Known for its famous beaches and thriving surf scene, Biarritz offers its visitors a unique experience. Fancy restaurants and spas can be found comfortably next door to pizza joints and surf shops, meaning there is something for everyone who comes to stay at our family villas in France
For those looking for activities, the whole family can take part in, have a look below to see what there is to do in and around Biarritz that will make your holiday unforgettable.
Biarritz has a total of 6km of beaches (plages in French) which make it a popular summer holiday destination. The beaches have fine sand and a decent amount of seaweed which adds iodine to the water and has healthy benefits for the body. The Plage Miramar is a quiet beach located between the lighthouse and Hôtel du Palais if you want to get away from crowds, or the Grand Plage is the most popular among tourists and locals. It is close to the shopping areas, bars and restaurants too. Next to the Old Port is the small Plage Port Vieux, which is sheltered from strong winds and waves, making it the best beach for swimming. For anyone wanting to go surfing try the Plage de la Côte des Basques. Providing perfect surfing conditions, at high tide the beach vanishes, and the sea is left to the waves and surfers.
Built in 1870 for inshore fishermen, the port is now a place mainly visited by tourists as most of the fishermen are gone. This area is one of the best places for eating out in Biarritz as there are several restaurants located in the picturesque fishermens houses. If you are looking to try the areas best fresh fish or seafood dishes, this is the place to go, and you can enjoy the food with views of the port in the background.
Old Port and Port Vieux
Until the 19th century, Biarritz was centred around the Port Vieux, as it was here where whaling ships came to dock and fishermen would cut up the whales. The beach, Plage Port Vieux is located here, and a number of bars surround it located in the old buildings from the 19th century. The beach is frequented all year round by locals for swimming. The Old Port is a small place to explore and makes a great starting or finishing place for a walk through the town.
Musée de la Mer Aquarium
Located on the cliffs by the Rock of the Virgin is the Sea Museum Aquarium. The Art Deco museum and aquarium has a long history and has been open to the public since 1933. Expanded in 2011, the aquarium contains the largest pools in France. The museum will take you through the flora and fauna of the worlds oceans and seas and you can meet the residents too such as the hammerhead shark, grey seals and loggerhead turtle.
Hôtel du Palais
When Empress Eugenie discovered Biarritz and fell in love with it, she decided to build the perfect seaside palace, what is now known as the Hôtel du Palais. The construction of the palace started in 1855 and over the years has been a hotel-casino and visited by many of the European bourgeoisie and royals. Today the hotel represents the luxurious life that Biarritz has seen over the years and is one of the citys main symbols. A visit to the hotel and a walk around the lobby will make you feel as if you were Empress Eugenie herself.
Rock of the Virgin
According to legend, there was a ship on its way to dock when a storm struck making it impossible for the ship to navigate into the port. Suddenly a ray of light appeared and showed the fishermen the safe way to the shore and after the miracle, the fishermen erected a statue of the Virgin on the rock in 1865. The rock is connected to the mainland via a bridge, crossing over the water and through the rock. From the rock, you can enjoy some of the best views to be seen of Biarritz and on clear days you can see as far as the mountains of the Spanish Basque Country.
Market Halles de Biarritz
The market in Biarritz has been around since 1885 and is the main covered market of the town. A fantastic place to buy local produce for cooking up a traditional French dish in your villas, you can easily spend a whole morning browsing the many stalls. The Halles de Biarritz is divided into two buildings. The first one is where you can find meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, cheeses and other Basque specialities and the other building is for fish and other seafood and is most busy early in the morning.
Built in 1834, the lighthouse can be found at the northernmost point of Biarritz. The 74 metres high lighthouse is open to the public, but we aware that the climb to the top is a total of 248 steps! But even if you dont want to climb to the top of the lighthouse, it is still a great place to visit. The lighthouse is on a cliff, right next to the water and there are fantastic views over Biarritz to the south. One of the best times to visit is sunset so you can see the city bathed in an orange-pink glow.
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