Biarritz is a beautiful Basque town in the Biscay Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, known for its surfing beaches and lively atmosphere. Biarritz boasts impressive architecture and an amazing gastronomic scene, yet at the same time, it exudes a cozy, small-town energy, making it a perfect weekend destination.

This article is my Biarrtiz Weekend Guide, featuring all the information about the best surfing beaches, bars with the best view, tours you can take and so much more. Whether on a solo surfing weekend, a romantic gateway, or a family trip, my guide has everything you need to know to plan the perfect weekend in Biarrtiz.

How to spend a weekend in Biarrtiz
A Weekend in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you have more than a weekend in Biarrtiz and want to discover everything this town and its surroundings offer, I recommend you also check my article about the 25 best things to do and eat in Biarrtiz. And now let’s start our splendid weekend in Biarrtiz!

How to spend a weekend in Biarritz

A weekend in Biarritz Day 1 – the center and north of Biarritz

On your first day in Biarritz, you’ll be discovering its lively center and focusing on the food and the stunning architecture, which is what makes Biarrtiz so attractive in my opinion. You will explore various neighborhoods in the city center, savor local delicacies, and take in the breathtaking coastline view of Biarritz.

But first, coffee! For all my fellow coffee addicts, if you need a dose of caffeine or a proper breakfast before you start this busy day, I highly recommend going to Milwaukee Café. This place has a very Californian feel to it which shouldn’t come as a surprise as Biarritz is often referred to as French California for surfers. 

Milwaukee Café. - one of the best coffee places in Biarritz
Milwaukee Café in Biarrtiz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Now that you’re awake and well-fed we can start our beautiful first day in Biarrtiz!

Discover the lively streets in the center of Biarrtiz 

Biarritz boasts a bustling city center adorned with a myriad of restaurants, chocolate shops, and charming boutiques. Despite its compact size, the city center unfolds a diverse array of neighborhoods and architectural styles. You can spend the morning meandering through the enchanting Belle Époque boulevards and weaving through the narrow streets adorned with traditional Basque houses. As there are quite a lot of interesting details to absorb here, I highly recommend taking a guided tour

Belle Epoque architecture in the center of Biarritz
A tour of Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Whether you join a guided tour or not, try to leave yourself some time to just wander the streets and soak the atmosphere. To guide you, I want to mention a few streets and places you shouldn’t miss in the center of Biarrtiz.

If you started the day at the coffee I mentioned earlier, take a few steps towards Place Georges Clemenceau. This is one of the lavish parts of town where you will find some of the best chocolate shops and patisserie places in Biarritz, here are a few to try.

Maison Adam – The oldest pâtissier and chocolatier in Biarrtiz, has been making sweet delicacies since the 17th century.  Don’t miss their amazing Basque cakes and the original Basque macarons. Chocolaterie Henriet – one of the most beautiful chocolate shops in Biarritz. Chocolaterie Puyodebat where you can also sit on a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Also on Place Georges Clemenceau, don’t miss the Librairie Bookstore, a beautiful bookstore that is designed like an old cinema theater. 

Maison Adam - The oldest pâtissier and chocolatier in Biarrtiz
Maison Adam – by Lost in Bordeaux

From here you can continue to Place Bellevue to admire the stunning view of the Grande Plage, the central beach of Biarrtiz. If you’re in the mood to walk on the sand or to go for a dip in the sea you can take the path down to the beach. 

The view of the Grande Plage of Biarritz
Grande Plage in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Otherwise, go back to Place Georges Clemenceau and take Rue Mazagran, a small street with boutiques that will lead you to the Port Vieux district, my favorite part of Biarrtiz. It’s a tiny neighborhood, nestled along the coast of Biarrtiz, but with plenty of things to discover.

