BIARRITZ OLD HARBOUR: THE "CRAMPOTTES"
Today, for the second episode of my series on the stylish basque town of Biarritz, I'll take you to a place that exists only there: the "crampottes".
In episode 1, I took you along the main beach, "la grande plage" of Biarritz on a misty morning, telling you the best places to shot beautiful pictures of the lighthouse, the "Hotel du palais" palace and the ocean.
This special place, the "crampottes" of Biarritz, is situated close to the main beach. Just continue the road from where we took the pics of "Grande Plage", stop for a few pics of Sainte Eugénie church, take the stairs and bridge to the beautiful verdant rock to catch more beautiful views of the lighthouse and main beach. Cross the bridge again and turn right to take the small path to the old harbour. Here you are, the crampottes welcome you!
BUT WHAT IS "CRAMPOTTES"?
No more suspense. The "Crampottes" are the little white huts of Biarritz old harbour, 65 fisherman houses to be precise.
The walls are always white, the door and shutters always made from wood, the colours always the same: green, red, blue. These are the typical colours of the basque country.
SO, THESE TINY CUTE HOUSES BELONG TO THE FISHERMEN?
The crampottes belong to the town of Biarritz. They rent it to the people they choose carefully. There's a long list of people who would like to rent it, especially some rich tourists who would like to spend their holidays there and will never be able to offer it. Why?
The first and main rule is to have a boat in the old harbour. And there are 95 places for 65 houses. Some people have waited for 20 years before getting the right to rent their crampotte!
AND THE FISHERMEN LIVE THERE, RIGHT?
No, the huts are only 15m².
The fishermen use it to keep their fishing materials, change their clothes before work, or even sell some pintxos to the tourists and locals like Crampotte 30 on the first pic. There are also some "normal" restaurants, like "le Corsaire" on the last one.
THE CRAMPOTTES FROM ATALAYE
One of the best views of the crampottes of Biarritz is from the "Atalaye", the small hill close to the old harbour.
Just follow the ocean and take the stairs up to the hill.
You will have an amazing view both of the old harbour and its crampottes, but also on the main beach and lighthouse again.
It's also the way to our next stop: the Virgin on the rock "rocher de la Vierge".
So, next time you will visit Biarritz, if you want to wow people, ask them in your lovely foreign accent: "s'il vous plaît, où sont les crampottes?" (Please, where are the crampottes?). You will see that even a lot of locals don't know the name of these cute fishermen houses!
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