Complete guide to Biarritz, France

© Sokolnikova

Biarritz is a cozy town in the southwest of France, washed by the azure waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The air smells of flowers and salt, the sky is endlessly blue, and the sand is gently yellow. On the one hand, it is an exquisite French resort, on the other hand, it is part of the mysterious Basque Country.

Emperor Louis Napoleon III and his wife Eugenia were one of the most famous people who came to sunny Biarritz to relax and get rest.

Biarritz became a resort in the 19th century after sea bathing became popular in France. At the beginning of the century, the future Queen Eugenia rested here, and later her husband Napoleon III even ordered the construction of a luxurious villa Eugenia on the shore of the ocean, now known as the luxurious Hotel du Palais Biarritz.

Celebrities come to Biarritz for solitude, tourists for a golden tan, travelers for the spirit of adventure, and surfers for perfect waves.

How to get to Biarritz from Paris, Bordeaux and Bilbao

How to get to Biarritz from Paris

A plane is the easiest way to get to Biarritz from Paris. Most often, flights fly from Paris Orly airport. Tickets cost 80-250 euros. The city bus will help you to get from Biarritz Airport to the city center. You can pay there with a bank card or buy a ticket from the driver, or by taxi.

The train departs from Paris Montparnasse station and takes 4.5 hours. The ticket costs 100-200 euros. The city bus will help you to get from Biarritz city station to the city center.

The Flixbus bus trip from Paris to Biarritz takes 11 hours, the ticket costs about 70 euros. Buses usually arrive at one of the stations on the outskirts of Biarritz, from where you can get to the city center by city bus or taxi.

How to get to Biarritz from Bordeaux

A flight to Bordeaux is a great way to get to Biarritz for budget travelers. The Flixbus departs for Biarritz from the Bordeaux Saint-Jean bus station. Travel time is 3 hours 50 minutes, and a ticket costs 15-20 euros. The bus arrives at one of the stations located on the outskirts of Biarritz. You can get to the city center by bus or taxi. In Biarritz city buses, you can pay with a bank card or buy a ticket from the driver.

The second option is the train, which also departs from the Bordeaux Saint-Jean railway station. The fare is 30-50 euros. The city bus will get you from Biarritz train station to the city center.

How to get to Biarritz from Bilbao

You will easily get from colorful Spanish Bilbao to sunny Biarritz by bus, Flixbus or Alsa. Travel time is about 3,5 hours. Tickets cost about 10-20 euros.

Another option is a special tour from Bilbao. For 70 euros you get comfortable transportation, an interesting guide, an amusing tour across one of the most beautiful French regions and bright impressions you will never forget.

Where to stay in Biarritz

Biarritz beaches

Author: Sokolnikova

Biarritz is for those who love style, beauty, and sophistication. The city is small, so you will easily get to the beach wherever you stay. You only need to decide what exactly you want - a luxurious room with an ocean view in a five-star hotel, a stylish villa with a spacious terrace, or a bright apartment with a swimming pool and parking.

Best luxury hotels

Hotel du Palais Biarritz, the former villa of the wife of the French emperor, is located near the central beach of Biarritz. The hotel is the epitome of good taste and elegance. The spacious suites feature large windows, comfortable beds, and spacious bathrooms. Ocean or city views, restaurants, bars, swimming pools with beautiful sun decks, spa, and fitness facilities are included.

The Regina Experimental Biarritz is located on a cliff by the ocean. The building was constructed in the original style of neo-Basque architecture with art deco elements. Guests are offered to stay in one of the originally decorated rooms, which can be considered a separate piece of art. The hotel offers ocean and city views, a gourmet restaurant where you will discover all facets of French cuisine, a pool with a panoramic sunbathing terrace, and a perfect beach within walking distance.

Le Garage Biarritz Hotel features brightly decorated suites, comfortable beds, and perfect bathrooms. The hotel has a local restaurant, an outdoor pool with ocean views, a beach within walking distance, and helpful staff.

Brindos, Lac & Chateau is the ideal hotel for those who dream of being in a fairy tale. Located in an old castle by the lake, the hotel invites guests to forget about everything and immerse themselves in the world of incredible landscapes, perfect comfort, and amazing service. The beach is 3 km from the hotel, guests can drive to the ocean or relax by the lake or in the pool.

Best affordable hotels 

Affordable hotels

Author: Sokolnikova

Utopy Hostel Biarritz is one of the most budget options on the coast. Beds in shared rooms, luggage storage, and shared bathrooms are available to the guests.

Hotel Val Flores Logis is located 10 minutes walk from the beach. It offers small rooms with comfortable beds and breakfast on the outdoor terrace.

