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How to Spend a Weekend in Biarritz

Surf, sand, and sophisticated charm: Biarritz is a captivating escape on France’s Basque Coast.

Biarritz boasts a laid-back atmosphere with a touch of grandeur. This historic seaside resort was once a playground for European royalty, and its legacy of elegance lingers. Today, Biarritz offers a vibrant mix of world-class surfing, stunning beaches, and a rich cultural scene. From indulging in delectable Basque cuisine to exploring the quaint town center, Biarritz promises an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Here at French Side Travel, we’ve curated the perfect itinerary to help you discover the magic of Biarritz.

How to Spend a Weekend in Biarritz

Where is Biarritz?

Tucked in the southwest corner of France, just 30 minutes from the Spanish border is the chic town of Biarritz. When people think of the Basque Country, they often think of destinations like Bilbao & San Sebastián in Spain, however, 3 of the 7 historic counties of the Basque Country are located in France!

How to Get to Biarritz

Biarritz is conveniently accessible by land or air. Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ) welcomes international flights, making it a breeze to jet in for your weekend escape. TGV high-speed trains whisk you away from Paris for a scenic journey in just 4 hours. If you’re already exploring southwestern France, Bordeaux is just a quick 2-hour train ride away, making Biarritz an easy add-on to your French adventure.

Check out: Elegant Bordeaux & Basque Journey

Things To Do in Biarritz

Sightseeing in Biarritz

Biarritz Lighthouse

No visit to Biarritz is complete without seeing the Phare de Biarritz. Towering 73 meters (239 feet) above the sea, this historic lighthouse has guided mariners since 1834. The climb to the top might test your calves with its 248 steps, but the reward is breathtaking. Panoramic views unfold before you, showcasing the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, the Basque coastline, and even a glimpse of the majestic Pyrenees mountains on a clear day. It’s a postcard-perfect moment not to be missed

Rocher de la Vierge

Courtesy of Ville Impériale

Biarritz’s crown jewel, the Rocher de la Vierge (Virgin Mary Rock), is a must-see on your trip. This rock formation is topped by a beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary, a symbol of protection for local fishermen. Walk along the unique metal bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel himself, and soak in the stunning ocean views.

Taste Regional Specialties

Delve into the Basque Country’s renowned cuisine. Indulge in melt-in-your-mouth macarons from Maison Adam (nothing like what you’ve had in Paris). For a sweet and savory combo, try the iconic cherry-filled Gâteau Basque from Maison Pariès, then head to Accoceberry for a taste of Bayonne ham with the region’s fiery Espelette pepper. Don’t miss Les Halles de Biarritz, a vibrant market overflowing with fresh seafood, local cheeses, and countless other Basque delicacies. It’s the perfect spot to grab picnic provisions or ingredients to recreate your favorite finds back home.

Take a Private Tour of the Côte des Basques

Courtesy of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Embark on an unforgettable private driving tour along the captivating Basque Coast. This full-day adventure lets you discover a region brimming with natural beauty, colorful towns, and rich heritage. Your expert guide will share local insights and stories as you traverse stunning coastlines, quaint villages, and historic sites.

Your journey begins in Biarritz, a former fishing village transformed into a glamorous seaside resort. Imagine emperors, artists, and everyday surfers all drawn to this haven for waves and relaxation. Next, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Explore its bustling port, pedestrian streets, and 17th-century houses, remnants of a prosperous seafaring past filled with whalers and privateers.

Want to stay longer? Learn what this region has to offer: Unveiling the French Side of the Basque Country

Where to Stay in Biarritz

Courtesy of Regina Experimental Biarritz

Regina Experimental Biarritz

This recently renovated five-star hotel, housed in a grandiose Belle Époque building, boasts stunning ocean views and overlooks the prestigious Golf de Biarritz. Step into light-filled rooms and suites, decorated in a fresh palette of white, blue, and mint green, each offering a haven of relaxation. Perfectly situated near the lighthouse, the Regina Experimental places you within easy reach of Biarritz’s most captivating boutiques, restaurants, and historical sites, allowing you to fully embrace the Basque Country’s unique allure.

© David Duchon-Doris 

Hôtel Le Garage

This former garage, steeped in history, has been transformed into an intimate four-star hotel with just 27 rooms and suites. Each space is designed with a unique blend of modern comfort and vintage flair. Take a dip in the outdoor pool, or soak up the ocean views from your private terrace. Le Garage’s past lives as an aero club and classic car garage are subtly woven into the design, offering a one-of-a-kind ambiance. This hidden gem allows you to recharge and reconnect in style during your Biarritz escape.

