Tucked away on the most south-westerly corner of France sits the stunning seaside town of Biarritz in the Aquitaine region of the country. Basking on the sunny coast in the Basque Country, this town, loved by Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugénie, exudes elegance and beauty from all angles. From the array of stunning beaches to the belle epoque buildings to the delightful foods, it is easy to see why this remains to be such a popular summer destination.
Popular surf spots bring surfers from all over to test the waves, while there are golf courses, gastronomic delights – this is the Basque Country we’re talking about – and wellness centres to indulge in too. Expect to hear locals speaking Basque as you wander the streets, shops, restaurants and bars and don’t forget to head to the local museums and sights that this town has to offer.
From stunning seaside apartments to large villas with pools, opting for a stay in your own accommodation comes highly recommended. There are plenty of holiday rentals in Biarritz to choose from that provide guests with a range of uniquely styled interiors – from classic to contemporary – whether it is for two or 14 of you. Sitting on a terrace overlooking the beach and blue waters or whiling away the hours beside your own private pool while reclining in elegant interiors which provide you the utmost in privacy while coming and going as you please is the perfect way to spend those relaxing hours after you’ve spent the day exploring.
Of course, if you love the conveniences that a hotel provides then there are some great options to choose from, namely Hotel du Palais, Sofitel Biarritz le Miramar Thalassa Sea and Spa and Le Regina Biarritz Hotel and Spa.
Not only are you in France, but as we’ve already mentioned, you will be in Basque Country and food connoisseurs of the world will know that this means pure excellence. The Michelin Guide has recommended no less than 13 restaurants in Biarritz with three being awarded one Michelin Star (high quality cooking, worth a stop), nine benefitting from a Michelin Plate (good cooking) and one receiving a Bib Gourmand (good quality, good value cooking).
The one-star restaurants consist of Les Rosiers, L’Atelier Alexandre Bousquet and L’Impertinent. Modern interiors meet modern food at Les Rosiers, which is run by two skilled chefs working alongside one another to produce flavoursome dishes such as Golden calf sweetbread, ‘Hungarian blue’ pumpkin espuma, roasted slice with hazelnut and shallot powder. L’Atelier Alexandre Bousquet, which has only been open for 18 months, is set in an idyllic 18th century farmhouse and works with local producers to form modern dishes, while creative cuisine at L’Impertinent is crafted by the team – led by a German born chef – who allow their creativity to shine through in the food.
The beaches are a huge draw of this area and you won’t want to miss out on Grande Plage, Plages d’Anglet, Miramar and Plage de Marbella. Keen surfers won’t be disappointed, so grab a board and hit the waves, thanks to the Bay of Biscay, and you can even take a day’s surf trip around the town. If all of those fine dining restaurants haven’t been enough then visitors can partake in multi-day gourmet tours of the area and culture vultures will be pleased with the selection of sights to peruse, which include the Asiatica Museum, City Ocean Museum and Imperial Chapel – the place of worship for Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. Don’t miss out on a tour of the area by boat, the Musée de la Mer aquarium, the Rocher de la Vierge viewpoint and the phare de Biarritz lighthouse built in 1834.