You could limit yourself to a stop at the port of Bordeaux, with its characteristic classical and neoclassical style, and even more famously, the nearby wine region of the same name. But then you’d be missing the charms of the very pretty seaside resort town of La Rochelle. A small port, Azamara brings you off the beaten ocean path and up close to hidden gems like this one that larger ships can’t access.
Known as La Ville Blanche (the White City) for its luminous white limestone cliffs, La Rochelle was once one of France’s great port cities. Magnificent medieval towers watch over its entrance, and once inside you’ll discover cobbled alleys, arcaded walkways, and breathtaking lighthouses. Stop and savour the catch of the day, a sampling of oysters, or an incredible charcuterie on the waterfront, but really this is the kind of place where you never tire of meandering the old town alongside cafés, boutiques, and restaurants. Where the city’s historic center is more than enough to not only capture your attention, but hold it for a while.