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BIARRITZ – WHY GO?
With bags of French seaside chic and some grand fin de siècle architecture, Biarritz is packed with old-time glamour. It's also a surfing Mecca and home to miles of sandy beaches. Beautiful countryside stretches down the coast from here to the Spanish border.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
You’ll be sure to see Europe’s coolest surfers in action in Biarritz. The beach at Côte des Basques is the most popular place for catching waves year-round and it’s also home to Europe’s biggest surf festival every summer.
Cultured Biarritz is a magnet: you’re sure to want to walk the promenades, pop into the Musée de la Mer, with its amazing fish, or play Basque pelota in the village square. Those with a sweet tooth should head straight for Planète Chocolat, the Biarritz chocolate museum, to see tasty chocolate sculptures.
Zip down to Spain, just 20km away, for a day in Bilbao (the Guggenheim museum is a must), or hit a walking trail in the foothills of the Pyrenees. San Sebastian is the culinary capital with more Michelin stars per inhabitant than any other city and plenty of back-street tapas bars to explore.
Golf widows beware: there are 18 golf courses within 20km of Biarritz, so it’s possible to play a different golf course every day. Rugby fans should check out the fixtures list at Biarritz rugby club, which hosts some of Europe’s top matches.
Pick up delicious Basque delights at the bustling Les Halles covered market, which is open every morning selling local chorizo, breads, fruit and vegetables. Grab a bottle of wine as well to complete a romantic picnic lunch to take to the beach.
MAKE A DATE
Surfers from around the world converge on the beach at Côte des Basques for the Biarritz Surf festival – the biggest of its kind in Europe.
No smutty jokes please – the Organ festival in Biarritz is all about serious music.
August – September
Classical music performed in glorious church settings marks the Basque Coast Music festival at Bayonne.
Cross the footbridge at Port-Vieux to reach Virgin Rock for sweeping sunset view of Biarritz city and its fishing harbour.
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