Biarritz is famous as being a chic coastal town with fantastic surfing opportunities, and over the years it has welcomed the rich and the famous from France and around the world. Once the wide of Napoleon III’s favourite place to rest and recuperate, in the early 20th century the resort was favoured by many of the richest families in France.
Whilst the draw of other Mediterranean resorts has now taken that title away from the resort, its still got the pull of its stunning beaches and great surfing conditions and you’ll find a number of surfers and young families enjoying the resort side by side.
As with most seaside towns the best way to get around and to explore is to hire a car, and that’s very easy when you come to Biarritz. You can get the train to Biarritz from all over France, or fly to Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne and hire a car from there. RyanAir runs flights from both Dublin and Stansted on a daily basis.
When you get to Biarritz you won’t find a lack of things to do. We run through our favourite things to do when we hired a car in Biarritz for the week.
A health and fitness spa offering Thalassotherapy, which translates to sea healing. Basically you get pummelled with high pressure sea water, massages and then smeared in sea mud and sea weed. It might not sound like the most pleasant experience but in truth it’s hugely popular, especially with people suffering from stress, obesity and insomnia.
Musee de la Mer
A stunning aquarium located in a beautiful contemporary building, the Museum of the Sea has lots of sea life from all over the world. You’ll also be able to learn about the locals fishing history in the museum and 10.30am and 5pm bring seal feeding time, possibly the best part of the day. During the summer you can visit right into the early hours of the morning and you can enjoy the fish in almost total silence as the museum is always quiet.
Phare de Biarritz
If you’ve been to the aquarium you’ll have read all about how the town has a strong fishing heritage, and the battles the fishermen have had with the stormy weather. Many of the fishermen owe their lives to the Phare de Biarritz, the 73 metre high lighthouse which was built in 1834. If you choose to climb the 258 steps twisting up the side of the lighthouse you will be amazed at the stunning views of the entire Basque coast you’ll get from the top.
If you like surfing, or surfing people then this is the bar for you. After a hard day out on the waves, or a chilled day lying on the beach the surfers all converge on this relaxing bar where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy stunning views of the sea.