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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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Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Biarritz? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*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 🙂 

BIARRITZ the ultimate guide by lost in bordeaux

Biarritz, a renowned surfing destination on the Atlantic Ocean, is celebrated for its pristine beaches, captivating architecture, and vibrant ambiance. In the 1850s, it was the favored summer retreat of Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie de Montijo. The 1950s marked a pivotal moment as Biarritz evolved into Europe’s pioneering surfing haven. Although its allure waned for a time, the town has experienced a resurgence in popularity, now standing as a coveted vacation destination for many French. 

The beaches are still what attracts many tourists to Biarrtiz, however, in recent years it developed into much more than just another coastal resort. The Basque town has one of the best gastronomic scenes in the region, plenty of little bars with a stunning beach view, and a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Its proximity to many other great destinations in the Basque country makes it a perfect base to explore the region. 

In this article, I will help you discover all the best things to do in Biarritz. My list includes recommendations about the best restaurants, beaches, surfing schools, fun tours, and more. If you’re looking for a hotel in Biarritz you can go straight to the end of the article and read about the best places to stay in Biarritz. Now let’s get started with the 25 things you should do, see and eat in Biarritz!

Surfing – one of the best attractions in Biarritz

1. Surf (or take surfing lessons) at the Côte des Basques

The Biarritz surfing scene is the main attraction for many European tourists. Most of the surfers tend to come to Plage de la Cote des Basque 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. 

But this place is also a gem for beginners as there are quite a few surfing schools here offering classes to surfing newbies. 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

If you wish to discover another charming location nearby, you can take your surfing course in Birdard, the official surfing paradise, just a few minutes drive from Biarritz. A great surfing school in Bidard is Aquality School and Taiba Surf Club, both do their lessons at Plage de l’Uhabia. 

If you need a break from surfing climb the stairs of the Square Jean Baptiste Lassalle to the very cool beach bar the Etxola Bibi. This open-air bar is located on the cliff with a beautiful view of the Côte des Basques beach, It’s a perfect spot for a beer on a sunny day or a game of pétanque with the locals. If you stay after sunset you get to enjoy live music shows as well.

Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach in Biarritz
Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach

Along the coastline of Biarritz –the best places to visit in Biarritz

2. Take a long walk on the promenade

along the coast line of Biarrtz
A sand artist on the coastline of Biarritz

if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Biarritz but still want to see its best parts, you can follow the beautiful promenade all along the beaches of Biarritz and see most of the main sites (which I’ll be mentioning in this article). 

A large part of the promenade is located on several cliffs from which you have a beautiful view of Biarritz’s beaches. Don’t miss Sam, the sand artist who’s making beautiful sketches on wet sand.If you want to have photogenic memories of this walk, you can also take this Private Photographic tour of Biarritz.

3. See the view from the Lighthouse (Le Phare)

The view from Biarritz's lighthouse
The view from Biarritz’s lighthouse

The lighthouse is located in the northern part of the coast of Biarritz, right on the border of Landes and rising to a height of 73 meters above sea level. You have to climb 248 steps to get to the top but I promise you, it’s worth it! 

The view from the lighthouse is mesmerizing, especially on a sunny day. The panoramic scenery provides a sweeping view that encompasses both the entire coastline and the city center. This is a great place to start your walk along the coast or alternatively to see the sunset if you visit Biarritz when the sun goes down before 6 pm, as that’s when the lighthouse closes in the evening.  See the opening hours here.

A more exciting way to see the view of Biscay Bay with its stunning beaches and villages is the  Atlantic coast helicopter trip from Biarritz.

4. Explore the architecture

One of the best ways to discover the city is by strolling on the streets and observing its architecture. When you visit Biarritz try to go beyond the few tourist streets and look for the unique houses and mansions. The best way to discover the architectural treasures of Biarrtiz is by taking a guided walking tour (this one starts from the lighthouse). 

Architecture in Biarritz
Architecture in Biarritz

But if you’re not taking a tour, here are two noticeable places that you should pay attention to on your stroll. First is the Hotel du Palais which was the summer palace of Eugénie (the last French empress) and is located between the Grande Plage and Plage Miramar. The second is the 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).

