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Biarritz is a city in France situated on the Atlantic Coast. It is part of the Basque Country, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Biarritz is a beautiful, chic French city with a casino, grand hotels, colorful houses, and an amazing seafront. If you plan to visit the southwestern part of France, Biarritz should be on your list! Let’s start!
La Grande Plage
La Grande Plage is a beautiful beach with a promenade in the heart of Biarritz. It’s a popular spot for surfers and sea lovers. There are nice restaurants with terraces overlooking the sea, the famous Casino Barrière, and luxury hotels.
Take a look at the Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, a beautiful 5-star luxury hotel next to the beach. Shaped like the letter E, Napoleon III built the hotel for his third wife, Empress Eugenie de Montijo. Then, walk by the seafront and admire the mighty waves of the Atlantic Ocean, which, on a windy day, looks like a scene out of Game of Thrones.
Another fun thing to do in Biarritz is to visit the aquarium. The aquarium is next to the Rocher de la Vierge, and the admission fees are 11 euros for children, 15 for adults, and 13 euros for students. You will get to see many fishes, sea turtles…and seals! Don’t miss the event, feeding the seals, every day at 10h30 and 5 PM. You can purchase your tickets for the aquarium here.
Rocher de la Vierge
Rocher de la Vierge is the main attraction in Biarrtiz. Situated right next to the Biarritz Aquarium, le Rocher de la Vierge is a rock formation with a statue of the Virgin on the top of it. There is a bridge to get to the actual rock formation, which offers a fantastic ocean view. On one side you get to see the Spain mountains (yes, it’s that close!), on the other side, La Grande Plage, and right in front of you, the endless sea. It is so beautiful!
The seafront promenade connects the Rocher de la Vierge and La Grande Plage. It’s the perfect place to take a walk and enjoy Biarritz’s seafront.
La Maison Pariès is THE place to go if you want to try Basque delicacies. Since 1895, this beautiful little boutique has sold treats that are unique to the Basque country: Mouchou, Basque cake (black cherry was my favorite!), Kanougas, fine chocolates and much more.
I had the chance to visit Biarritz with a local, so La Maison Pariès is not something I would have necessarily heard of as a tourist. So if you are looking for an authentic Basque experience, this should be on your list.
If food tours interest you, viator.com offers many food tours around the French Basque country. For more information, click here.
The beautiful Basque city Bayonne is only 40 minutes away from Biarritz (accessible by public transport). What makes Bayonne unique and a lovely city to visit is the architecture. Indeed, the half-timbered houses in the shades of green and red are unique to Basque architecture. There are also nice little bridges that cover the river Adour.
Make sure to also look at the beautiful gothic cathedral whose construction started in the 13th century.
If you like shopping, there is also a Galerie Lafayette, like in Paris! La Rue Port Neuf is also a nice street with many restaurants and shops, but don’t make the same mistake as me…don’t visit on a Sunday, because most of them are closed!
This is it for this post about things to do in Biarritz! I hope you enjoyed it and it made you want to discover the French Basque country.
The Basque country is a beautiful region with a unique culture, architecture, cuisine, and language. There is so much to explore, and so I wish you to get the chance to discover it too one day! If you have been to this place, tell me in the comments what was the highlight of your trip, I would love to read to you!
Until then…see your next post!