Biarritz is a former whaling settlement on the Basque coast, perfect for more active holidays with numerous water-based activities on offer due to its location which combines French, Spanish and Basque cultures. It is the surf capital of Europe, with plenty of schools on offer and other activities such as white water rafting, horse riding and walking. Campsites are numerous.
trains between Ebbsfleet International and Biarritz have average journey times of 8 hours, 20 minutes, which is still one of the fastest and most convenient ways to travel between London. The most popular time to visit is summer, for sports, surfing, and the street entertainment that attracts tourists.
There are two thalassatherapy and spa centres in the area, and golfing is very popular- with the Golf de Biarritz le Phare spreading over 34 hectares, located right in the town centre, and Ilbarritz International Training Centre with free shuttle service, designed by architect Pierre Thévenin. Biarritz is ideal for families, with lots of beach clubs, playgrounds and the Day Care Centre in the Villa Estella for children.
Points of Interest
The Hotel du Palais
This is Biarritz’ grandest address that was previously the summer mansion of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenia. Queen Victoria, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway have all visited the Hotel du Palais, which overlooks Biarritz' main beaches and the Atlantic Ocean. It has outstanding sports facilities and a luxurious charm that make it extremely popular with vacationers and sports enthusiasts alike.
Le Phare de Biarritz
The lighthouse, erected in 1834, dominates Cape Hainsart, which got its name from the oaks which used to surround it and have now been replaced by tamarisks. It stands 73 metres above sea level. There are 248 steps to its summit. This cape separates the sandy Landes coast from the rocky Basque coast.
La Chapelle Impériale (Imperial chapel)
The chapel was built in 1864 at the request of Empress Eugénie de Montijo, and combines both Roman-Byzantine and Hispano-Mauresque styles. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Black Madonna of Mexico and was listed as a historical monument in 1981.
This unique museum (“Musée du Chocolat”) shows the development of chocolate with an exceptional collection; an exclusive exhibition of chocolate sculptures. Tours and chocolate-tasting sessions are available.
Musée Historique de Biarritz
The Historic Museum of Biarritz is located in an old Anglican church and tells the story of Biarritz, showing the development from its origins as a small fishing port to a cosmopolitan seaside resort, the 'Beach of Kings'. The museum is full of examples of the high points of Biarritz's history, including collections, paintings and videos.