5. Go to the beach at the Grand Plage

Le Grand Plage is the main beach in Biarritz. It’s wide, close to most hotels, and is comfortable for bathing. That also makes it the most crowded beach during high season. For those seeking the city beach ambiance and not particularly inclined towards surfing, this spot is an ideal place to relax during your stay in Biarritz. 

Le Grand Plage is the main beach in Biarritz
Grand Plage in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

For surfers, the go-to place is Plage de la Côte Basque, where you can choose to rent surfing equipment or take a surf lesson from an allee of surfing schools. 

if you don’t mind walking or cycling farther from the city center, there’s a nicer and less crowded beach I highly recommend. For that, you need to get to the south of Biarritz to Plage de la Milady or Plage Marbella which I’ll talk about later.

6. Port des Pêcheurs

A few minutes walk from the Grand Plage will bring you to one of the most romantic 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. 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.

port des pecheurs biarritz
Port des Pecheurs in Biarritz

If it’s seafood and fish you’re after then this is the place for you. The restaurants in the port will serve you fresh-off-the-boat fish, a variety of seafood such as oysters and crabs, and other classic dishes from Basque cuisine. My favorite restaurant is Casa Juan Pedro, which offers delicious local dishes for affordable prices.

7. A boat trip 

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. 

The minimum age for this activity is 2yo and you must book it in advance – see all the details here.

8. Sunset and wine

During your discovery of the coastline, you will see a few exquisite little bars located on the headlands with the perfect ambiance for an early evening drink. These are the best places to see the sunset while sipping a glass of wine and snacking on a charcuterie plate.

view from the Olatua bar
See the sun go down from the Olatua bar in Biarritz

The place I found most charming was OLATUA, with a very chill atmosphere of friends meeting at the end of a working day. You might have to wait a bit for a table with a good view, but it’s worth it.

Address: Olatua, Jardins de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

9. Rocher de la Vierge

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
Rocher de la Vierge – one of the hallmarks of Biarritz

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.

7. The Aquarium of Biarritz

Another very popular attraction in Biarritz is the Biarritz Aquarium (also known as the Musée de la Mer) which 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. This place is very popular with kids and can be a great escape for a rainy day.

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.

Address:  Musée de la Mer, Plateau de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

11. Plage Port Vieux for a safe swim with kids

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

After you’ve visited the Rocher de la Vierge (or the Biarritz aquarium nearby) continue walking along the coastline until you see a beautiful tiny beach from the top. This is Plage Port Vieux, the smallest and in my opinion, the prettiest beach in Biarritz. It’s located on a tiny bay between two cliffs creating a very sheltered beach which makes it the safest place for kids and adults to swim.

The problem is that it’s very small so it tends to be packed with families during the summer. If you’re looking for a quiet beach continue down the road to the southern part of Biarritz.

12. Villa Belza

Villa Belza

Another charming spot on the coastline comes right after the Port Vieux beach. 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. 

Next to Villa Belza, there’s a nice little cafe/bar, named the Eden Rock cafe with a beautiful view of the little Post Vieux beach. They have a DJ playing live music and it’s a great place for early evening cocktails.

Address: Eden rock café, 2-4 Espl. du Port Vieux, 64200 Biarritz

13. Plage Marbella

Another much more isolated beach is Plage Marbella in the South of Biarritz.  Characterized by its towering waves, this beach radiates a distinctly wild ambiance, making it a preferred haven for seasoned surfers.

a bar on plage Marbella
a bar on plage Marbella

One of Marbella’s best features is Debololo, the surfers’ outdoor bar, which is located on the cliff, just before you go down to the beach. Debololo with its local vibe has a light menu (quiches, sandwiches, etc.) and lots of cold drinks. 

Address: Debololo, impasse Marbella, Biarritz, France 64200

14. Go on a day trip from Biarritz 

There is an incredible amount of places to visit in the Basque region, and you need at least a few weeks to cover it all. But let’s be realistic, most people only have a few days when they are visiting the region, so I want to give you the highlights. 