Hotel Oxo is located near the center of Biarritz and the beach. It offers small rooms with everything you need to relax, and the beach is a 10-minute walk away.

Hotel Saint James is located in the heart of the city. Here you will find cozy rooms with city and sea views, and the beach is a couple of minutes' walk away. This is one of the best options on a budget on the coast.

Best beach hotels

Beach hotels

Author: Sokolnikova

Hotel de l'Ocean is located by the beach. Comfortable rooms with interesting décor, walking distance to the beach, helpful staff, and low prices make this hotel a great choice for a great holiday.

Hotel La Cafe de Paris is a minute's walk from the beach. The hall and rooms are decorated in a marine style, the panoramic windows of each room overlook the ocean, and the staff will make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Mercure Plaza Biarritz is housed in a 1930s art deco building. Guests are offered rooms with designer interiors, comfortable beds, and high-quality cosmetics. The gorgeous city and sea views open from the window, and the beach is within walking distance.

Atlanhtal is a stylish hotel located in the town of Anglet, a few kilometers from Biarritz. Spacious rooms with city and ocean views, a fitness room, a swimming pool with a spacious sundeck, gourmet restaurants, one of the best beaches on the coast, and Biarritz can be reached in a couple of minutes' drive or a 30-minute walk. 

Public transport in Biarritz

Public transport in Biarritz is represented by buses. Buses travel throughout the city and also go to еру neighboring towns. Residents of the city often use bicycles, taxis, or cars.

You can pay for the city bus with a bank card, buy a ticket from the driver or use a travel card that can be ordered in advance, it will be sent to you by mail and you can charge it at any public transport ticket machine in the city.

One bus ride costs 1.20 euros, and a day pass costs 3.50 euros.

Tourist season in Biarritz

Author: Sokolnikova

The weather in Biarritz delights all year round. It all depends on your preferences.

Summers are sunny and hot, although a pleasant cool breeze often blows from the ocean. The air temperature reaches 35C or even 40С (95-105F). The ocean warms up to 22-24C (70-75F).

In autumn the air gets colder, but you can still expect 25-30C (75-85F). By mid-October, the ocean cools down to 18-20C (65-68F), but you can still swim in it.

Winters are mild and quite warm, the air temperature is usually 13-15C (55-60F), and there are winds, but you will enjoy your long walks along the coast. The swimming season begins in May, and the water reaches an acceptable 19C (66F), although the high season starts in mid-June.

Best beaches in Biarritz

Port Vieux Beach is the central, but at the same time the smallest beach in the city. It is located in a quiet bay. There are several bars and cafes near the beach, above is the Old Town with its many restaurants and shops, and to the right and left, there are two larger beaches, Plage de la Côte de Basque and La Grande Plage. People come to Port Vieux Beach to lay in the sun with a book or swim, and the neighboring La Grande Plage is better for outdoor activities or long walks along the coast.

One of the best hotels near Port Vieux Beach is Hotel de la Plage, decorated in an original marine style and overlooking the ocean.

La grande Plage

Author: Sokolnikova

La Grande Plage is a large beach located in the center of Biarritz. It is located to the right of Port Vieux Beach, if you are facing the sea. There you will find more than a kilometer of fine yellow sand, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, bars and cafes, as well as a promenade lined with palm trees and flowers. Surfers come to this beach in search of that very wave. The waves there are not so strong, but good enough to practice.

The decoration of the beach and the pride of Biarritz is Hotel du Palais, the former villa of the wife of the French Emperor Napoleon III.

Plage de la Côte de Basque is located to the left of Port Vieux Beach if you are facing the sea. During low tides, in the morning, this is a spacious sandy beach where children splash in the waves, adults swim, and surfers catch up on their perfect waves. In the late afternoon, the sandy part of the beach disappears underwater, and only large stones remain. This beach is loved by surfers, there are even several surf equipment rentals near the beach.

Near the Plage de la Cote de Basque you will find many excellent hotels, located not far from other city beaches. Try the stylish Best Western Kemaris or the sophisticated Hotel de Biarritz offering spacious rooms and excellent infrastructure.

Anglet beACH

Author: Sokolnikova

The beaches of the town of Anglet are located next to La Grande Plage.  The luxurious multi-kilometer beaches of Anglet can be reached by bus in 5 minutes or on foot in 30 minutes. The bus departs from a stop near La Grande Plage Beach. We doubt you will come here daily if you live in Biarritz because they are quite far away. But these beaches are the perfect choice for those living in Anglet. Try the comfortable Hotel de Chiberta, and enjoy the finest sand, azure waves, and amazing views every day of your holiday.

