Biarritz

Biarritz - great for its surf

Vibrant town with magnificent beaches, golf courses. Surfing is a big activity here - surf started in Biarritz in 1957, surfers come from all over the world to ride the waves.

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Shopping

It might be a serious tourist magnet, but Biarritz has always resisted the slide towards traditional seaside tackiness. It’s characterised by one-of-a-kind boutiques, patisseries with mouth-watering window displays and elite chocolate shops. The best place to stock up on scrumptious goodies is Pariès (1 place Bellevue), which is famous for its flavoured tourons (nougats). Another Basque specialty is espadrilles – locals get theirs at Pare Gabia (18 rue Mazagran), a family business that does customised pairs for as little as €10. Street fashion in Biarritz ranges from surfer slacks to haute couture, but if you’re looking for a high-end outfit then head to 64 (16 rue Gambetta), a designer brand established by a team of talented locals.

Food & Drink

Basque cuisine is all about simple ingredients cooked to perfection. L’Atelier (18 rue de la Bergerie) and L’Impertinent (5 rue d’Alsace) set the gourmet standard in Biarritz – both serve classic dishes prepared from fresh ingredients – but the town has a liberal smattering of fantastic mid-range restaurants as well. Try L’Instant (4 rue du Port Vieux) in the buzzing Old Town, which attracts a friendly local crowd with its mouth-watering seafood and family atmosphere. For an artistic and highly contemporary twist on Basque cuisine, Restaurant Philippe (30 avenue du Lac Marion), run by Ducasse-trained chef Philippe Lafargue, has a reputation for surprising even the most phlegmatic of gourmands.

Events

Bayonne Chocolate Festival
May
The town of Bayonne blends into suburban Biarritz, and it claims to be the first French town to have imported chocolate. This heritage is celebrated in an annual spring festival, which attracts chocolate makers and chocolate lovers from all over Europe.

International Bridge Festival
June/July
This is one of the biggest bridge events in the world, and it brings the crème de la crème of international card players to the town.

Biarritz Cup
July
This is the oldest amateur golfing competition in France and one of the most famous of its kind in the world. Over 500 players compete every year in front of crowds of thousands.

International Surf Film Festival
July
Biarritz is the surfing capital of Europe and its status is reflected in this annual film festival. It includes everything from fiction to documentary, and has been dubbed the Oscars of the surfing world.

Big Festival
July
This popular music festival has only been running since 2009, but it’s already one of the biggest events of the year in Biarritz. Tens of thousands turn up to see artists such as Neil Young and Crazy Horse, while families can enjoy the free surfing lessons and workshops.

Hotels

Playground to the European jet set and France’s quintessential beach break resort, Biarritz is synonymous with glitz and glamour. It first became popular among the French royals and their court back in the 19th century, and some of the best hotels hark back to the town’s grand old heyday. Luxurious L’Hôtel du Palais (1 avenue de l'Impératrice), overlooking the sea, is still the definitive place to stay, but don’t overlook the modern yet spectacular Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa (13 rue Louison Bobet) with its state-of-the-art thalassotherapy centre. If you’re working to a tighter budget, Hotel de Biarritz (3 rue Grangier) is a stylish but more basic option.

Essentials

  • Language

    French

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Time zone

  • Flight time

  • Holiday type

    Beach, Summer sun, City break

Weather

  • 25/07/2014 -

    Thundery outbreaks possible

    24°C max 18°C min
  • 26/07/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    25°C max 17°C min
  • 27/07/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    26°C max 18°C min
  • 28/07/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    24°C max 16°C min
  • 29/07/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    23°C max 14°C min
  • 30/07/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    26°C max 17°C min
  • 31/07/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    30°C max 19°C min
  • Jan
    13°C max 5°C min
  • Feb
    14°C max 5°C min
  • Mar
    14°C max 7°C min
  • Apr
    15°C max 8°C min
  • May
    21°C max 12°C min
  • Jun
    21°C max 15°C min
  • Jul
    17°C max 17°C min
  • Aug
    25°C max 17°C min
  • Sep
    24°C max 15°C min
  • Oct
    20°C max 12°C min
  • Nov
    15°C max 8°C min
  • Dec
    13°C max 5°C min