La Rochelle Arrivals
La Rochelle is one of the smaller airports found in the country of France, but is still an important gateway to the city of La Rochelle, as well as to the island of Ile de Ré, found just west of La Rochelle. The airport has the official IATA code of LRH, and is also otherwise known as the Laleu Airport, due to its location. Flights arrive at the airport from a variety of local and international destinations, and passengers will find the La Rochelle arrivals hall to be equipped with all the facilities they require. Arriving passengers also have a few transport options from which to choose, in order to continue their journey from the airport.
The airport is located approximately 2.5km from the city of La Rochelle, which is a commune of the Charente-Maritime department of France. The city is known for its ‘Vieux Port’, or ‘Old Harbour’, which is at the heart of the city, and lined with seafood restaurants. Many tourists enjoy the boat trips available from the harbour as well, to places such as Île d’Aix and Fort Boyard. The city is also a favourite for its well-preserved old town, and well-maintained architectural aspects from the past. A couple of interesting museums can be explored, and the city has a large aquarium and a botanical garden known as the Jardin des plantes de La Rochelle. La Rochelle is also often used as a base from where day outings are made, to the charming cities and towns of Saintes and Venise Verte, just to name a few. Just across the waters of the Bay of Biscay, is the Ile de Ré island, featuring a 17th century fort, a lighthouse and a 12th century Cistercian abbey. Tourists arriving at La Rochelle Airport will therefore find plenty of attractions in the area.
Although a smaller airport of the country, with only around 200,000 passengers per annum, La Rochelle is considered as one of the fastest growing French airports, and its passenger traffic is expected to double by the year 2015. 2007 was the airport’s busiest year so far, with just over 220,000 passengers. Over the past few years new routes have been opened to the airport from several destinations, allowing more people to easily access La Rochelle. One of the newest is by the airline company Ryanair, from Porto in Portugal. This was the first direct connection to Portugal for the airport. The international flights arriving at La Rochelle are mainly seasonal, and are handled by the airline companies of EasyJet, Flybe, Jet2.com and Ryanair, however, Flybe offers year-round trips from Southampton, and Ryanair offers regular flights from London-Stansted Airport. Flights arrive from London-Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Brussels South-Charleroi and Dublin as well.
In terms of domestic traffic, visitors can fly to La Rochelle from the Paris-Orly Airport, and this route is offered by Airlinair (operated by Chalair Aviation). From Lyon, passengers can travel on flights by Air France (operated by Airlinair).
The La Rochelle arrival area is found within the single terminal building of the airport, and here there are tourist information desks available. There are also public toilet facilities, payphones and the automatic machines used to pay for airport parking. Facilities on site include a bar/restaurant, and a few airport shops as well. From just outside the arrival area, passengers can use the public transport available, in the form of buses or taxis. Buses travel to the city centre of La Rochelle, stopping at the La Rochelle Ville Train Station and at Place de Verdun, approximately every half an hour, and are most convenient for all passengers. They are also a very cost effective way to travel. Bus tickets can be purchased from the bus driver. The taxi rank is outside of the arrival area as well, and various taxi companies take passengers to all nearby destinations. Taxis are a bit more expensive than the public bus services, but offer a quicker and more direct journey, as they will take you to the doorstep of your hotel, residence or place of business.
Alternatively, find out in advance if your hotel, or other place of accommodation offers a free shuttle service for passengers arriving at the airport, or arrange a private transfer a few days before you travel. Private transfers are similar to a taxi, but may offer larger vehicles, and are therefore best for groups of travellers. Several La Rochelle Airport car hire companies are in the arrival area as well, and they include National, Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Alamo and Auto Europa. In a rented car is by far the most convenient way to travel the area, and allows true freedom to explore at your own leisure. Hire cars come in all shapes and sizes, ideal for the single traveller or for up to groups of nine. They are also mostly hired with unlimited mileage, and passengers at the airport may receive special car rental rates.
The main airport road is the N237, which directly links to the D735 crossing the bridge over to Ile de Ré, and it also surrounds the city of La Rochelle. Branching off to the north-east is the N11 to Niort, a city about 58km from the airport. Heading south is easy as well, as the N237 continues in this direction until Vergeroux, from where it becomes the A837, connected to the A10 to Bordeaux. The A10 is also a major road to Poitiers, approximately 123km from La Rochelle. Other areas nearby include Marans, Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon and Rochefort.
Schedules for live La Rochelle arrivals are found online, from the official airport website and from many other sources, or passengers can contact the airport (Tel: +33 5 46 42 86 70) for further information.
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