From South West France across to the South East France there are two seas – the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and you could not get such differing coastlines each offering their own unique beauty. Whilst some peoples visions of the Atlantic can sometimes be seen as a cold and rough it’s quite wrong. The long sandy beaches, rugged coves, cliffs and wonderful water sports its perfect for families, surfers and golfers.
The long white sandy beaches of Arcachon, not forgetting the magnificent Dune d’Pyla which is the largest sand dune in Europe. The sea is almost turquoise in colour and with the boats dotted out to sea its give an appearance of outstanding beauty. As you venture further south the straight, sandy beaches of the Landes are replaced by alternating sand, rocks, cliffs, creeks and bays of the Basque Coast. It’s quite incredible that this coastline offers, landscapes, architecture, unforgettable sunsets and sports activities – all in the space of 40 kms. Bayonne is the capital and some say the jewel in the crown of Basque heritage. With its white houses with red or green timber standing on the banks of the Nive to the narrow streets of Petit Bayonne and their lively night-time activity, the Bonnat Museum and the shopping streets where you can find the best chocolate are just some of the things not to be missed.
Further south is Anglet with its long sandy beach, new promenade, pavement cafes and perfect for families as there is so much to do all year round. Golf, surfing, water sports and traditional fetes are just some of things on offer.
The same can be found in Biarritz, the “king of beaches and the beach of kings”, ever since Eugenie de Montijo and her husband Napoleon III made it the favourite resort of the European aristocracy. Apart from the fabulous architecture, smart shops and the Casino it’s the long sandy beach, water sports and surfing that is the draw of this fashionable town. Surfing started here in the 1950’s and has rapidly become a tradition here drawing crowds from as far as Hawaii and Australia in the competitions that are held here.
Going further south the beaches are still long, flat and sandy with rocky pools and fishing ports. One such fishing port is St Jean de Luz where fishing is a thriving tradition and the port is full of colour and activity. It’s a cosmopolitan town with side streets with some fabulous shops as well as an abundance of restaurants all offering the local catch of the day. As you near the coast of Spain you come to Hendaye which faces Spain across a pretty bay. From Biarritz to Hendaye is 27 kms of wonderful Atlantic coastline with wild heath land and the backdrop of the Rhune Mountains on the French side and the Trois Couronnes (Three Crowns) peak across the border in Spain. Hendaye lies in the bay of Txingudi and a shuttle boat service runs between the two countries. There is a marina, surfing schools, canoeing and plenty of nautical pleasures for a family holiday. Shown below are a small selection of our villas on the Atlantic coast.