Surf’s always up in chilled-out Biarritz

I am heading away with some friends for a few days in the sunshine. We are hoping to go to Biarritz in France. Can you please advise me on some things to do and where to stay?

I am heading away with some friends for a few days in the sunshine. We are hoping to go to Biarritz in France. Can you please advise me on some things to do and where to stay?

Biarritz is an excellent choice for a relaxed but fun-filled few days. With its wide range of beautiful beaches and laidback atmosphere you certainly won’t find a better place to unwind! This stylish town is Europe’s surfing capital and is known worldwide for the competitions it hosts yearly, including the Biarritz Surf Trophy in October. Thanks to both the warm local currents and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, the weather tends to stay mild and temperate all year long.

When in Biarritz, the beaches should be your main priority. There are five beautiful beaches, each one with its own distinct history. The Grand Plage is right at the centre of the action. Popular among tourists, this beach is close to the shops and is situated beside the restored Art Deco Casino. The Côtes-des-Basque beach is ideal for surfing whether you want to have some lessons or simply watch the experts.

For a chilled-out afternoon, why not visit the Musée de la Mer; an interesting combination of maritime museum and aquarium. Considered to be one of Biarritz’s main attractions, the museum hosts 50 aquariums teeming with more than 150 varieties of fish and and invertebrates native to the Bay of Biscayne, including the saw fish and guitar ray. One of the aquarium’s top attractions are the seals at their daily feedings.

Next on your list should be The Planète Musée du Chocolat which is well worth a visit. Here you will learn about the history of chocolate as you walk through a handful of galleries devoted to chocolate moulds and sculptures, vintage advertising and packaging, and tools and machines from around the world and through the eras. At the end of the visit, you’re rewarded with a cup of rich hot cocoa.

Biarritz is home to many specialist chocolate, confectionery and cake shops. Bonbons are a tradition as is the chocolate caramel Kanouga which was devised in 1905 for visiting Russian nobility.

For a little rest and relaxation, why not try one of Biarritz’s local spas? Biarritz’s reputation for rejuvenation began in the 1700s when doctors started recommending the area as its coastal location and fine sea air was the perfect therapeutic getaway for patients suffering from illness or stress. You can unwind with a stress-relieving massage at one of Biarritz’s many luxurious spas such as the Radisson Blu, the Baya Spa or the Thalasso resort.

The Port des Pêcheurs (Fishing Port) in the old town has many options when it comes to dining out. Chez Albert is well known for its brilliant menu and traditional décor while Le Corsaire is fantastic for tapas.

Biarritz is known for its vibrant nightlife and bars. ‘Le Surfing’ is an extremely popular spot on the boulevard du Prince de Galles. It has a casual vibe with surf boards and posters adorning the walls. For a more up-tempo night out, Le Caveau is a trendy nightclub situated in Le Centre Ville where you can dance the night away, knowing you can relax the next day on one of the beautiful beaches that Biarritz has to offer!


Where to Stay:

Escale Oceania Biarritz (***)

Prices start from €91 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

Ideally located 300 metres from the Grande Plage, on one of Biarritz’s most beautiful avenues, the Hotel Escale Oceania Biarritz offers the perfect location for you to enjoy your weekend to the fullest. The Escale Oceania is within walking distance of the Imperial Chapel and Miramar Beach. You can revitalise your senses and relax your mind for a weekend thanks to the indoor and outdoor seawater pools, the sauna, the steam room and the fitness centre in the Atlanthal Thalassotherapy Centre’s Lagoon area.

Radisson Blu Biarritz (****)

Prices start from €128 per room per night on Hotels.com

* Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

This lavish Radisson Blu hotel looks out over the Côte-des-Basques and is situated near the Musée de la Mer. The city centre, Biarritz Casino, and Grand Plage are all within walking distance. The resort has a heated outdoor pool on the rooftop where guests can enjoy the ocean view. The hotel also boasts a fitness facility and a spa. This Radisson has two restaurants and a rooftop bar.

Hôtel de L’Océan (***)

Prices start from €107 per room per night on Hotels.com

* Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking

This boutique hotel offers a friendly , relaxed atmosphere . Hotel de l’Ocean is close to Musée de la Mer, Biarritz Casino, and Grand Plage. Also nearby are Côte-des-Basques and Anglet Beach. This hotel offers a restaurant, coffee shop and a bar/lounge. The restaurant – brasserie ‘Le Café de la Mer’ has a peaceful terrace overlooking the Place Saint –Eugénie, above the Fishing Port.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!