Biarritz is one of the most prestigious seaside resorts on the Atlantic coast, with its beaches and surf spots renowned throughout the world.
Biarritz, a small whaling village, has become a luxury seaside resort under the impetus of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie. Between the mountains and the sea, Biarritz has the wild climate of the Basque Country, and traditions are deeply rooted in it, whether through language or culture.
Today, the cultural life of Biarritz is very dynamic, and it is also an ideal setting both for relaxation, with thalassotherapy centers, but also to enjoy yourself with Basque gastronomy and let off steam with the strong tradition The city. Indeed, Biarritz is known for being one of the best surfing spots in the world, and for its magnificent Golf du Phare.
The sporting tradition goes of course by the rugby, flagship of the city. The Biarritz Olympique du Pays Basque (BOPB), the flagship club of the city, boasts five French championship titles, and its star player is the well-known Serge Blanco.
Basque culture is reflected in the many Basque pelota tournaments that mark the year. The best known is the jaï alaï masters of cesta punta in july.
In the eleventh century, Biarritz was still only a small whaling village, as evidenced by the coat of arms of the city representing a large whaling boat.
By the end of the 18th century, sea bathing was in fashion. The Empress Eugénie decided to make Biarritz her holiday after having stayed two months in 1854. From then on, the city and its beaches became the rendezvous of the crowned heads of all Europe.
In 1957, the American screenwriter Peter Viertel, passing through the city for the shooting of the movie Le Soleil also rises, launches the practice of surfing in the region.
Biarritz has several famous beaches: Miramar Beach, Grande Plage, Port Vieux, Côte des Basques, Marbella Beach and Milady Beach.
La Grande Plage, which stretches from the north to the south of the bay between the Hotel du Palais and the Bellevue, is one of the largest and most popular beaches.
The Côte des Basques is the cradle of surfing and offers a beautiful view of the Spanish coasts.
Although Biarritz is mostly known as a seaside resort, it also has attractions for an off-season stay. In the absence of swimming or surfing, one can visit the aquarium of Biarritz installed in an Art Deco building attached to the cliff.
The gourmands will not fail to make a visit to the Planet Museum of Chocolate.
This museum takes you to the discovery of the history of chocolate from the Aztecs to the present day.
The Asiatica Oriental Art Museum in the city center invites you to admire more than a thousand works of art from India, Nepal, Tibet and China.
Finally, the historical museum of Biarritz, located in a former Anglican church, traces the history of the city through its collections, paintings and video projections.
Places to see
The Rocher de la Vierge is the emblem of the city of Biarritz. It was in 1865 that a statue of the Virgin was installed there. From this rock, you can admire the whole coast.
The Phare de Biarritz, built in 1834, is 73 meters above sea level and has 248 steps. It can be visited at certain times of the year.
Other monuments to see:
The Villa Eugénie or Hotel du Palais
The Art Deco style casino located on the banks of the Grande Plage
The Orthodox Church with the dome painted in blue (testimony of the visits of the Russian aristocracy)
The Imperial Chapel built in 1864 for the Empress Eugenie and classified historical monument.