Biarritz beckons with its chic atmosphere, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for relaxation. From exploring historic landmarks to indulging in beachfront bliss, this Basque gem offers something for every traveler. Speak with our French Side Travel experts to design a tailor-made itinerary that perfectly captures your interests.

Need more inspiration? Check out our sample itineraries.

Unveiling the French Side of the Basque Country

Escape the ordinary and hop over to the French Side of the Basque Country. This vibrant region offers an unequaled blend of unforgettable experiences, rich history, and stunning landscapes. Immerse yourself in a land steeped in tradition. Explore charming villages adorned with distinctive architecture, dating back to pre-Roman times. Witness the enduring spirit of the Basque people, evident in their rare language (Euskara) and vibrant culture. Embark on a culinary adventure unlike any other. From the fresh seafood of the Atlantic coast to the delicious wines from the interior, the French Basque Country offers a feast for the senses.

French Side Travel invites you to discover this captivating region.

Welcome to the Basque Country

Map of the Basque Country Courtesy of the Basque Cultural Institute

Beyond the familiar shores of Spain lies a hidden gem: the French Basque Country. Often overshadowed by its larger southern neighbor, this captivating region offers a unique blend of unforgettable experiences, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Straddling the border between France and Spain, Euskal Herria, the heart-shaped land of the Basque people, is a tapestry of lush landscapes, dramatic coastlines, and picturesque villages. While the Spanish Basque Country may be renowned for its vibrant festivals and Michelin-starred restaurants, the French Basque Country, known as Iparralde (“the north country” in Euskara), boasts its distinct charm.

Immerse yourself in a land steeped in history. Dating back to pre-Roman times, the Basque Country boasts a striking cultural identity and a strong sense of community. Explore historic towns adorned with distinctive architectural styles, and witness the enduring spirit of the Basque people, evident in their traditions and warm hospitality.

French Side Travel invites you to discover the untamed beauty of the French Basque Country. With our curated experiences and expert guidance, we’ll help you create unforgettable memories in this captivating region. Beyond the shops and souvenirs, discover the true essence of Iparralde.

Check out: Basque Country

Cities in the Basque Country

Biarritz (Miarritze)

Biarritz boasts a captivating blend of historical appeal and vibrant energy. In the mid-19th century, Empress Eugénie’s presence transformed this Basque town into a fashionable seaside resort for European royalty. Today, Biarritz continues to captivate visitors with its sophisticated elegance, oceanside wellness, and thriving surf scene.

Beyond its glamorous facade lies a rich past. Biarritz’s slate-roofed villas whisper tales of its whaling heritage, dating back to the 17th century. The town’s southern coast, Côte des Basques, holds an even more memorable distinction: the cradle of French surfing. In the 1950s, American influence ignited a passion for riding the waves, forever changing Biarritz’s cultural landscape.

Biarritz’s allure extends beyond its shores. The Atlantic coastline boasts exceptional surfing conditions, making it a European surfing haven. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious escape or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Biarritz offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

Bayonne (Baiona)

Courtesy of Guide du Pays Basque

Step into a world of tantalizing flavors in Bayonne, the heart of authentic Basque cuisine. Wander idyllic alleys lined with shops and bakeries overflowing with regional specialties. Savor mouthwatering dishes like axoa, a savory veal or duck ragout infused with Espelette peppers, and chipirons à l’encre, tender squid cooked in their rich ink. Uncover Bayonne’s legacy as France’s chocolate capital, where centuries-old traditions meet exquisite craftsmanship. Treat yourself to a hand-whisked chocolat mousseux at the iconic Cazenave tearoom, and delight in exceptional Basque treats like biskotx, a black cherry jam-filled cake, and the city’s renowned cured ham.

Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Donibane Lohizune)

Courtesy of En Pays Basque

Between Biarritz and Hendaye along the Côte des Basques lies the tranquil coastal town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Immerse yourself in its rich maritime history, evident in the enchanting harbor and fortified walls. Explore pedestrian streets lined with elegant boutiques, savor exquisite Basque cuisine, and relax on the sun-drenched beaches.

Hendaye (Hendaia)

Courtesy of En Pays Basque

Bask in the natural beauty of France’s most southwesterly town. Its landscape paints a captivating picture of the Basque Country’s past, before the arrival of summer homes and surf shacks. Walk the Basque Corniche, a path winding over breathtaking sea cliffs, and see the region as it existed centuries ago. Basseri, adorned with sloping rooftops and oxblood-red timbers, dot the prairies. These traditional farmhouses stand as testaments to the enduring Basque culture, preserving its legacy amidst adversity.

