Destination Guide: Biarritz
Basque Coast surfing and 1920s glitz and glamour
Tucked right in France's south-west corner on the Atlantic
Coast, the timeless resort town of Biarritz has not lost its
faded belle époque grandeur. Reliable waves and long
stretches of sandy beaches have attracted surfers and
sunbathers for years.
Food and Drink
Basque gastronomy from the ocean and the Pyrenees
Fruits de mer and freshly caught
fish top menus everywhere in Biarritz -; try
Basque-style hake, cooked with clams and white wine, or
chipirones (small squid) and pibales (young eels). Air-dried
Bayonne ham goes well with a glass of the local
Irouléguy wine, produced in the nearby foothills of
Sightseeing and relaxation
Prom walks and old Biarritz in splendid belle époque
cafés. Marvel at the grand
Hôtel du Palais built by Napolean III's wife, Eugénie,
then follow the prom round to the rocky outcrop of
Rocher de la Vierge. Unwind with a slice of almondy
gâteau basque at
Café-Pâtisserie Miremont where the Roaring Twenties
crowd used to turn up in open-top Bentleys.
Designer names and traditional Basque gifts.
Place Clemenceau and its surrounding streets are lined
with designer-name boutiques with the price tag to match.
Delicatessens in the Old Port fill their shelves with velvety
Biarritz chocolates and
packed with almonds and honey. Take home expertly woven
Basque textiles and rope-soled espadrilles.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Glitzy old Biarritz and chic 21st-century bars. Dress
up for roulette or blackjack at Biarritz' Art Deco
Casino on the waterfront. Contemporary chic bars with
sea views draw Biarritz' smart set to
Place Clemenceau and
rue du Port-Vieux. In the summer season free classical
concerts are held at venues all over the resort town.