If you have an extra day or two in Biarritz and you want to profit from the proximity of the town to other attractive destinations, it’s quite easy to do. The main popular places you can go to by train or bus from Biarritz are San Sebastian, a resort town on the Spanish side of the border (50 km from Biarritz); Saint Jean de Luz, a beautiful little fishing town (20 km from Biarritz) and Bayonne, one of the biggest cities in the area known for its chocolate and ham (10 km from Biarritz). 

Personally, Bayonne, the capital of the French Basque country is my favorite one. The city is known for its charming old town with narrow cobblestone streets and Basque-style houses. But Bayonne also happens to be one of the most gastronomic destinations in the southwest of France. So when there, I highly recommend taking a food tour so you can easily discover all the gastronomic gems of this city. 

Bayonne - a day trip from Biarritz
Bayonne -by Lost in Bordeaux

Where to eat in Biarritz – food and nightlife

The food is by far my favorite part of Biarritz! The richness of the Basque cuisine and the proximity to Spain makes this place a paradise for foodies. Seafood restaurants, an amazing market, great burgers, and awesome tapas bars, Biarritiz’s got everything and it’s all delicious.

15. Les Halles de Biarritz – the market of Biarritz

Halles de Biarritz
Halles de Biarritz

Marché aux Halles, Biarritz’s main market is one of the best attractions this city has to offer. This bustling market, housed in a charming Art Deco building was built in 1885 and has since become a gastronomic institution. You can find here the best regional delicacies, fresh produce, artisanal treats and even amazing coffee. 
My favorite way to discover a local market in many French cities I go to is taking a food tour with someone local. It’s not only the best way to discover the regional specialties but also to learn about the local life and culture. Several food tours in Biarrtiz will help you discover the market, one of them is the Biarritz guided walking & gourmet tour.

Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz
Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz

Next to the big market, you will find another smaller building, which is the fish and seafood market. Here you can order a plate of oysters with white wine and just enjoy the good life of Biarritz. 

This type of covered market has become very popular in France and in recent years you can see them popping up in many cities around the country. Usually, these are very lively during the day and quiet after 14:00 but Biarrtiz is different. This market is the go-to place for locals for lunch, apero, or a night out with friends. And while the market itself closes early, all the restaurants around it stay open. And I’ll mention a few of them later. 

The market tends to be very busy, especially on weekends, so try to come as early as you can. The market 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.

16. Basque food and tapas places

You can feel the Spanish influence on the French Basque cuisine in many of Biarritz’s restaurants. Excellent tapas bars with colorful Pintxos are an integral aspect of the city’s culinary landscape. In general, I found that the market area is the food hub of the city and harbors the best tapas bars in Biarritz.

Bar Jean in Biarritz
Bar Jean – one of the food institutions of Biarritz

One of the oldest and busiest tapas places in Biarritz is Bar jean. Located just in front of the market, the bar offers an impressive variety of dishes and tapas. This spot typically attracts a lively mix of tourists and fashionable locals gathering around its red bar. Bar Jean offers all the traditional Basque dishes as well as self-severed Pintxos from the bar. The food is indeed delicious, but the speed with which the waiters move makes for a slightly cold and impersonal service. Having said that I highly recommend spending at least one evening there.

Le Comptoir du Foie Gras in Biarritz
Le Comptoir du Foie Gras

Another great tapas bar is Le Comptoir de fois gras, a perfect place to finish your market visit. They offer a foie gras pintxo as well as a great selection of Charcuterie that you can accompany with a bottle of wine or champagne while watching the people rush in and out of the market.

17. Buy local products

Biarritz is rich with delicious Basque products, most of which you will try in the local restaurants. If you want to take some of the French basque flavors and specialties home with you, visit one of the many local product boutiques around the city.

basque products
Buy local products in Biarritz

Some of the highlights of Basque gastronomy are the Espellette peppers, the Basque cheese, Bayonne Ham, Basque cakes and chocolate, and the Irouleguy wines (with a strong flavor). Most of the products can be found in the market as well as in one of the shops in front of the market, Etxe Peio. Another beautiful shop for Basque products is Mikelena, which is located in the city center. 

