THE BASQUE CITY GUIDE

DISCOVER ALL THE ACTIVITIES IN BIARRITZ AND THE BASQUE COUNTRY

BIARRITZ THE HISTORIC SEASIDE RESORT

The city gives onto almost 2 and a half miles (nearly 4 kilometres) of creeks and beaches of fine sand such as the Main Beach, the Basque Coast Beach, the Old Port, or “Milady” Beach. Furthermore, Biarritz has numerous tourist and sporting activities to offer all along the coast.

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LE Rocher de la vierge

One of Biarritz’s most famous constructions, the "Virgin Rock" is a monument to the whole town. A steel footbridge built by Gustave Eiffel at the end of the 19th Century links the Rock to the town ,and you can see the Biarritz lighthouse and the Villa Belza from there. You can also see the sandy beaches of Anglet, the Landes coast, the Pyrenees mountains in the distance and the Basque coast to the south as far as Guéthary.

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THE BIARRITZ LIGHTHOUSE

The Biarritz lighthouse overlooks St. Martin’s Cape. It marks the frontier between the Basque Country’s cliffs and the immense sandy beach that goes all the way to the Gironde Estuary.

THE MAIN BEACH

The Main Beach enjoys a very central location in the town. Several important buildings front onto it : the Casino, the municipal swimming pool, and the luxurious hôtel du Palais (Palace Hotel). Just as popular with surfers as bathers for its powerful waves, the beachfront also makes for a pleasant walk in the sea air.

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THE CITY OF THE OCEAN

The City of the Ocean is a playful pseudo-scientific theme park aimed at the ocean and its surf. It complements the Biarritz Aquarium. Together, they form the “Biarritz Océan” complex, whose purpose is to help you get to know the ocean better, to understand it and to respect it.

THE BIARRITZ AQUARIUM

The Biarritz aquarium is well placed opposite the Virgin’s Rock. It houses an important collection of marine animals and naturalized birds.

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WELL-BEING AND SPORTING ACTIVITIES

The Basque Country is ideally situated at the end of the Pyrenees chain where the mountains plunge into the ocean. Sporting activities abound, be they mountain sports or nautical ones.  Below you will find a list of things you could enjoy during your stay, although there are always more to find !

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SURF

The Basque Coast has a worldwide reputation for its surfing, you can find many great spots with clear, warm water. Surfing is a must in this area, so take the whole family for a surfing lesson, whatever your skill level !

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yoga

Work on your inner balance ! Several places can get you practicing yoga. As soon as the Sun rises, or indoors, take a lesson and get your holiday off to a great start.

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KAYAK/PADDLE

See the coast from your kayak ! The Corniche is a wild part of the coast where kayaks and paddleboards can go and discover this little piece of paradise when the sea is calm.

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GOLF

Fans of golf, try out one or more of the sixteen golf courses that you can find in a 60 mile (100 kms) radius (list of golf courses) in all sorts of surroundings. Don’t miss the International Golf Training Centre at Ilbarritz-Bidart, which has an unbeatable sea view.

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THALASSO/HAMMAM

Take good care of yourself ! Thalassotherapy as practised in Biarritz is recognised worldwide. There is a long-standing tradition of sea cures that will give you the benefits of seawater and the marine climate.

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RAFTING/CANYONING

A few miles from the coast, get a change of air and follow the swift currents of the Nive river aboard an inflatable raft. In canyoning, each stream has its own sensations in unique countryside.

NEARBY SURF SPOTS

Whether you choose the Main Beach or the one at Ilbarritz, each can give you fabulous waves known all over the world for surfing. You could recover from a good surfing session by going to the nearby cafés and restaurants.

ilbarRitz

Suited to intermediate level surfers, particularly at high tide, the best waves break opposite the restaurant on the rocks. This beach is easy to get to via its large car park. Several snack bars and restaurants are available for refreshments.

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milady

Easily identified by its two rocks that are virtually twins, the Milady beach is next to the Ilbarritz beach. At low tide, it’s suited to all the family for bathing and making the most of all the nearby facilities ; large car park, restaurants, playgrounds, sea front walk and outdoor showers.

MAIN BEACH

A famous beach since it’s located in the very center of Biarritz, it offers waves whatever the conditions. Indeed, this beach is well sheltered and gets swells from all directions. It is ideal for enjoying restaurants, the main Casino and the surrounding bars.

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CÔTE DES BASQUES

In the history of surfing in Biarritz, this is the beach where the first European surfers set off on wooden planks. Almost unchanged since, at high tide the whole beach is covered by the sea, which can make life difficult for surfers trying to get out of the water. As evening falls towards sunset, viewpoints, night bars and restaurants pull in the crowds.

BASQUE GASTRONOMY​

Piperade

“Piperade’ is a Basque side dish with chopped-up tomatoes, chili peppers and onions. It typically comes with a cooked meat, grilled fish or, of course, with slices of Bayonne’s famous smoked ham.

The Basque Cake

Unmissable dessert from the region, this cake has a sweet shortcrust pastry and is filled with an almond-flavoured thick custard. We bet that a lot will succumb to it. Known to be very filling, it will please all food lovers.​

OSSAU IRATY​ CHEESE

Ossau Iraty cheese, is a protected designation of origin cheese that is exclusively made of sheep's’ milk. Matured in the shape of a tomme like a small barrel, its name comes from the “Midi d’Ossau” peak in the Pyrenees and the Iraty forest. You can enjoy it on bread which has been spread with black cherry jam.

PIntxos

Pintxos are the basque of version of the famous Spanish “tapas”. These little appetisers can be potato omelettes, cheese bites (“croquettes”), fried squid, sardines, chili peppers, olives, cheese or smoked ham. On the Spanish Basque side, you can see pintxos displayed on the pub counters from early morning to keep everybody happy all day.

THE BASQUE CIDER

The Basque cider is usually specified as “natural” cider. Compared to other types of cider through Europe, it is only slightly fizzy when you pour a glass as it contains little carbon dioxide. It is often poured like tea to cool it down, gently from a height.

IROULEGUY WINE

Irouléguy Wine is one of the smallest vineyards known in France. It is named after a tiny Basque village. The raisins grow around the Irouléguy village, and about fifteen other villages on the nearby mountain slopes. Red or Rosé, this wine is made from “Tannat”, a red wine grape, as well as Cabernet franc and Cabernet-sauvignon.