Saint-Jean-de-Luz

My two days… in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Between the mountains and the ocean, the corsair town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz has become the capital of gastronomy and lounging, winding down, relaxing. Let me take you on a visit of the most exquisite places this well-known Pays Basque (Basque Country) seaside resort has to offer.

Day 1

Place Louis XIV
It was here that Louis XIV got married in 1660 to the infanta of Spain. For culture vultures, a little trip to Louis XIV’s home is a must and to St John the Baptist Church.

Check out the wooden boat hanging in the nave.

Lohobiague House known as the House of Louis XIV. Prices: from €4 to €6.50.
House of Louis XIV www.maison-louis-xiv.fr - +33 (0)5 59 26 27 58.

Luz Port

Some 50 years ago, fishermen could cross the Nivelle River on foot by jumping from one boat to another… The port’s golden age is long over yet the flotilla which has survived perfectly illustrates the professions which exist today. Fans of maritime heritage will recognize the old vessels built in Basque Country shipyards. “Airosa”, the channel-troller, is listed as an historic monument.

Cameras ready to click: the sacred mountain the Rhune watches over the port.

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The Halles, aka market, district

The district has become the icon of local gastronomy. The main market takes place on Tuesday and Friday mornings (and Saturday in summer). After a coffee at the Buvette des Halles, go visit the fishmongers’ stalls. Here, you’ll find hake and line-caught sea bass unloaded the day before at Ciboure fish market.

The must-of-must restaurants for lunch: Kako Etxea, Chez Pablo and Trinquet Maïtena.

The historic centre

Shopping lovers and food lovers will find everything they could wish for along the pedestrian streets (Gambetta, Loquin, Garat).

100 % Saint-Jean-de-Luz brands: Adam, Pariès, Laffargue, Katxi Klothing.

Day 2

Sainte-Barbe

Head off to the top of Sainte-Barbe Hill where you’ll make out the three sea walls which protect Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Ciboure.

Stroll along the Grande Plage up to the port channel.

Saint Jean de Luz

Ciboure

Two options to reach Socoa: a boat trip across the bay (from the Digue aux Chevaux or from the fishing port) or on foot. The second has the advantage of taking you through the centre of Ciboure where Maurice Ravel’s childhood home is located (just opposite the marina).

“Le Passeur” sea shuttle: €2.80 - +33 (0)6 11 69 56 93

Socoa

When the weather is fine, a stroll around the foot of the fort and along the sea wall (be careful at high tide!) is a must. It’s the most magical place on the Basque Coast, the Sokotar will tell you.

The beaches

The beach on the bay is very popular with families. Leave the bay and head for Mayarco Beach where a host of great bars and restaurants are waiting for you. Perfect for sipping on a cocktail and tasting baby squid whilst admiring the setting sun.

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