If you have some time in Biarrtiz I also recommend taking a trip to the countryside to see how some of these delicates are produced. If you don’t want the hassle of organizing it yourself, you can take this Basque Country Food tour.

18. Good restaurants

The list of good restaurants in Biarrtiz is too long and it requires a separate article, but I wanted to give you at least three great ones to start with.

EPOQ – a chic restaurant, that prides itself on a stylish ambiance and a menu spotlighting locally sourced and organic dishes. 

Bistro Le Pim’pi – For a good old-fashioned style French Bistro – French classic dishes with an innovative touch.Frenchie – in the gastronomic territory we have this stylish restaurant that’s located in the Regina Hotel.

19. Basque Patisserie

I find it amazing that every region you visit in France has its own local patisserie! In Biarritz, it’s the Gâteaux Basques (Basque cakes) that come in many flavors such as nougat, cream, and pistachio. Another specialty is the local macaroon which is less pretty than the Parisian one but loses no points on taste and texture. 

The basque patisserie is very much based on ground almonds, resembling a bit the taste of croissant aux amandes. My favorite patisserie place is Patiserrie Adam, for its huge variety of basque cakes, the beautiful presentation of every pastry and chocolate, and the very lovely service (they gave us a lot of chocolate to taste 🙂 ).

patisserie Adam
Taste amazing Basque patisserie in Adam

Another much more famous one is Miremont, which is not just a patisserie place but rather a fancy tea house with beautiful desserts and chocolates and high prices accordingly.

20. Burgers

Les CAB Biarritz
Les CAB – great place for a burger

Burgers became popular in Biarritz and you can find several American-style places with good burgers in the city. My favorite was Le Comptoir à Burger, also known as Le CAB, located on rue Gambetta, which is yet another street full of great restaurants. Their super tasty burgers come with a variety of special toppings such as mozzarella, dry tomatoes, and homemade fries.

21. Nightlife in Biarrtiz

Biarritz is not a party town and you won’t see streets full of clubs with people dancing till morning. The atmosphere here is relaxed and people just love to go out for a drink and eat well. Some of the bars/restaurants can be open quite late if you want to continue drinking after dinner. 

Two of them are located on one of the main streets in the center,  Rue de port vieux: the Ventillo cafe with live music in the evenings and the Basque bar with a younger vibe. Both are open after midnight which is not obvious in Biarritz.

The market area is another place that becomes alive in the evening. Locals love to have an apero in one of the many bars and you will see the places getting busy with groups of friends as the evening carries on.

night life around the market in Biarritz
night life around the market in Biarritz

There are also a few nightclubs such as le Duplex and Carré Coast but I’m not a nightclub person so I can’t tell you from personal experience if they are good 🙂

Shopping in Biarritz

Given the relatively small size of the city, Biarritz offers a great shopping experience with a variety of famous French retail chains and local boutiques with an emphasis on beachwear and Biarritz-related products.

22. Where to shop for clothing in Biarritz

In general, there are two main areas for shopping in the center of Biarritz. If you are looking for famous boutiques like Zadig et Voltaire and Morgan go to Avenue Edouard VII, a home to some of the biggest French and international boutiques. You can also head to Galerie Lafayette where all the biggest clothing and cosmetics brands are on display.

Shopping street in Biarritz
Avenue Edouard VII – Shopping street in Biarritz

If you’re interested in smaller more local boutiques you can find some of them around the market (Les Halles de Biarritz), like Rue Gambetta or Rue Victor Hugo. You can also head to the very charming streets rue mazagran and rue du port vieux  – two little pedestrian streets full of boutiques, cafes, bars, and galleries.

23. Buy Souvenirs 

presents from Biarritz
Some of the presents you can bring back home

If you are looking for presents or memorabilia to bring from Biarritz, there are a few special items that can be great presents. One of the most popular merchandise in Biarritz is the espadrilles, made-in-France slippers that come in all colors and can be a great present for the summer. They are sold in many shops around Biarritz, but if you want a huge selection go to the very chic Art of Soule shoe store.

