The beautiful town of La Rochelle is located on France’s west coast in the Poitu-Charentes region of the country. This harbour town is situated on the Bay of Biscay and part of the city lies on the small island, Île de Ré, just off the coast and connected by a bridge to the mainland.
The climate in La Rochelle consists of warm summers with plenty of sunshine and mild winters. Temperatures are warmer year round than expected at this latitude thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream.
Rainfall averages at about 700mm a year, falling at anytime. Rainfall levels are highest in late autumn/early winter and lowest in summer.
La Rochelle generally enjoys good summers. Although not as hot and dry as France’s south coast, the heat is pleasant and the skies sunny.
Summer runs from June till the end of September. In peak months of July and August the average temperature is 20°C, with daily highs in the mid 20s and lows averaging about 16°C. These are blissful temperatures and combined with an average of up to 9 hours of sunshine, conditions are ideal. Remember though that it’s also the busiest and most expensive time of year.
June and September see average temperatures of around 17°C or 18°C. Daily highs are often in the low 20s and sometimes higher. Visiting outside of the peak months is a good idea for avoiding crowds.
Rainfall is at it’s lowest of the year in summer averaging close to 40mm a month. July is statistically the driest month with just 35mm of rainfall on average. Don’t be surprised by the odd shower but more often than not the weather is sunny. Rain is usually brief and later in the season can fall in thunderstorms.
Winters in La Rochelle are quite cold but not bitterly so. The Gulf Stream ensures an absence of very cold winter temperatures that can occur in interior regions of France.
December to February sees average highs below 10°C and average lows down to 3°C. January, the coldest month, averages 5°C. It can drop below freezing. Frosts and snow are rare in La Rochelle, but travel inland a little and they are common.
Winter sees the most rainfall in the year. From October to //www.holiday-weather.com/la_rochelle/averages/january/ above 80mm of rain can be expected each month. This is not a colossal amount but you should expect regular showers if you visit during this time. Westerly winds from the Atlantic gain strength and can result in violent storms.
It is much less sunny: about 2 to 3 hours per day. However, this is partially due to shorter days and not entirely accounted for by cloudy skies.
La Rochelle is very quiet in winter and a fine winter’s day can be a good time to explore this charming town in peace rather than with the throngs of tourists in summer.
Spring and Autumn
The intermediate seasons are both good times to visit, especially late spring and early autumn which can still enjoy good summer-like weather. May and October are both good months that can see daily highs creeping up towards 20°C. Spring and autumn have the added benefit of fewer tourists and cheaper prices than summer.
Spring arguably has the edge over autumn as there is less rainfall and April and May enjoy 7 hours average sunshine per day. October, on the other hand, heralds the start of the rainier period that lasts through winter. Spring months see about 50 to 60mm of rainfall, as opposed to around 80mm in autumn.