!


Auch der Mohn blüht im Frühsommer hier bereits auf ...

Poppy fields, too, abound literally all over …


… and if you fancy diving in for real, enjoy watching the travel video I made highlighting my writer’s journey and all the inspiration I received in #LaBelleFrance:


Les Sables d’Olonne, about an hour north of La Rochelle, boasts one of the largest sandy beaches of the area complete with a unique display of (mussel) street art graffiti!

Now this is a true travel tip for visiting La Rochelle: When exploring the Vendée region, do not miss visiting the sweet sister town of La Rochelle, called Les Sables d’Olonne. It attracts visitors and locals alike by what is one gigantic, sandy beach bay. I’d definitely go there again, as it is really special – and creative at that!

Das gute eine Stunde nördlich von La Rochelle gelegene Les Sables d'Olonne ...

Taking a walk overlooking the bay of Les Sables d’Olonne …


… lockt mit leckeren "Churros", hierzulande genannt "Chi-Chi's" …!

… we stop to eat some delicious local “Churros”, called “Chi-Chi’s” by the French …!


Auch die eine oder andere gute Crêpe bzw. "Galette" darf natürlich nicht fehlen ..!

Of course, a crêpe or galette never goes out of fashion either ..!


Vor allem aber haben meine Freundin Anne-Laure & mich die Straßenkunst in Les Sables d'Olonne begeistert … Einzigartige "Bauwerke" an den Mauern der Stadt!

… but what my dear friend Anne-Laure and I most appreciate about Les Sables d’Olonne is this unique art work on some of the local house walls: Street art graffiti made from local sea shells!


Ich glaub', so etwas hefte ich mir auch mal an meine eigene Hausfassade !!

Really love the intricate details of these works !!


Der Sonnenuntergang ist hier am Atlantik auch immer besonders schön … Zum Dahinschmelzen - und Wegträumen ..!

Fancy going for the sunset …


Travelling back from the Atlantic all the way to Vienna is another piece of cake, really. Thanks to pre-bookings & online check-ins, I board my TGV at 2.30 p.m. in La Rochelle, stepping off the plane in Vienna eight hours later. Easy.!

On the evening before travelling back from France to Austria, I choose my seat on the plane, which I am able to board directly from the TGV station at the Paris-Charles De Gaulle airport. Arriving there, including a nice little stopover for coffee & croissant in Poitiers, is easy and convenient thanks to the TGV trains. In combination, travelling by train and plane is really the best option for a quick journey to the coast in France.

“Anne-Laure, I might even be back to see you this very summer !!” 😀

Der willkommene Komfort des TGV bei der Rückreise aus La Rochelle zum Flughafen von Paris ...

Travelling back on the TGV from La Rochelle to Paris …


… wird ergänzt durch eine gemütliche Pause beim Umsteigen in Poitiers, die Zeit gibt für einen klassischen Café et pain au chocolat am Bahnhofplatz.

… includes a welcome stopover in the city of Poitiers, allowing me to enjoy a typical coffee & croissant at the main square.


Ob TGV ...

Whether TGV trains …


… oder Flugzeug ...

… or the airplane …


Reisen verbindet, macht einfach glücklich - und wird uns dieser Tage wahrlich leicht gemacht. A bientôt, meine liebe Familie in #LaBelleFrance!

… travelling unites us all and makes us happy. My love to all my friends and family in #LaBelleFrance – see you soon again I hope!


Disclaimer: Thank you to the team of Ruefa Reisen for assisting me with the booking of my TGV train tickets, supporting my trip to France. All opinions are my own.


Rita Branco 30 June 2015 - 10:04

Elena, you are a wonderful storyteller 🙂 Congrats

Elena 30 June 2015 - 10:08

Thank you sooo much, dear Rita !!!

Your words mean a lot to me. I hope you will be able to find lots more inspirational stories about France as well as many other countries on this travel blog 🙂


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