For now, take some time to stroll the streets around Place Sainte-Eugénie, where the big church of Biarrtiz by the same name is located. If you have only a very short time in Biarrtiz you can continue from here straight to two of the most beautiful places in Biarrtiz: Port des Pecheurs and Rocher de La Vierge. However, if you continue following this guide skip it for now, we’ll go back to them later, because now it’s time for some Basque food.  

Les Halles de Biarritz – the market of Biarritz

It’s now time to discover the gastronomic side of Biarrtiz and for that,  we must go to the belly of the city, its main market. Marché aux Halles, built in 1855, is one of the most popular places in Biarrtiz, where locals come for their daily shopping, lunch, and apero. Here you’ll find the best regional delicacies, fresh produce, artisanal treats, and even amazing coffee. 

The best way to discover the market is by taking a food tour, especially if you’re not yet familiar with Basque cuisine. But you can also just stroll the market and try delicacies like charcuterie, oysters, sheep cheese, and basque cakes with cherry jam. Around the market, you’ll find plenty of local restaurants and tapas bars, perfect for your first Basque lunch.

Marché aux Halles - the gastronomic heart of Biarrtiz
Marché aux Halles – by Lost in Bordeaux

The market tends to be very busy, especially on weekends, so try to come as early as you can. Les Halles de Biarritz is open daily from 7:30 to 14:00 and also from 18:00 to 21:00 from mid-July to the 3rd week of August.

La Belle Epoque – Discover the northern part of Biarritz 

After your lunch at the market, it’s time for some walking again. We are going to spend the afternoon exploring the northern part of Biarrtiz. From the market go back to Place Clemenceau and Avenie Edouard VII, an elegant boulevard, known for its designer boutiques. On the way to our next destination, the lighthouse of Biarrtiz, you can explore some of Biarrtiz’s spectacular architecture. if you rather stay close to the beach, you can do most of the walk along the beach, passing the two main beaches Grand Plage and Plage Miramar.

Plage Miramar - one of the central beaches of Biarritz
Plage Miramar – by Lost in Bordeaux

During the 19th century, Biarritz emerged as a sought-after retreat for European royalty and the elite, resulting in the creation of opulent beachfront hotels. The buildings in this quarter boast grand entrances and elaborate facades, particularly evident in the architecture of the expansive boulevards and squares along the central beach. These structures serve as a testament to the enduring elegance of the Belle Époque style that flourished during that distinguished era.

If you’re interested in the historical and architectural aspects of Biarritz I highly recommend booking a guided tour as there are a lot of hidden gems you might miss. 

If you don’t have the time or will to go on a tour, just grab a map from your hotel of the tourist office which is located in the same area, on Sq. d’Ixelles. There are two buildings you should not miss on your walk:  

Hotel du Palais - the most beautiful building in Biarritz
Hotel du Palais – by Lost in Bordeaux

Hotel du Palais which was the summer palace of Eugénie (the last French empress) and is located between the Grande Plage and Plage Miramar. Chapelle Imperiale which was Eugénie’s private chapel. If you have time, visit the chapel to see its beautiful interior. During the tourist season, the opening hours are Thursday and Saturday (14-18).

 See the view from the Lighthouse (Le Phare)

If you reach the Hotel du Palais and want to continue discovering the Biarritz and its stunning landscape by foot continue to the Biarrtiz lighthouse. On the way, you can pass by Plage Miramar or discover a more local neighborhood, Saint Charles, with its lovely food boutiques.

See the view from the Lighthouse of Biarritz (Le Phare)
The view from the lighthouse of Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux –

The lighthouse is located in the northern part of the coast of Biarritz and rises to a height of 73 meters above sea level. The view from the lighthouse is mesmerizing, especially on a sunny day. Climb the 248 steps of the lighthouse and you’ll get to enjoy the sweeping of the entire coastline and the city center. See the opening hours of the lighthouse here.

Another fun way to enjoy this view is taking a helicopter ride over the skies of Biarritz and flying over the large sandy beaches and the villages nearby. See all the details here.

