07 January 2013
Top Ten Tips For Biarritz
Stroll along the Biarritz coast, explore the town centre and then head out into Basque country, the Pyrénées and Spain.
1. Walk along Biarritz bay from the lighthouse to a headland overlooking a vast beach that sweeps towards Spain (just 22 km away). En route are the picturesque Fishermen's Port (now an enclave of restaurants and bars) and a cove where hardy members of the Polar Bears Club swim every day.
2. Discover Biarritz town centre: stores showcase local delights including the celebrated macaroons from Maison Adam and the famous striped Basque linens. And don't miss the elegant Miremont tea salon for an afternoon treat.
3. Golf has been big in Biarritz since it first arrived in 1888. Some 11 courses surround the town, in dramatic locations.
4. Nearby St-Jean-de-Luz is a delightful, immaculately preserved resort with traditional half-timbered houses lining a sandy bay, a plane-shaded square and a shopping street with foodie stores.
5. The Spanish city of San Sebastian (40 km away) is famed for its cuisine, from tapas bars to cutting edge, Michelin-starred restaurants. Stroll along the harbour beside its shell-shaped bay, then view the grand square where bullfights were once held.
6. Drive half-way up La Rhune, the dramatic mountain on the edge of the Pyrénées, and continue to the top in the wooden carriages of the vintage Petit Train. You might like to walk back down.
7. Explore the glorious, green countryside and stop in perfectly preserved Basque villages: Sare, Ainhoa and Espelette, where pretty houses are decorated with strings of red peppers.
8. Visit a village pelota hall such as Le Trinquet d'Arcangues and watch a match. Then join locals around the restaurant's open fire for a rustic feast.
9. The attractive city of Bayonne almost merges with Biarritz. Explore museums, churches and shops.
10. Head even further afield: it's possible to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (just over 100 km away) in a day.
Visit the Hôtel du Palais website.