• A Full Travel Guide to Biarritz, France

    Biarritz in Southwestern France is a Basque coast seaside town.

     It is the gem of the French Basque country, and similar to Sintra in Portugal, it was once a place for royalty to escape to… and I don’t blame them. Biarritz is a surfer hang out, made apparent by the many surf schools, shops, and the laid back culture.

    Related: A Full Travel Guide to Sintra, Portugal

    But in between the surf culture and vibe is an evident, traditional French elegance. The glamorous villas and sandy beaches, combined with this surfer town vibe, make for a truly unique experience. Known for its famous beaches (la Grande Plage) and it’s proximity to San Sebastian past the Spanish border, Biarritz is a real unicorn in comparison to other parts of France.

    Related: A 5 Day Travel Guide to the Portuguese Riviera

     

     

    You can walk on one street and visit a posh restaurant and a few blocks down come across laid back hipster surf shops and casual cafes or lounges. It all feels very balanced and you get the right amount of each if you choose to do so.

     

     

    If you pay attention, there are some subtle features of Biarritz that make it one of a kind. The properties are colourful but not bright. The restaurants are classy but not pretentious. The clothes stores are stylish but not ostentatious. This place has clearly mastered the craft of being beautiful without being unwelcoming. The local service workers clearly take pride in their craft, and why wouldn’t they? The food and drink are of course excellent. As with many French restaurants/cafes/hotels, the staff are well trained and get to ply their trade in a lovely venue within a gorgeous town.

    Related: Weekend Travel Guide to Ramsgate, Kent

     

    Weather

    The weather can be quite unpredictable as it is the Basque country after all. Our stay there consisted of a real mixed bag. One of the days was very sunny, one day it rained nearly the entire day (breaking only for the evening) and one day the clouds went in and out. I would be prepared for the ever-changing weather (similar to San Francisco). An umbrella and a light jumper was very necessary for early June and be prepared for random rain.

    Related: A 24 Hour Guide to San Francisco

    Culture/Eating

    Is very heavily influenced by Spain so siesta culture is definitely a thing. Don’t expect to be served food at all hours of the day. Lunch is only served until 3:30, and dinner isn’t eaten or served at restaurants until after 7 pm.

    Places to Eat

    Bistrot des Halles on rue du Centre

    Bar Jean at 5 rue des Halles

    Creperie Bleue de Toi (Creperie)

    Dodin’s patisserie ( near Grande Plage)

    Miremont’s Salon de The

    Carøe (Nordic Style Tapas)

    Chéri Bibi (Wine Bar)

    Alaïa Restaurant (beach views)

    Le Coupe Faim  (sandwich shop)

    Hôtel Les Baigneuses (for drinks) 

    Le B2 (Brunch)

    The Beach House  (Anglet)

    Café Le Madrid 563 Ave. du Général de Gaulle, Guéthary; lemadrid.com. 

    Heteroclito Chemin de la Plage, Guéthary

    Le Kaïku 

    Le Moulin de Bassilour (Bakery)
    Chez Albert (Port des Pêcheurs)

    Saline Ceviche Bar

    Cabane a Hutres

    Etxola Bibi

    Ventilo Cafe

    L’art Noa

    Le Ble Noir (Creperie)

     

    Transportation

    Biarritz is easily accessible by car and walkable on foot, but if you are staying away from the city center there are plenty of busses that are available for €1 each way or €2 for a day trip. Google Maps gives you an accurate wait time of the bus. The bus driver gives you a ticket which you can keep to top up for future journies. Taking taxis from one end of the city to the next can add up. Each way from the airport to the hotel or city centre to our hotel (near the train station) was €20

     

    Attractions/Things to Do

     

    Grande Plage

    Les Halles

    Casino Municipal, on Grande-Plage

    Plage du Port-Vieux

    Cite de L’ocean

    Rocher de la Vierge

    Musee de la MerMusée Historique de Biarritz

    Chapelle Imperiale

    The Café de la Grande Plage

    Rocher du Baste

    Phare de Biarritz

    La Cote des Basque

    Have pre-dinner drinks at Comptoir du foie gras

    Sunset at Place Bellevue

    Nearby: Anglet, Bayonne, Guethary, Saint Jean de Luz, Hendaye

    Sample Itinerary

    1.La Cote Des Basques

    2.Rocher de la Vierge

    3.Port des Pecheurs

    4.Grande Plage

    5.Casino Municipal, on Grande-Plage

    6.Phare De Biarritz

    7.Pointe St-Martin

     

    Don’t Forget These Posts

    A Five-day Travel Guide to the Portuguese Riviera

    A Three Day Guide to Paris

    A Full Travel Guide to Sintra

    One Day Itinerary for Lisbon

     

     

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