Biarritz day 1
1. The fishing port
Let’s begin with the essential must-dos of this imperial resort: a coastal stroll starting out at the picturesque fishing port, where you can stop off to savour some delicious fish at the Corsaire , offering a great vista over the fishing boats. Then, move on to the famous Rock of the Virgin Mary also known as Virgin’s Rock and its statue, the town’s totem, erected in 1865, before heading for Biarritz Aquarium , located close by, with its seals and seven species of sharks.
Biarritz_Rocher de la Vierge ©G.Arrieta
Biarritz Aquarium is open daily, night-time visits in July and August, and seal feeding time at 10:30am and 5pm.
2. Côte des Basques
Côte des basques ©G.Arrieta
Pursue your stroll along the ocean and head down towards the Côte des Basques, one of the finest beaches in Europe, via Port-Vieux Beach, a little creek nestling in a rocky cove. The Côte des Basques is the Mecca for any surfer, from total novices to brilliant experts. Important: bathing is impossible during high tide as the beach is inaccessible. An opportunity to enjoy a cocktail at the Bar de la Côte , while taking in a superb panorama over the coastline of Spain...
Biarritz surf, Zoe Grospiron ©G.Arrieta
3. A drink at Bibi Beaurivage
The distinctive Bibi Beaurivage district is located above the Côte des Basques Beach, which you wander up to through eucalyptus trees to Jean-Baptiste Lassalle Square where locals, surfers and holidaymakers get together at the end of the day at the well-known Etxola Bibi café overlooking the beach with its pétanque grounds. Its rosé is fresh, its tapas hearty and its vantage point, breathtaking.
Bar Etxola Bibi ©Damien Dohmen
Biarritz day 2
4. Around the covered market
Biarritz, les Halles ©CDT64
Biarritz covered market, built in 1885 and superbly renovated, set the pace for the crowds in the town centre, morning, midday and... evening, when holidaymakers flock in their thousands for tapas aperitif time outdoors under the rosy evening sky! Its fish and seafood stalls are reputed worldwide. Around the market and up to Place Clemenceau, over a hundred shops, boutiques selling local products (from espadrilles to macaroons and surf gear) and luxury stores guarantee a successful stroll where visitors will find souvenirs from their stay in Biarritz.
Biarritz, boutique Arostéguy ©CDT64-J.Cazenave
Covered market open daily from 7:30am to 2pm and in the evenings from 6pm to 9pm.
5. The imperial chapel
After lunching at the Clos Basque, the historic place-to-be for locals (it’s best to book), why not digest by paying a visit to the imperial chapel, located just a few minutes’ walk away. This chapel, blending Roman-Byzantine and Hispano-Moorish styles, built in 1864 and imperially commissioned by Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, was dedicated to the black Mexican Madonna Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Chapelle Impériale ©CDT64-J.Cazenave
Biarritz day 3
6. Underwater sea walking by the Lighthouse
What could be more invigorating in the morning than walking bare foot in your swimming gear along Miramar Beach and Grande Plage – the main beach (for 2 km) listening to La Femme, well-loved Biarritz pop group, in your headphones (listen to La Femme on Spotify). And why not mix stimulating underwater walking and stretching exercises on the sand before heading up to the 73 metre high Lighthouse. And, if ever you’ve some energy left, go and admire the breathtaking vista from the top of the Lighthouse’s 248 steps over the Basque Coast, the south of the Landes, the ocean and the mountains.
Biarritz, le Phare ©G.Arrieta
tickets for the Lighthouse on sale at Biarritz Tourist Office: https://tourisme.biarritz.fr/en
7. Thalasso relaxation
Thalmar, l'Archipel ©Thalmar
Biarritz is the ultimate thalassotherapy and fitness destination! The resort boasts two thalasso centres (Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa , and Thalmar) which propose a selection of à la carte treatments and cures to suit individual needs. The town also comprises a palace (Hôtel du Palais) and a five-star hotel (the Regina Biarritz Hotel & Spa by MGallery collection) which boast two of the most prestigious spas of the region.
Hotel du Palais, Bar Imperial ©Hotel du Palais