Biarritz and the Basque Country: what to do, what to see...


Biarritz-Basque Country

Incontournable : le rocher du Basta à Biarritz
© bbsferrari / Istockphoto - Incontournable : le rocher du Basta à Biarritz

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 24 May 2023, updated on 20 April 2024

This region of South-Western France has everything it takes to get your heart racing, from legendary beaches that attract surfers from around the world, to mountain villages. This subtle blend of contemporary style and authentic Basque tradition promises an amazing experience. There's nothing like it! Welcome to the Basque Country.

Visits you cannot miss in Biarritz and the Basque Country

Le phare de Biarritz, qui annonce le sentier littoral.
© Dani Fuentes Ortiz - Unsplash - Le phare de Biarritz, qui annonce le sentier littoral.

• The Biarritz coast in Hendaye Along the waves of the Atlantic, 35 kilometers, is only a succession of small fishing ports, wild cliffs, and beautiful half-timbered houses. The coastal path offers grandiose panoramas, between the ocean and the Pyrenees.

• The city of Biarritz and its mythical beach In the city center, the Grande Plage extends its rollers at the foot of the emblematic Palace Le Palais, and further, framed by cliffs, the Côte des Basques is for surfers and bathers.

• The medieval city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Capital of Lower Navarre, on the road to St Jean de Compostela, the city with medieval streets, highlighted by pink sandstone, is reflected in the Nive.

• Aldudes Valley In the heart of the Basque country, in the hollow of the mountains of Basse Navare, this authentic valley is populated by only a thousand inhabitants, who live in three villages, connected by winding roads.

• Hendaye beach It is the longest sandy beach of the Basque coast: 3 kilometers, bordered by a rather calm ocean at this place. Enjoy with the kids!

• The village of Espelette In the province of Labourd, an essential step to discover this typical village and the origin of the famous pepper, which delicately perfumes the Basque cuisine.

• The Petit Bayonne This typical old quarter is home to tall Renaissance houses in a maze of alleys and along its quaysides. It has an open air museum and becomes festive during the famous Bayonne Festival.

• Guéthary This former 17th century fishing port has been transformed into a pretty marina. Swimmers are found on small coves or natural beaches.

• Saint Jean de Luz Louis XIV married Marie-Thèrèse in 1660. This small port is full of charm, with its old houses of well-aligned owners, its beach, its port, and its trinquets.

• Cambo-les-Bains and its baths The village is famous for its Art Deco thermal spa, in a large park. We also visit the large Villa Arnaga, built by Edmond Rostand at the beginning of the last century, and its gardens at the "Versailles".

Essential activities in Biarritz and the Basque Country

Parmi les nombreuses activités à pratique à Biarritz et au Pays basque : le surf, comme ici dans les vagues de Biarritz.
© Mauro Paillex - Unsplash - Parmi les nombreuses activités à pratique à Biarritz et au Pays basque : le surf, comme ici dans les vagues de Biarritz.

• Finish your swing on one of the many golf courses The hardest is to choose among the 16 courses less than an hour's drive from Biarritz: Arcangues, Biarritz the Lighthouse, Chiberta, Hossegor, Seignosse, .... Their development is efficient and they are among the most beautiful in France, between ocean and mountains.

• Take the cogwheel train to the top of the Rhune A beautiful experience to enjoy a breathtaking panorama, at 905 meters above sea level, on the Pyrenees and on the Atlantic Ocean.

• Venture into the Iraty Forest If you are looking for the largest beech forest in Europe, it's here! In summer, you will hike to the peak of Orhy. In autumn, you will observe migratory birds.

• Dump waves on a surf on the main surf spots of Biarritz and the Basque Country. Surf culture is omnipresent in the Basque Country. Starting with the mythical beach La Côte des Basques in Biarritz, but also other spots in Anglet, Bidart, Guéthary or St Jean de Luz.

• Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a game of Basque pelota Basque pelota is subtle and is played differently depending on the place, the instrument and the type of ball. Whether the trinquet, the wall of 36 m or 54 m, or outdoors, with a paleta ball of leather or hollow eraser, the atmosphere is guaranteed!

• Do more than sandcastles on the most beautiful beaches of Biarritz and the Basque Country. No less than five thalassotherapy centers await you to enjoy the benefits of the ocean, in Anglet, Biarritz, St Jean de Luz and Hendaye. With views of the beach and the sea of course.

• To be mistaken for Empress Eugénie at the Hôtel du Palais The Spanish Empress, wife of Napoleon III, loved Biarritz. In 1855, she built in Villa Eugenie, overlooking the beach, which will become the Palace Hotel. Even today, the palace likes to revive the prestige of tradition.

• Admire the view aboard the funicular of Pau Commissioned in 1908, it continues to connect the Pau station to the top of the city, with a slope of 30%. It is both obsolete and spectacular on the Pyrenees in clear weather.

• Toasting at life at the fishermen's port in Biarritz In the heart of the old town, below the church of St. Eugenie, this port has kept its authenticity: a small beach, boats that wet, restaurants with terraces, fishermen, ...

• Book a Basque dance class To participate in the Basque country's traditional festivals, these courses are essential. You will learn everything about jumps, dances in the round, farandoles, the sound of flute and tambourine. On track!

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