Sunset Sail along the Basque Coast

Escape the ordinary and embark on a magical sunset sail along the Basque Coast, departing from Hendaye. Leave the landmarks behind and lose yourself in a breathtaking display of ever-changing colors, both in the sky and reflected on the shimmering sea. This unforgettable experience offers a moment of pure relaxation as you share the beauty of the setting sun with family and friends. Guided by a state-qualified instructor, you can simply sit back, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and create lasting memories under the Basque sky. This elevated escape from the every day is the perfect way to end your day, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Things to Do in the Basque Country

Explore the Basque Coast

Courtesy of Bidart Tourisme

Unwind on a captivating coastal journey through the French Basque Country, a colorful tapestry of seafront villas, surf lodges, and rustic Basque farmhouses. Witness the birthplace of French surfing on Biarritz’s Côte des Basques and delve into Bidart (Bidarte), a quintessential Basque village. Experience the magic of the Sentier du Littoral, a 15-mile coastal trail offering breathtaking panoramas. Beginning in Bidart, the path weaves through the fishing villages of Guéthary, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Ciboure, culminating in a spectacular corniche and ending in enchanting Hendaye by the Franco-Spanish border. Immerse yourself in the landscape’s beauty and discover the hidden cultural secrets of this captivating region. This journey promises breathtaking views, rich history, and the captivating spirit of the Basque Country.

Surfing Initiation Class

Courtesy of Caroline Hernandez

Unleash your inner surfer in Hendaye, the French Basque Country’s year-round surfing haven. Ideal for beginners, Hendaye’s sheltered location offers calm summer waves perfect for learning, while its winter swells provide a challenge when other spots get rough. Experience consistent surf and discover the ideal learning environment, no matter the season.

Visit the Villages of the Basque Interior

Courtesy of Biarritz Pays Basque

Immerse yourself in the picturesque villages of Ainhoa and Espelette, where Basque heritage shines bright. Ainhoa, listed amongst France’s most beautiful villages, invites you to explore its traditional architecture, vibrant culture, and historical significance as a stopover for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Delve into the rich social fabric of the Basque people with your local guide.

Continue to Espelette (Ezpeleta), a quaint village where Basque houses are decorated with the iconic red peppers. Traditionally, the piments d’Espelette dangle on strings to dry, practically forming curtains, and frame windows and doorways. Discover the inimitable production process that gives these peppers their distinct flavor, a staple in Basque cuisine worldwide.

Your Basque adventure doesn’t end there! Explore further and uncover hidden gems nestled within this captivating landscape. Each village offers a unique tapestry of cultural experiences, breathtaking views, and culinary delights waiting to be unveiled.

Try Sagardoa (Basque Apple Cider) & Txakoli (Basque White Wine)

This traditional cider is made from fermented apples. It is a dry, slightly sparkling cider that is typically served in large glasses. Traditional production involves storing the cider in large oak barrels called kupela. These barrels impart subtle woody and earthy flavors to the cider. Txakoli is an AOC wine produced in the Basque Country, along the Atlantic coast. It is a dry, white wine that is made from the Ondarrabi Zuri grape variety. Learn more about AOC wine here.

Courtesy of Visit French Wines

Private Guided Tour of Basque Vineyards

Discover the rich flavors and history of the French Basque Country on this captivating tour. In the village of Espelette, taste its renowned peppers, and delve into the secrets of Basque cider making. Visit the picturesque town of Saint Jean Pied de Port, a pilgrimage landmark, and immerse yourself in the vineyards of Irouléguy, known for its distinct wines. Uncover the fascinating history of Navarre and learn about the region’s traditions on this unforgettable journey for history buffs and food lovers alike.

Tasting of Underwater-Aged Wine

Dive into an uncommon wine experience in the French Basque Country. Discover a historic winery overlooking Socoa Beach, where exceptional wines are matured and bottled. Explore the innovative process of underwater aging, where the ocean’s natural elements like swell and tides infuse the wines with distinctive aromas. Embark on this luxurious French adventure and taste the extraordinary results of this patented technique.

