Just a few miles from Spain in the heart of the French Basque country, Biarritz is a tranquil yet elegant seaside resort made famous in the 1850s by the visits of Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenie. Located on the Bay of Biscay, Biarritz is a premier surfing destination.
Biarritz is prized for its lovely beaches that offer excellent swimming, world-class surfing and major surfing competitions like the Biarritz Surfing Festival. Some of the most popular beaches are located at Grand Plage, Cote de Basque, Anglet and Porte Vieux.
Along the main bay is the town’s notable rock formation, the Rock of the Virgin, which is connected to the mainland by an old iron bridge built by the Eiffel Tower’s engineer, Gustav Eiffel.
In addition to its natural attractions, Biarritz is home to several historic structures that include the 16th century St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Lighthouse and the Hotel du Palais, the former Palace of Empress Eugenie. There are several fabulous museums in Biarritz like the Museum of the Sea, the Museum of Asian Art and the Museum of Chocolate.
The gastronomy of Biarritz derives from the traditional Basque culture with flavorful dishes such as Pyrenees lamb, Bayonne ham and fresh, local seafood like sardines, anchovies and squid.
With plentiful pubs, clubs, casinos and discotheques, Biarritz offers a lively nightlife scene.