It’s now time to go back to the city center. You can either follow your steps and walk back or you can take the free shuttles run by the city of Biarritz. It has three lines and the green one operates between the lighthouse and the city center. See more info here.

Plage Port Vieux

As promised, we are back at the Port Vieux district in the center of Bordeaux. It’s time to go to the beach or for a drink! If you take the green shuttle you can go down at the Gambetta-  Mazagran station. From rue Mazagran continue to rue du Port Vieux until you reach Esplanade du Port Vieux from where you see a beautiful beach nestled between two cliffs. 

Plage port vieux - the best beach for kids in Biarritz
Plage port vieux – for a safe swim – by Lost in Bordeaux

This is Plage Port Vieux, the smallest and in my opinion, the prettiest beach in Biarritz. It is also considered the safest beach in the city, which attracts many families here on hot days.  If you don’t want to swim, just enjoy the view with a drink.

Several spots along the Esplanade provide stunning views accompanied by cocktails and delectable snacks. One of my favorite one favorite ones is the rooftop of the Le Hotel de la Plage which has a great menu throughout most of the day. Another great place for a drink is Eden Rock Café, which often also has a DJ set.

 The rooftop of the Le Hotel de la Plage
The rooftop of the Le Hotel de la Plage

The Aquarium of Biarritz

The Aquarium is a perfect way to spend the afternoon if you have kids, otherwise, just skip this part and continue reading the list. 

The Biarritz Aquarium (also known as the Musée de la Mer) is located in an art-deco building next to Rocher de la Vierge. The museum includes huge aquariums with fish, sharks, and seals. You can also learn about the history of whales in Biarritz through a series of exhibits. You can buy the tickets online and if you’re also planning to visit the Cité de l’Océan I recommend purchasing the combined ticket.

Rocher de la Vierge 

From here you can continue to the most famous landmark of Biarritz!

Perched on the dramatic cliffs of Biarritz, the Rocher de la Vierge emerges as a mesmerizing natural landmark and cultural symbol. Previously used as a platform for whale-watching it is now one of Biarrtiz’s more recognizable spots. Translated as the “Rock of the Virgin,” this site owes its name to the statue of the Virgin Mary standing on the top of the rock.

Rocher de la Vierge - a must visit in Biarritz
Rocher de la Vierge – by Lost in Bordeaux

Accessible by a scenic footbridge, the Rocher de la Vierge offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay of Biscay and Côte des Basques (the surfing coastline). The sound of crashing waves against the rocks adds a symphonic backdrop to the sensory experience. The view gets particularly stunning around sunset time, but it’s a magnificent spot to visit any time of the day.

A drink or a dinner with an amazing view 

To culminate this perfect day, consider a delightful dinner or aperitif at one of the chicest bars or restaurants in Biarritz, conveniently located near the Rocher de la Vierge.

Olatua is one the most popular spots in Biarritz, where people go for an after-work drink with their friends. They have a terrasse bar and rooftop with a bit of a more elaborate menu. Both have the most stunning view of the ocean and the Rocher de la Vierge. If you’re lucky to get there at sunset time, prepare yourself for a mesmerizing view.

Olatua is one the most popular spots in Biarritz
Olatua is one the most popular spots in Biarritz

Hope you enjoyed the first day of your Biarrtiz weekend, see you tomorrow!

How to spend a weekend in Biarritz- day 2 – the south

The second day in Biarrtiz will be mostly dedicated to the ocean, which is what Biarritz is mostly known for. That is why we are starting the day at Plage de la Côte des Basques, the surfing beach in the southern part of Biarrtiz.
If you need a shot of espresso before we start the day here, Carlos is your place.