Les espadrilles
Espadrilles – a nice present to bring from Biarritz

Other very popular items are Biarritz’s aprons or the colorful little surfboards with cool graffiti or Biarritz’s scenery on them. One store that has a great selection of presents is Colibri.

Indoor activities to do in Biarritz

24. Museums

There are a few interesting museums in Biarritz and although most people come here for the beaches, it’s good to have some interesting indoor places in case it rains.

Apart from the Aquarium mentioned above, there’s an entertaining museum called Cité de l’océan. The Ocean Museum offers plenty of interactive and fun activities and multimedia exhibits that help you explore the relationship of Biarritz with the ocean. If you don’t feel like surfing in the real ocean, you can try the virtual reality surf experience in the museum. You can purchase tickets combining the museum with the Aquarium.

Another good museum is the Musée Asiatica, with several collections from China, Nepal, and Tibet as well as a large gallery of Indian subcontinent art.

25. Casino

Casino Barrière in Biarritz
Casino Barrière

Ever felt inadequate in a casino? well, not in this one :). The Casino of Biarritz is located in an art deco building on the main beach, Le grande plage. It’s probably not the most extravagant casino you’ve ever been to, but maybe the relaxed feeling is what makes it nice. There is no real dress code to get inside, except that men need to wear long pants.

Where to stay in Biarritz?

For those of you looking for a hotel for your stay in Biarritz, here’s a list of a few recommended hotels. I included both 3 and 4-star hotels and also one very luxurious option so that everyone can find something for their budget and needs. All of the hotels are located in the center of Biarritz, within a few minutes walk from one of the beaches, and with plenty of restaurants around.

Best Western Kemaris

A lovely 3 – star hotel situated in a typical French Basque house. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the surfing beach and about 10 minutes walk from all the shops and restaurants in the city center. The rooms are very bright and the design is quite minimalist (in a good way). Click here to book.

Best Western Kemaris
Best Western Kemaris

Résidence Vacances Bleues Le Grand Large

If you’re traveling with kids this is a great option for you. It’s an apartment-hotel with spacious rooms and a kitchen in every apartment so if you prefer to buy your food at the market and cook, this is perfect for you. The hotel does offer breakfast and has a restaurant for those who prefer not to hassle with cooking. The high building itself is not extremely charming but the rooms are nice and the view is spectacular. It’s also perfectly located within a few minutes walk from all the restaurants and the kids friendly beach (Plage Port Vieux). If it’s a bit cold outside for a beach day, the hotel offers a heated pool. Click here to book.

Hotel Windsor Grande Plage

This 4-star hotel is located right on the main beach of Biarritz with an amazing view of the ocean. It’s situated in what used to be a private mansion and has a very elegant white design. This hotel is perfect for couples on a romantic vacation 🙂 Click here to book.

Hotel Villa Koegui Biarritz

If you usually love to stay in boutique hotels, Villa Koegui Biarritz is a great option. The 4-star hotel is located very close to the beach and the main market of Biarritz. If you book the breakfast option you get to enjoy it in their lovely garden. Just one issue, the shower opens to the bedroom, meaning that it doesn’t have a separate door (I know it’s an issue for some people). But other than that it’s a great cozy hotel with great staff and service. Click here to book.

Le Regina Biarritz Hotel & Spa MGallery by Sofitel

This is the most luxurious option on my list. Le Regina is a marvelous 5-star hotel situated in a 1907 Belle Epoque building with an amazing Art Deco lobby. Besides the beautiful design, it has great amenities such as a big outdoor pool, a spa, a chef restaurant and more. The hotel is located between the main beach and Biarrit’s famous lighthouse. It’s very close to the main shopping street and about 20 minutes walk from the main market and the old port. Click here to book.

I hope this long list of things to do and see and where to eat and shop was useful for those planning to visit Biarritz. If Biarritz is not on your travel destinations list, you should definitely add it as you don’t want to miss the beautiful beaches, the delicious Basque food and the chill ambiance of this place!

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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 🙂