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  • Writer's pictureKatarina Zlatkovic

Côte Basque

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Biarritz Stunning View


Welcome to the magnificent Côte Basque, nestled in the stunning southwestern region of France. This charming slice of heaven possesses an incredible coastline that stretches for miles, endless architectural delights, and an irresistible blend of French and Basque cultures.

Every corner of this region embodies its own unique story, whether it's the buzzing surfers’ paradise of Biarritz or the serene coastal town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. If you're a foodie, an art enthusiast, or a water sports lover, this blog post is for you.

So, grab your beret, tap into your inner gourmand, and immerse yourself in the alluring magic of this coastal escape.

Ooh la la, let’s explore the spectacular Côte Basque!


Saint-Jean-de-Luz stunning architecture

Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a charming coastal town located in southwestern France, near the border with Spain, and if you are staying in San Sebastian like we did, visiting Saint-Jean-de-Luz is only 40 minutes away by car.

This cute town is well-known for its beautiful sandy beaches, picturesque harbor, and lovely architecture. It is also a popular destination for surfers, hikers, and water sports enthusiasts, and its lively market offers a wide array of fresh local produce and handmade crafts.

Historically, Saint-Jean-de-Luz was famous for its fishing industry and was the site of many important historical events, including the marriage of King Louis XIV of France to the Spanish Infanta Maria Theresa in 1660, which helped to secure peace between France and Spain.

The Church of St John the Baptist

Here are some unique things to do if you find yourself in Saint Jean de Luz: 1. Go for a stroll in the old town center and admire the beautiful architecture. The cobbled streets, charming shops and houses, and colorful buildings will transport you back in time.

Personally, I feel the charm and significance of the small towns much better than some bigger cities or capitals.

Saint Jean de Luz streets
Cute Blue Car in South of France

2. Visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist, a stunning baroque style church that dates back to the 17th century. The church's ornate decoration and beautiful stained-glass windows are breathtaking.

I think you guys figured so far that I have a thing for churches and cathedrals, something about them always gives me peace and a feeling of belonging.

Saint John the Baptist Church in Saint Jean de Luz

3. Take a dip in the ocean and soak up some sun at the main beach of Saint Jean de Luz, Plage de Saint Jean de Luz or more secluded Plage de Lafiténia. The clean, sandy beach is perfect for both swimming and sunbathing.

If you love to surf, you'll enjoy this place a lot!

P.S. Water is colder than Mediterranean or Adriatic Sea, so prepare yourself for a fresh dip!

Beach Day in Saint Jean de Luz
Road Trip to the South of France

4. Try local cuisine: Saint Jean de Luz is known for its delicious seafood, especially the traditional Basque dishes of chipirons à la plancha (grilled squid) and merlu koskera (hake with a creamy sauce).

And for the ones who love sweets, don't forget to try macarons from Maison Adam and traditional Basque Cheesecake!

Maison Adam Macarons

5. Finally, indulge in some shopping at the traditional markets and charming boutiques that dot the streets of Saint Jean de Luz. You'll find unique souvenirs, fashionable clothing, and delicious treats.

The most popular shopping street in Saint Jean de Luz is called the Rue Gambetta. Many stores sell “Linge Basque,” which are traditional solid fabrics that feature brightly striped patterns and there are several stores selling napkins, kitchen towels and other cotton and linen products.

Biarritz Beaches

Not too far from Saint-Jean-de-Luz is another seaside town called Biarritz.

Nestled on the Bay of Biscay, Biarritz has a rich history that's rooted in royalty and glamour, and it is well known for its stunning beaches, world-class surf breaks, and luxurious resorts.

Steeped in old-world charm that blends seamlessly with modern amenities, Biarritz is a must-see destination for any traveler looking to experience the best that France has to offer. So, whether you're looking to soak up the sun on the beach, take in a round of golf, or indulge in some delectable French cuisine, Biarritz has it all and more.

Many people said that this place is one of the most sophisticated but laid-back and hippy at the same time and I could easily see why.

I'll share with you a few unique things to see and do in Biarritz!

1. Take a Surf Lesson: Biarritz is the birthplace of European surfing, the waves here are perfect for beginners. Go on and catch some waves, and if you're already a pro, you can hire a board and ride away.

Biarritz Public Beach

2. Hôtel du Palais: This hotel is a true definition of luxury located in the heart of Biarritz and is within walking distance of most of the city's treasures.

Created in 1854, the former imperial residence of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie awaits you to discover the life of the royalties.

The garden is wonderful, with lots of lovely plants and flowers and even if you can't spend the night in the hotel, you can still attend the brunch or dinner in one of the Michelin Star restaurants within the property.

P.S. The stars like Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Coco Chanel stayed here in the 20th century!

Hotel du Palais Biarritz
Hotel du Palais Biarritz garden

3. Biarritz Lighthouse: The lighthouse was built in 1834 and it stands 73 meters above the sea level.

It has been fully self-operating since 1980 and you’re free to go inside and admire the view if you’re feeling like taking on the 248 steps to get to the gallery deck.

You can also stay below and enjoy the beautiful sunset.

Biarritz Lighthouse

4. Shopping: If there’s one thing I recommend doing in Biarritz, it’s to go shopping for souvenirs to take back from your trip.

As a luxury resort town, Biarritz is loaded with all kinds of shops from foodie paradises to designer shops like Hermès and Maison Goyard.

Whether you like perfumes, souvenirs, luxury items or even handmade crafts, be prepared to spend some cash, it's simply impossible to resist!

Hotel de L'Ocean Biarritz France
Souvenir Shopping in Biarritz
Cute Streets of Biarritz

5. Food: Biarritz has a very rich culinary history that has been influenced by its unique Basque heritage. Being close to the ocean, its food scene is renowned for its fresh seafood, vibrant produce, and flavorful spices.

One of the local specialties that you simply must try while in Biarritz is the Basque Cake, and it's a staple in the city that can be found in almost every bakery or patisserie.

We visited Miremont restaurant and loved the atmosphere and hospitality of the crew.

Miremont restaurant in Biarritz
Miremont Restaurant in Biarritz decor

Here are a few more must-try dishes in Biarritz that will blow you away:

Marmitako (Basque Tuna-based stew), Fresh Oysters, Axoa (Veal stew) and of course, Pintxos!

Et voilà!

I hope you enjoyed virtual visit of the one and only - Côte Basque!

If you ever decide going down south of France, trust me, you won't regret it.

Both Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Biarritz won my heart, and I can't wait to be back and spend more time indulging in great food, nature and architecture.

Au revoir!


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1 Comment

Doris Huremovic
Doris Huremovic
Jun 22, 2023

jako lipo djug.

love d

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