Cheap flights to Biarritz
Nineteenth century elegance, a healthy respect for good food, and a nice helping of spa-like pampering come as standard in Biarritz, one of France’s chicest resorts.
If you want to holiday like royalty then you can’t get much better than Biarritz. Known for attracting the likes of Queen Victoria in the 19th century and Frank Sinatra a hundred years later, this city in the Basque region of France is rightly titled the ‘Monte Carlo of the Atlantic coast’.
Back in the day this was the place to see and be seen. Nowadays the pretense is long gone and this lively resort pulls in crowds from all walks of life, all attracted to its kilometres of sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, wide ranging accommodation and sophisticated elegance. Families, teenage surfers, young couples and the silver set – they’re all here enjoying what the city has to offer.<
Try your luck at the splendid Biarritz Casino. Have a go at the gaming tables or just enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean from one of the restaurants, cafes or bars (1 Avenue Edouard VII, lucienbarriere.com).
See hammerhead sharks, barracuda and lots more at the Musee de La Mer, which boasts more than 50 aquariums and an impressive coral reef. Watch the seals at feeding time and venture into the touch pool (Plateau de l'Atalaye, entrance on Esplanade du Rocher de la Vierge, museedelamer.com).
The Biarritz Festival of Latin American Cinema and Culture hits town on 29 September - 5 October. An opportunity to see previously unreleased shorts and feature films, attend lectures and meetings and enjoy Latin American food, music and more. festivaldebiarritz.com
Visit the indoor Les Halles food market in the city centre. Open every morning, it boasts around 120 stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, meat, fish and all kinds of cheeses, pastries and other delicacies. Buy the makings of a gourmet picnic or just enjoy the bustle (Rue des Halles, halles-biarritz.fr).
Expect music, beach food and fun at the BIG Festival on 16-20 July. With three stages, Big Boite, Big Live and Big Village, there's a brilliant line-up this year, including Placebo, Metronomy and the legendary Neil Young & Crazy Horse. bigfest.fr
Enjoy a day out in nearby Bayonne, a short bus or train ride along the coast and then inland. The River Nive divides the city into two parts. Sights include a Gothic cathedral, some great examples of Basque architecture, the famous Citadel and lots of historic bridges. There are plenty of good restaurants serving cheap traditional meals, too.
Spend an afternoon in the nearby historical town of Bayonne. Visit the Basque Museum (37 Quai des Corsaires) or the Musée Bonnat (5 Rue Jacques-Lafitte), home to art from the likes of Degas and Boticelli. Wander around Sainte-Marie Cathedral (15 Rue des Prébendes). Then relax at one of the riverside bars and enjoy some seafood and a glass of wine.
This is a great time of year to visit one of the little villages along the coast from Biarritz. Jump on one of the STAB buses heading towards the Spanish border and jump off when you see a place you'd like to explore. St Jean du Luz is particularly lively and boasts a good food market, lots of arty shops and plenty of eateries.