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 Instagram: Internet (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.
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.
… 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!
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 !!” 😀
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.