What to do and see in Biarritz episode 1: La Grande Plage 31


Biarritz Grande Plage

 

Even if you have never heard about the Basque Country area, you certainly already have heard about the famous town of Biarritz.

The town of 26 000 inhabitants called "Biarrots" is situated at 25 kilometres from Spain and is part of the BAB (Bayonne - Anglet - Biarritz) area.

Biarritz is famous for many reasons. Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie liked to spend their holidays here. Its area is perfect for surfing and organise several surf competitions. It's the most stylish town of the basque country, hosting a lot of luxurious shops, celebrities, big beautiful houses and palaces, rich people.

With its architecture, good restaurants and gastronomy, interesting museums and a 4 kilometres' facade along the ocean, Biarritz has a lot to offer.

Today, I'll bring you with us for a visit of one of the most beautiful places of Biarritz: la Grande plage.

 

A misty hot morning on Biarritz Grande Plage

Westie Jahan and I have been to Biarritz on a very hot day. A few days before, although it was almost Summer, it was cold and rainy. The temperatures went from 16 degrés to 38 degrés in two days! That's why on this morning, there was a mystical mist on Biarritz Grande Plage.

 

People walking in the mist on Grande Plage of Biarritz

People walking in the mist of Grande Plage

 

Though it was the middle of the week in June (Summer holidays are in July and August), a lot of people had decided to enjoy a walk in Biarritz or have a bath in the Atlantic Ocean.

Westie Jahan was always looking for the shadow and wasn't so happy when I was stopping in the sun to shoot a picture. But we were all happy as Summer was finally there!

It was also the first time I saw Biarritz with such a fascinating misty atmosphere. Even if Biarritz is one of the most beautiful places of the Basque country, this mist really add to its charm.

 

What to see from and along Biarritz Grande Plage

I took the pics from the left side above Biarritz Grande Plage. In the next episodes, I will give you some other great spots. In today article, the objective was to show you the view from this special one.

 

View on the lighthouse, Grand Palais and the Russian church on Biarritz Grande Plage seafront

From the lighthouse to Grand Palais

 

First, you see Biarritz' lighthouse and Hainsart Cape.

The lighthouse was built in 1834 and is 47 meters height, but is situated at 75 metres above the ocean level. After climbing the 248 stairs, you will have a wonderful view on Biarritz, Anglet, Bayonne and the beaches of Landes.

The cape is the limit between the sand of the Landes coast and the rocky coast of the Basque Country.

 

The Grand Palais and the ocean of Grande Plage Biarritz

Grand Palais

Biarritz grand palais

Grand Palais built by Napoleon III

 

The second thing that will certainly attract your attention is "le Grand Palais" or "Hôtel du Palais". This beautiful palace was built after the Eugenie's Summer residence was destroyed by a fire in 1903. Until 1893, this place built by Napoleon III for his wife Eugenie was called "Villa Eugénie". This is the reason why some local people still call the hotel by this name.

You will need big pockets if you want to stay in the 5 stars palace and / or eat in its restaurants. It's a prestigious place: the only palace of the Basque Country and one of the 8 ones that exists in France.

 

The dome you can see on the right of the palace is the Orthodox Russian church of Biarritz. It deserves a visit as its architecture is impressive.

 

The Beach

"La Grande Plage" (the big beach) is the main beach of Biarritz.

 

View on the sand and seafront of Biarritz grande plageThe main beach called Grande Plage 

It's a great place to enjoy the ocean and the beach.

When the waves are big, the surfers and bodyboarders share the ocean with the swimmers. 

Everything is made for enjoyment. There are a casino, several bars, a swimming pool, a balneotherapy, ice-cream sellers, a park, some restaurants, etc.

 

How to go to Biarritz

Biarritz Pays Basque airport is situated between Biarritz and Anglet.

You can find some taxis, car rentals, a big parking and some buses to the centre, Bayonne, the south (Bidart, Saint Jean de Luz, Hendaye), Spain (San Sebastian, Bilbao, Pampelona).

It has some flight connections with a lot of big European cities. 

Beware: the airport is closed at night.

 

Biarritz railway station is at a few kilometres from the centre. I'll write a complete guide for the trains in the basque country as the railway website is only in French, and I have worked for the French Railway Company for 18 years. 

 

You can also reach Biarritz with the highway.

 

Biarritz Grande Plage is situated at 21 kilometres from our house.

 

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO FRANCE NOW

I'll be happy to guide you or simply host you.

 

I hope you enjoyed your reading. Do you have any suggestion to make this content even better? Which kind of content will help you to prepare your next trip to France? Use the comments below or the contact form to tell me!

 

Share this article with your family or friends planning their next trip to the South of France or fond of beautiful beaches and places.

 

Don't miss episode 2, featuring the crampottes of Biarritz's old harbour.

 


About Stephanie

After 18 years as an expert of Hospitality, and 15 years of solo trips mainly in Asia, Stephanie Langlet now dedicates a big part of her time offering customized private tours in the beautiful Southwest of France. She gives a strong experience of the Art of Life "à la française" in the area where she lives : basque country, Spain, Landes, Bordeaux, through insider tips, gastronomy and good wines, offbeat festivals...


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