10 things to do and see in Biarritz, Basque Country
For the best surfing in Europe and a town known for its historic buildings and unique landscapes, Biarritz is the city to go in France to spend your holidays.
So, what to see and do in Biarritz?
1) Tasting Basques specialties
To begin, it is impossible to go to the Basque Country without tasting the local gastronomy. Lucky for you, Biarritz is full of tapas bars and other restaurants that will offer you many specialties such as the Espelette pepper, axoa, Bayonne ham and many others. Come join our morning market tour or our nighttime bars and tapas tour and quite literally taste the Basque Country. For this, we propose you a circuit tapas Biarritz, in which you’ll discover all these flavors typical of the Basque region! More info here.
2) Walking to the Virgin on the Rock
“Le Rocher de la Vierge” is an obligatory stop when visiting Biarritz. From the distant Pyrenees in the south, to the lighthouse in the North, this picturesque monument offers a panoramic view of the coast. To reach it, you will walk on a footbridge built by Gustave Eiffel, replacing the original wooden bridge, initially built by Napoleon III. Come learn more about the many whalers that would come and pray at this very sight before taking to sea on our walking historical tour.
3) Surfing the Basque Coast Beach
Bordered by cliffs and with a breathtaking view of the mountains along the Spanish coast, the beach named ‘côte des Basques’ is the most famous surf beach in the Basque Country. With a surf school or with friends, there are waves to suit all ranges of surfers. Whether you have never touched a surfboard to a well experienced surfer, this is an activity that cannot be missed whilst visiting Biarritz. Let us help you get in the water with an organized surf lesson or book in a surf guide and you will not only get in the water but you will have a personalized guide to take you where you need to be.
4) Visit to a surfboard shaperoom
Still in the field of surfing, many surfboard manufacturers have their workshops based in the region of Biarritz. What better way to understand the culture built around this sport by immersing yourself directly in how these surfboards are made. Discover the authentic craftsmanship of making a surfboard and be guided by our professionals who will share with you their passion throughout your visit.
5) Sightseeing historical monuments
History lovers will be in their element. Biarritz has been able to preserve over centuries some the historical relics from its past. The ever grand and beautiful ‘Hotel du Palais’ built by Napoleon III for his beloved Eugénie and the castle of Ilbarritz which you can see standing tall on the Cliffs just south of Biarritz are just two of Biarritz’s famous and most historical attractions in Biarritz. Come learn more about the glamourous and wealthy past of Biarritz on our walking historical tour.
6) Attending a match of Biarritz Olympique
No, surfing is not the only recognized sport on the Basque coast. Quintuple champion of France, the Biarritz Olympic Basque Country, more commonly known as the “BO”, is an emblematic team in the world of rugby that the Biarrots proudly support. Often in the home game, don’t hesitate to wear the red and white colors and climb into the stands of the Aguilera stadium to support the team with the local colors!
7) Introduction to Pelote Basque
Debatably even more popular than surfing in the Basque Country, Pelote Basque is a racquet and ball sport played by both the young and old. Unlike surfing where multiple weather factors might need to be considered, Pelote Basque can be played both outdoor or indoor and even in the middle of a restaurant. Descendant of the palm game, it was played in the past with bare hands however today the game has evolved and most players now use a wooded racket. Let us get you on the court with a lesson from our two local professionals Jon and Patxi.
8) Drink with the locals – Etxola Bibi
In the late afternoon in Biarritz, Etxola Bibi is the main ‘before the sun goes down’ bar to catch up and have a drink with friends. Located on top of the ‘Côte des Basques’ beach, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. Don’t hesitate to join in a game of pétanque with the locals, order your drink of choice and look out over the uninterrupted view of the Atlantic Ocean.
9) Gazing at the sunset at la Grande Plage
The Grande Plage, the most famous beach and probably the most beautiful point of view of Biarritz. Illustrating almost all the postcards of the city, it is a must-see place that we recommend you are there in time to see the setset. Enjoy this magnificent moment in the orange and pink light with an ice cream or a glass of wine at one of the many restaurants along the board walk of the Grande Plage. Just don’t forget your camera!
If you are an aquarium fan and if you want to learn more about the marine environment, visit to the Sea Museum. Ideal for families, many activities have been designed to attract the interest of the young, such as the touch pool and feeding time for the seals and the sharks. Conveniently located a short stroll from the center of town, next to the ocean, you will have a breathtaking view of the Virgin on the Rock and the Grande Plage.
Now that you know what to do in Biarritz, all you have to do is enjoy your stay here!