Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.12 €

GBP | EUR

Gasoline £1.15 | 1.29 €

One-way ticket £1.52 | 1.70 €

Beer £2.24 | 2.50 €

Main Course £10.74 | 12.00 €

About Biarritz

Biarritz is the surfing capital of France, if not Europe, and if you come here in the summer you'll enjoy the surfer vibe that infuses the whole place.

Once termed the Queen of the Basque, Biarritz has been a popular playground to countless personages over time, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra.

Discreetly nestled on the Bay of Biscay, this energetic town has always been synonymous with fine food, elegant lifestyle and the active joie du vivre so typical of southern France. But today, this ritzy beachside town which is heavily accented by the boisterous Basque, has developed a wild side – boasting a melee of late-night bars, bustling clubs and a surf scene that’s the envy of the world.

Come Basque in the good life at Biarritz, where limousines and VW buses coexist in this windswept wonderland.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

Avoid high season in July and August when Biarritz can be clogged with sun-seekers and accommodation is priced accordingly. Try spring or early summer instead, when the weather is still summery but prices tend to more reasonable. And if you’re looking to conquer the waves while in this majestic town, September and October is high time for the high tides.

During the peak season (June-Aug) expect daytime temperatures to hover around the mid to late 20s (degrees Celsius). Also, somewhat expectedly given the huge surf culture, the town is prone to strong windy conditions which can mask the heat as well as spoil a beachside picnic.

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Travioor top tips

Surfing
Road Trip
Casino

Insider Info

  • With its rolling waves and tepid waters, Biarritz is a favourite for surfers of all abilities - yet the main beach (Grand Plage) can become quite crowded during peak season. If you’re looking to ride the waves on your trip, grab your board and head to Côte de Basque – a far-reaching surfers’ beach found on the Boulevard du Prince de Galles – for the premium surfing experience.

  • And if surfing is the main reason for your seaside sojourn, then renting a VW Camper Van could be the perfect frill for your trip. Instead of hauling your board around on public transport, the town offers a place to rent campervans to give you the freedom to explore and chase that perfect wave. Also, the winding coastal roads and refreshing sea breeze provide textbook conditions for an aimless cruise.

  • Step into the shoes of yesteryear's rich and famous and play a couple of games at the Casino Municipal - thankfully black-tie is no longer necessary.

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Food and drink

Main Course £10.74 | 12.00 €

3-Course Meal £42.52 | 47.50 €

Cappuccino £1.48 | 1.66 €

Beer £2.24 | 2.50 €

The Scene

The decadent lifestyle of Biarritz may have receded over the past few decades, but the love of haute cuisine remains ingrained in the culture. Add to this the immediate access to fresh seafood and the mellifluous range of Basque tapas, and you’re left with a wonderful melange of fine dining to enjoy.

If (for some unthinkable reason) you’re restricted to one meal while in Biarritz, look no further than moules-frites (mussels and chips) cooked in white wine. A classic.

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History

Biarritz’s Story

During the Middle Ages, Biarritz heavily relied on marine fare with whaling in particular the lifeblood of the town. However, it was the Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III, who transformed the sleepy fishing town into a glamourous getaway by naming it her favourite summer destination. From then on, Biarritz became an elegant retreat for the rich and famous.

American novelist Peter Viertal can be credited with the town’s latest transformation to surfing mecca, when in 1957 he opened an official surf club, thus introducing the sport to Europe for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history.

Language

Bonjour | Hello
Au revior | Thank you

French

As is commonplace in France, at least a smattering of French will come in handy, although the locals aren’t as steadfast in their intolerance as their northern compatriots. Even for experienced Francophones, the uniquely Basque accent can take a little getting used to, bristling with heavy Ks, Zs, and Xs not normally associated with French fluency. The following French may help:

  • Good day: Bonjour
  • Excuse me: Excusez-moi
  • Please: S'il vous plaît

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Need to know

+33 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Biarritz airport is located just three miles from the main town itself, so a taxi should cost in the region of €12 for the journey.
  • Local bus services run with relative frequency through the town, however it’s a small enough place with most areas of note within walking distance of each other.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for France here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Surf

Surfing is a way of life in Biarritz. So whether you’re a beginner, or just looking to brush up, the coast is dotted welcoming Surf Schools with everything you need.

2. Sunbathe

Biarritz is a paradise for any self-respecting sun worshiper. Although the main beach (la Grand Plage) is not without its appeal, our pick of the bunch is Plage Miramar.

3. Museum

The Musée de la Mer is a great family spot with an impressive marine display – showcasing the diverse sea life and portrayed in an entertaining and educational manner.

4. Local Tours

For an insider’s perspective, book one of the excellent walking tours with Biarritz by Locals. Hear of the city’s culture and history as told by those who know it best.

5. Spa Day

Biarritz is home to several thalasso therapy centres, providing sea water and seaweed treatments for anyone in search of a relaxing reverie.


See What's On In Biarritz  


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