Go surfing 

The Biarritz surfing scene is the main attraction for many European tourists. Most of the surfers tend to come to Plage de la Côte des Basques which is actually the first surfing beach in Europe! If you’re already a surfer, there are several places here where you can rent surf equipment. If you wish to discover another surfing charming location nearby, go to Birdard, the official surfing paradise, just a few minutes drive from Biarritz.

surfing in Biarritz and Bidard
Surfing in Biarritz and Bidard – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s important to mention though that surfing in the Biarritz (and the Atlantic coast in general) entirely depends on the tides. So before you put your surfing suite, be sure to check out the Biarrtiz tide forecast.

Take surfing lessons 

If you never surfed before, Biarritz is a great place to try it for the first time! There are plenty of surfing schools here that provide private and group surfing lessons for beginners. One of the best surfing schools in Biarrtiz is La Vague Basque. There you can join a group course, take a private lesson or even do a five-day intensive surfing course. You see all the options and book your surfing lessons here.

Surfing in Biarritz
surfing schools in Biarritz- Lost in Bordeaux

The best beach in Biarritz

In case surfing is not your thing, just take that time to explore the best beaches of Biarrtiz. You’ve already seen a few of Biarritz’s beaches yesterday but the best ones are actually located in the south of Biarritz. If you’re a surfer, Plage Marbella, just south of Plage de la Cote Basque is your place. Its wild character makes Marbella Beach particularly popular with surfers. 

Plage de la Milady one of the best beaches in Biarritz
Milady beach in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

However for swimming you might want to distance yourself a bit further to the South and go to the stunning Plage de la Milady. This beach is particularly popular with the locals of Biarrtiz. It has a promenade along the sea, a playground for kids, and access by wheelchairs directly into the sea. 

In the summer season, you can find there a restaurant called Milady Beach with a great menu of tapas.

Villa Belza

When you finish surfing, it is time to go back to the city center but on the way I want to take you to one of the most beautiful spots in Biarrtiz. Villa Belza is a beautiful 19th-century mansion located between the Rocher de la Vierge and the Côte des Basques. This mysterious house was used in the past as a setting for films and cabaret evenings. 

Villa Belza - one of the best places to see in Biarritz
Villa Belza – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s best viewed from Place Balea. To get there from Plage de la Cote des Basques just follow the Boulevard du Prince de Galles along the cliff towards Plage Port Vieux.

Port Des Pecheurs 

A few minutes walk from Plage Port Vieux will bring you to one of the most charming places in Biarritz. Port des Pêcheurs is a little harbor that was built by Napoleon III in the 1800s and previously served the fishermen of the city. 

Port des Pêcheurs - one of the most charming places in Biarrtiz
Port des Pêcheurs – by Lost in Bordeaux

You can still find the fishermen’s little colorful houses, some of which serve as restaurants with a beautiful view of the boats docking at the port. This would be a great place to have lunch or dinner, especially if you like seafood. Two of my favorite restaurants here are Casa Juan Pedro and Harremanak (if you want more of a tapas vibe). 

From Port des Pêcheurs you can also go on a cruise Bay of Biscay and discover the Basque coast by boat. Excursion Bateau Biarritz is run by a professional skipper, Jerome, who will take you on a magical day trip that includes Swimming and snorkeling in the creeks of Biarritz, lunch on the beach, a visit to the bay of Saint Jean de Luz and more. See all the details here.

Go on an Aperitif Ride – and E-bike Guided Tour 

A guided E-bike tour is an amazing way to end your second day in Biarrtiz especially if you haven’t done the walk along the coast on the first day. 

On this tour, you get to explore some of the highlights of Biarrtiz like the lighthouse and the famous “Chambre d’Amour“. The cave, nestled between Anglet’s beaches and the Biarritz lighthouse, derived its name from the tragic love story of Laorens, a poor orphan, and Saubade, the daughter of a wealthy farmer. Despite paternal opposition, the young couple made a solemn vow of eternal love in the cave, but their fate was sealed when a storm surged, swiftly carrying them away. The cave turned into a symbol of enduring love and is attracting visitors to this day.

The tour also includes a stop for a drink and tapas at sunset! You can book it here.