Where to Stay in the Basque Country

Hôtel du Palais

Courtesy of Hotel du Palais

Step back in time at the Hôtel du Palais, a historic gem overlooking the Atlantic. Built for Empress Eugénie, this luxurious hotel has hosted royalty, including King Edward VII, who famously visited annually, and celebrities like Coco Chanel, who opened a boutique in Biarritz during the First World War. Experience impeccable interiors reminiscent of the Napoleon III era and breathtaking ocean views. French Side Travel invites you to discover this iconic landmark.

Brindos, Lac & Château

©Mathilde Ranchon

Nestled on the shores of a legendary lake, Brindos, Lac & Château offers an unforgettable escape in the Basque Country. Luxuriate in nature with lake-view rooms or distinct floating lodges named after local fairytales. Embrace Basque culture through the hotel’s elegant décor and peaceful setting. Step into a haven of timeless elegance at Brindos Lac & Château

Les Hortensias du Lac

Courtesy of Les Hortensias du Lac

Just north of the Basque Country, in the stunning Landes region, lies Les Hortensias du Lac. This luxurious surf lodge hotel offers a laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of the Hamptons, with most rooms boasting stunning lake views. Indulge in fresh seafood and plancha cuisine at the panoramic restaurant, or unwind at the spa designed to echo the surrounding landscape. For a beachfront escape, head to La Cabane des Estagnots just minutes away. French Side Travel invites you to experience Les Hortensias du Lac, just a 30-minute drive from Bayonne along the breathtaking Landes coastline.

Ready to discover the untamed beauty of the French Basque Country? Let our travel experts craft a tailor-made itinerary that perfectly captures your interests and desires. Contact French Side Travel today and embark on an unforgettable adventure!

Elevate Your Game: Best Hotels for Golfing in France

Elevate your golfing experience in France with our expert-selected hotels, where sophistication meets the fairway for an unforgettable stay. No need to wonder where to golf in France, we have done the work for you. Unveil a collection of exquisite accommodations nestled amid scenic landscapes, providing avid golfers with world-class courses and lavish amenities.


Airelles Le Grand Contrôle

Courtesy of the Palace of Versailles

Nestled next to the historic Versailles Palace, Airelles Le Grand Contrôle stands as a beacon of refinement and elegance. This luxurious hotel boasts a regal ambiance and access to some of the finest golf courses in the region. For an unforgettable experience, guests can indulge in a round at the prestigious Le Golf National and Le Golf de Saint Germain. Both courses offer immaculately manicured courses that challenge and captivate golf aficionados.

Le Golf National

A golfing haven boasting two full courses and a nine-hole gem, Albatros stands out as the hero among them. It was a host of the French Open and the second course in Europe to showcase a Ryder Cup. Its 2018 edition witnessed a historic victory spearheaded by Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari. The anticipation builds as the Olympic Games are scheduled to grace Le Golf National in 2024, solidifying its spot on every golfer’s must-visit list.

Courtesy of Golf National

Golf de Saint Germain

Designed in collaboration with Harry Colt, the Golf de Saint Germain emerges as a stunning course nestled within the enchanting forest of Saint Germain, just west of Paris. Having played host to the prestigious French Open on nine occasions, this course has witnessed remarkable moments, including Sandy Lyle’s triumph in 1981 and Seve Ballesteros’ extraordinary feat in 1985, where he set a course record with a remarkable score of 62. Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating beauty of Golf de Saint Germain, an iconic destination where the legacy of golf’s finest moments continues to unfold.


Domaine de la Bretesche

Courtesy of Domaine de la Bretesche

Discover the pinnacle of golfing excellence at Domaine de la Bretesche. Set against breathtaking landscapes, this premier hotel and golf resort combines luxury hospitality with world-class golfing facilities. The Domaine de la Bretesche features elegant rooms and suites, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Immerse yourself in the charm of Brittany while enjoying top-notch amenities, including gourmet dining and a spa retreat. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a leisure seeker, Domaine de la Bretesche stands out as an ideal golfing getaway in France.

Golf de la Bretesche

Courtesy of Golf de la Bretesche

Golf de la Bretesche is a floral paradise. Each hole is uniquely adorned by hydrangeas, roses, azaleas, or rhododendrons. The 18 holes, comprising 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s, and 4 par 5s, offer a diverse range of challenges. Pay attention at the enchanting green n°9, where the castle of La Bretesche is magically reflected in its pond. It’s worth noting that, the 18-hole golf course, expertly designed by renowned architect Henry Cotton, offers both a challenging and picturesque experience for golf enthusiasts


70 Hectares… et l’Océan

Courtesy of 70 Hectares… et l’Océan

For those who seek a coastal golfing escapade, 70 Hectares et l’Océan in Seignosse emerges as an idyllic retreat. This exclusive destination offers a harmonious fusion of oceanic serenity and expansive green landscapes spanning 70 hectares, hence the name. The golf course, set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, provides an exhilarating challenge for golfers of all levels. The hotel itself exudes a laid-back luxury, ensuring a tranquil retreat after a day on the links.

