Biarritz is a lush surfer’s paradise in the bottom of the South-West of France, near the Spanish border. The former fisherman’s village was being renowned as a summer destination for Napoleon III and his family. More royalty was soon to follow which would give the town a cosmopolitan vibe. However, the beaches of Biarritz started attracting a whole different kind of audience; the surfers.

European surfing scene

During the shooting of the Hollywoodmovie ‘The Sun also Rises’ (1956) in this part of France, moviemaker and wave surfer Peter Viertel could see the potential of Biarritz as a surfers mecca. He shipped over a surfing board from California and recruited locals and foreign surfers in no time. This is how the surfing scene was established in this Basque part of France. 

Biarritz as a holiday destination

Today you can find in Biarritz a colourful mix of richer, trendy French people and hippies who travel to the surf spots in an old Volkswagen bus. And everything in between. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, walk along the Grande Plage coast to the beach of La Cote des Basques and take a look at the old port or some beautiful vantage points. Dining can be done in cosy restaurants or at one of the pintxos bars, where snacks in tapas style are being served. At the covered market Les Halles you will find an ‘indoor food market “where you can enjoy good food and drinks on the spot. And then there are the dozens of bars where you can end the day with a drink and (live) music. Unless you prefer your beer in the evening being on the beach, between the locals and overlooking the lighthouse. Biarritz is compact but offers something for everybody. Whether you’re traveling with your children, as a backpacker or as a couple looking for a romantic coastal village; this place is a ‘must stop’ on the southern French Bay of Biscay.