Best attractions and things to do in Biarritz 

Attractions in Biarritz

Author: Sokolnikova

Find the perfect hotel with ocean views

Start every day with the sound of waves and seagulls. For these purposes, both the luxurious Hotel du Palais and the more democratic Hotel le Cafe de Paris or Hotel de la Plage, are suitable.

Get to know the local cuisine

Both regular eateries like the Le Cab burger joint and Michelin-starred restaurants like Chez Eugenie will solve this problem. Whatever you choose, great service, fresh products, and the perfect pairing are guaranteed. And if you like to cook on your own, check out the local market Halles de Biarritz. Be sure you won't leave without fresh vegetables, fruits, and seafood. 

Taste local wines

For these purposes, choose one of the many city bars, such as l'Art dit Vin, where you can taste dozens of local wine varieties and order snacks - jamon, cheeses, or tapas. Then go for a walk along the winding streets, where you will find many beautiful architectural surprises. In search of luxury, visit the bar at the Hotel du Palais. It will impress you with the skill of the bartenders and the ocean views from the terrace.

Learn the history of the city

Few people know the city better than the locals. Especially if the local part-time is a professional guide who knows the city like his hometown and can give you a private walking tour. During it, you will immerse yourself in the history of the resort, see where the best views are, find out where to buy the most delicious oysters, and which beach has excellent waves for surfing.

Continue exploring the Basque Country in Spain

An hour's drive from Biarritz is sunny San Sebastian, a city famous for its Michelin-starred restaurants, luxurious beaches, mountain landscapes, and unusual architecture. And three hours away is Bilbao, famous for the magnificent Guggenheim Museum, where you will get acquainted with impressive examples of modern art, and hundreds of cozy bars, original eateries, and stylish restaurants.

Learn to surf

The beaches of Biarritz are perfect for beginners, so hurry up to get new skills. You can find equipment rental and instructors on Plage de la Cote de Basque, but come in the morning, because in the late afternoon, at high tide, the sandy beach is completely hidden underwater.

You may order a private surf lesson and learn the basics or master your skills with a professional.

Best day trips from Biarritz

Anglet is a city located just around the corner. You can reach the stunning beaches of Anglet by bus from the center of Biarritz or even on foot in just half an hour.

Bayonne is another city in the neighborhood where people go for the unique Basque culture, original architecture, and authentic cuisine. Bayonne can be reached by bus or taxi in less than half an hour.

San Sebastian

Author: Sokolnikova

San Sebastian is the largest city in the Spanish part of the Basque Country. Here you will find the best restaurants in the world, delicious pintxos snacks, excellent wine, many kilometers of sandy beaches, an old funicular and magnificent landscapes. Use a Flixbus or Alsa bus to get to San Sebastian, or join a tour.

Bilbao is another big city in the Spanish Basque Country. Go here for a few days, and these days will impress you. You will find modern art, authentic architecture, street shows, excellent restaurants, and original culture there. You can get to Bilbao from Biarritz or San Sebastian in a few hours by bus, Alsa, or Flixbus.

French cuisine: what and where to try

Biarritz offers French cuisine with a hint of Basque and Spanish flavor.

Start your morning with a coffee at Lobita near the Mercado Les Halles market. Then go to the market to choose the freshest oysters, and add champagne - you are in France, who will stop you? Perfect pancakes with all kinds of dough and fillings are waiting for you at Au P'tit Dolmen and Le Ble Noir, where you will also enjoy a breathtaking ocean view. For lunch, grab a juicy burger at Le Cab, where you can choose from a classic beef burger or something more original, like a chorizo burger or foie gras. For wine, stop by L'Artnoa or L'art dit vin, and order the most exquisite cocktails at the bar at the Hotel du Palais. Most of the city's eateries offer jamon, tacos, or anchovy salads. For more original and sophisticated cuisine go to local restaurants. This list of Michelin-starred restaurants will help you with your search, do not forget to book a table in advance.

Best Biarritz gifts

Souvenirs and gifts

Author: Sokolnikova

Textiles. This kind of souvenir will remind you of sunny Biarritz for many years. You will find many souvenir stores on the streets of the Old Town where you will be offered bedspreads, towels, tablecloths, and tissues.

Espadrilles. Walking along Biarritz streets enter one of the authentic shops with shelves full of multi-colored woven slippers called espadrilles. These made-in-Spain shoes are lightweight summer slippers usually made of textile or leather - perfect for summer travel.

Raffia woven bags are exactly what you need to fit all the souvenirs you bought. The prices are very democratic, and the variety of models will make you confused.

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