Golf de Seignosse

Courtesy of Golf de Seignosse

Golf de Seignosse stands as a captivating masterpiece on the southwestern coast of France. This premier golf course, renowned for its scenic beauty and challenging layout, immerses golf enthusiasts in a harmonious blend of nature and sport. Designed by the legendary American architect Robert von Hagge, the course winds through lush pine forests and sandy dunes. With its strategic bunkers, undulating fairways, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Golf de Seignosse promises an unforgettable golfing experience. Whether you are a seasoned player seeking a challenging round or a leisure golfer looking to soak in the coastal charm, this course offers a perfect blend of captivating landscapes and golfing excellence.


Domaine de Manville

Courtesy of Domaine de Manville

Nestled in the heart of the Alpilles Natural Park in Provence, Domaine de Manville is a luxurious haven that blends historic charm with modern elegance. This five-star hotel, set within a meticulously restored 18th-century farmhouse, offers discerning guests a tranquil retreat. Boasting spacious rooms and suites adorned with stylish furnishings, the hotel provides a sophisticated ambiance for relaxation. Guests can indulge at the on-site restaurant L’Aupiho*, or simply bask in the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape. With its commitment to excellence, Domaine de Manville ensures an unforgettable and indulgent escape in the heart of Provence.

Golf de Manville

Courtesy of Golf de Manville

Golf de Manville presents a golfing paradise amidst the enchanting landscapes of Provence. This 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Thierry Sprecher and Anne-Laure Ricci, offers a perfect blend of challenge and beauty. Surrounded by olive trees and featuring strategically placed hazards, the course provides an exhilarating experience for golfers of all levels. The meticulously manicured fairways and greens complement the picturesque setting, creating a harmonious balance between sport and scenery. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a casual player, Golf de Manville promises an immersive golfing experience, where each swing is accompanied by breathtaking views of the Alpilles.

French Riviera

Terre Blanche Hôtel & Spa Golf Resort

Courtesy of Terre Blanche

Situated in the heart of the French Riviera, Terre Blanche Hotel Spa & Golf Resort offers an unparalleled blend of sophistication and sporting excellence. Boasting two championship golf courses, designed by golf legend Dave Thomas, the resort provides an exclusive golfing experience. Guests can bask in the Mediterranean sun as they navigate the challenging fairways, and later, unwind in the lavish surroundings of the hotel, indulging in world-class spa treatments and gourmet dining.

Le Château

Courtesy of Terre Blanche

This 18-hole championship course offers a challenging yet picturesque golfing experience amidst the stunning Provençal countryside. With its undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, Le Château Golf Course provides a test of skill for golfers of all levels. Impeccably maintained and seamlessly integrated into the natural terrain, this course stands as a testament to the perfect marriage of sport and scenic beauty.

Le Riou

Courtesy of Terre Blanche

The resort’s second 18-hole championship course complements the landscape with its meandering fairways and strategic water features. Le Riou offers a golfing challenge set against the backdrop of the picturesque Provençal hills, inviting players to navigate through well-manicured greens and enjoy the panoramic views. With its thoughtful design and commitment to excellence, Le Riou Golf Course ensures a memorable and rewarding golfing experience within the refined ambiance of Terre Blanche.

Effortless Travel for Unforgettable Experiences

Embark on a stress-free vacation with French Side Travel, where luxury extends beyond your hotel suite. Our exclusive service includes a private driver-guide seamlessly integrated into your itinerary, ensuring effortless travel from your accommodation to various activities and back. Envision being chauffeured in a luxurious vehicle, ready to explore the finest destinations in France. Whether you’re indulging in sightseeing, enjoying exquisite dinners, or partaking in other planned activities, your dedicated driver ensures a smooth and comfortable experience. Allow yourself to unwind as you’re effortlessly transported back to your accommodation, creating cherished memories of your French getaway.

Ready to tee off your dream golf vacation? We know where to golf in France. Our experts stand ready to tailor-make your journey, ensuring every swing is accompanied by unparalleled luxury and breathtaking landscapes. Contact us today to unlock the doors to a world where your golfing aspirations align with French hospitality. Let us craft the perfect golfing escape for you!

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