If you still have time in Biarrtiz, take the opportunity to go on a day/half-day trip to explore other places near Biarrtiz.

The best places to visit around Biarritz

The French Basque country is one of the most fascinating places in Southwest France. In just a short drive from Biarritz, you can visit plenty of charming villages, go on a gastronomic adventure visit farms, and enjoy stunning architecture in other towns in the region. 

If you have only one day and you’re eager to visit all the highlights of the French Basque country, Txiki Combi offers a really cool day trip that includes places like Sare, Espellette, Saint Jean de Luz, and more. Check out all the details of the tour here

visiting farms in the stunning Aldudes Valley in the French Basque country
visiting farms in the stunning Aldudes Valley in the French Basque country

If you want to focus on one place, you can always take the bus (or the train) from Biarritz. Public transport in the French Basque county works quite well and allows you to get to some of the most interesting destinations. However, if you want to enjoy the ride and some of the views from the Basque roads, renting a car is always the best option

Here are three ideas for amazing day trips from Biarritz.

A day trip to Bayonne, the French Basque Capital 

Nestled along the banks of the Adour River, Bayonne reigns as the capital of the French Basque country, an enchanting city steeped in history and cultural richness. Bayonne is known for its charming old town with narrow cobblestone streets and Basque-style houses.

The famous chocolate of Bayonne
The famous chocolate of Bayonne

Bayonne also happens to be one of the most gastronomic destinations in the southwest of France. Two of its most celebrated products are chocolate and the Bayonne ham. Chocolate boutiques and basque delicatessens adorn almost every street in the old center. So if you’re looking for a foodie getaway from Biarritz, Bayonne is a great option.

When there, I highly recommend taking a food tour so you can easily discover all the gastronomic gems of this city. 

You can take a direct train from Biarritz to Bayonne or take a taxi (they are just close by).

Gastronomic Delights and Ocean Breezes in Saint Jean de Luz

Located just 15km from Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of the most charming destinations in the Basque county. The seaside town with its cozy atmosphere is sitting within a vast bay, facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is renowned for its unique Basque architecture, where lively streets showcase the charm of the old town with vibrant half-timbered houses.

Saint Jean de Luz - one of the best place to visit in the French Basque country
Saint Jean de Luz – by Lost in Bordeaux

With its five beaches, Saint Jean de Luz offers a variety of water activities such as Stand Up Paddles and or a boat trip with a swim in the transparent waters of the bay. If you’re traveling from San Sebastian, check out this amazing culinary adventure that includes both Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz.

Discover the most beautiful villages of the Basque country 

While Biarrtiz itself is a famous destination, most people are less familiar with the inland area of the French Basque country. You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s actually one of its most enchanting parts. If you have more time in Biarrtiz, I highly recommend a day trip to explore the Basque most beautiful villages, each boasting unique charm and cultural richness.

Piments d'Espelette
Piments d’Espelette

One day is obviously not enough to visit all of them, but as the French Basque county is not big, you can easily visit 2-3 villages in one day. Some of my favorite villages are Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Espelette but there are many others, even closer to Biarrtiz. My article about the most beautiful villages in the French Basque country should help you plan your trip.

Where to stay in Biarritz

Biarritz is a compact and cozy city, so if you opt to stay in the city center, you can easily explore everything on foot. So here are a few recommended hotels in Biarrtiz. 

Hôtel de La Plage A 4-star hotel boasting the most enchanting view of Plage de Port Vieux. The hotel’s rooftop adds a fun touch, ideal for enjoying an afternoon cocktail with a splendid vista.

Hotel Windsor Grande Plagea 4-star hotel, located right on the main beach of Biarritz with an amazing view of the ocean.

Hôtel & Espace Bien-être La Maison du Lierre – A charming 3-star hotel nestled in a stunning Belle Époque house, offering the convenience of an onsite sauna, massage services, and spa treatments.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

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