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Surf. Stay. Play: Biarritz, France

As the Summer home to royalty and the birthplace of surfing in France, Biarritz has a rich and diverse heritage. This seaside gem on the Southwest coast was one of our favorite places to visit during lay days at the #ROXYpro France, and at just 30 minutes drive down the highway from Hossegor it was hard to resist its belle epoque charms.

 

Since we found plenty of reasons to visit more than once during our stay, we decided to pull together an insider’s guide for your very own très jolie Biarritz escape!

 

SURF

With an abundance of surf breaks in town and even more just a short drive away, your options are endless, but here are a few of our faves -

Côte Des Basques is our personal favorite, boasting surreal views and a truly unique path from the carpark to the beach. You can wind you way down via the ramps or tackle the ‘cent marches’, the 100 steps.

Another favorite, is La Grande Plage, in the center of town. We spent a lazy afternoon enjoying a little playful surf then crepes and ice creams on the beach as we watched the sun go down.

10 minutes down the road you’ll find great breaks in Justine Mauvin’s home base of Bidart, plus venture a little further and you’ll strike gold at Cenitz in Guethary or Lafitenia in St Jean De Luz.

 

STAY

Your accommodation options are just as varied, from cozy AirBnB’s, beautifully restored manors or luxe glamping sites. (Let’s not forget that with plenty of French adventures right outside your door, there won’t be much time to lounge in your hotel!)

 

To enjoy everything in the center of town, we recommend Hotel Silhouette. It’s located opposite Les Halles and on the main street, you can’t get any more central than this! If you like some historical relevance to your accommodation; it used to be the home of Etienne de Silhouette, Minister to Louis XV, King of France in the 1700’s.

 

If you’re after a true experience, you can’t go past Snazzy Camp. Soak up the Basque coast’s finest in your very own bell tent, equipped with everything you need from linens, duvet and pillows, bath towels, table and chairs, and lighting. All you need to do is pick + book your perfect camp spot, and then the team at Snazzy Camp come in and handle the rest.

 

 

 

PLAY

With so much to do, we’re going to lay out the perfect day from sunup to sundown to give you an idea of just how magnifique this town is!

 

9am

Rise and shine and get your day started by strolling through Les Halles, the local market. From local delicacies to an abundance of locally grown produce and more cheese than you’re likely to see in your life, Les Halles has it all! Start your day with a filling breakfast as the market gets into full swing by enjoying a truffle omelette at Maison Balme.

11am

Work your way from the markets to Olea Mediterranean Cafe for your morning caffeine fix. Hands down the best coffee in town and spy some of their delicious homemade specialties that you might want to earmark for lunch or dinner.

Next up, walk down the street to La Grande Plage for a surf check. You can then take your pick of which way to wander. Head left to take the walk to Cote De Basques, views across the port and one of our favorite swimming spots, Port Vieux. Or you can go right and head towards the lighthouse and enjoy the beautiful sweeping views across La Grande Plage and beyond.

Stunning views from the Lighthouse.

La Grande Plage above and Port Vieux below

12.30pm

Hungry yet? The French take their lunch dining seriously, with many local businesses (non-hospitality, of course) closing over the hours of 12.30-2.30pm, inevitably leading tourists and travelers to do the same.

 

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, so the hardest part is narrowing your options depending on taste. We recommend hitting the top end of Rue Gambetta, the dining strip will have something for everyone. Lasagne at Les Terrasses, pizza at Cibo, burgers at CAB burger, poke bowls at Saline or tapas at Puig and Daro. Take your pick!

 

 

3pm

Enjoy some retail therapy and pick up a few souvenirs around the markets or along the streets leading to Galleries Lafayette.

 

6pm

It’s time to work your way back to Côte Des Basques for an aperol spritz or glass of rosé at Extola Bibi and settle in to catch the sunset. Perched at the top of the carpark, the bar offers charcuterie and tapas to nibble as you people watch and recap your day as the sun dips below the Atlantic ocean with Spain’s mountain range in the distance. (depending when you visit, sunset varies from 9.40pm in the height of summer, to 7.15pm when we visited in October)

8.30pm

The hardest decision you will make in any given day centers around where to eat, given the abundance of great options. Our top picks are -

- Make your way back to Les Halles and try any one of our favorites - Café Du Commerce, Bar Jean or Bar Du Marché.

- At the base of the Cent Marches stairs is the favorite amongst locals and travelers alike, Le Surfing.

- Enjoy the catch of the day at any one of the beautiful restaurants lining Port des Pecheurs. Try the grilled chipirons, small grilled squid with oil, citrus, and garlic. Simple and delicious!

- Get yourself to Chez Coco for a delicious pizza, pasta or salad.

- If you and your companion are steak enthusiasts, try Haragia (you may need to book as it’s a small space) for a Côte De Boeuf. A basque favorite consisting of a large rib steak, cooked on a grill and served with fries.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what this beautiful area has to offer, which is why we love coming back time and time again! If you find yourself exploring a few of our favorites or discovering new ones, make sure to let us know, by tagging us in your insta pics.