This fabulous seaside town of Biarritz has been the Pays Basque's hot spot for centuries, a status made official in the late 1800s when Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, declared "One must be able to dance well to be received here."
This decree was amended in the 1950s, when the rolling waves crashing into the Gran Plage, the wide beach lined with bars and clubs where wine flows freely from dusk until dawn, attracted another sort of attention. Today, Biarritz is one of Europe's top surf destinations, with an International Surf Festival bringing in waveriders from around the world every July.
The classic French-Basque setting, complete with elegant architecture, luxurious accommodation and other cultural treasures, makes a fine backdrop to the Basque's best fête destination.
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Located in the French Basque, just 18km (11mi) from the Spanish border, Biarritz overlooks the beautiful Bay of Biscay, across from Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain. Several buses connect the city to major French and Spanish destinations.
The Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne International Airport (BIQ) offers direct flights to Amsterdam, Dublin, Geneva, London, Lyon, Nice, Paris, and Shannon, but unfortunately no Spanish destinations. There is direct train service to Paris and other French destinations as well, but for cross-border transport to Spain, even nearby Donostia, you'll need to change trains in Hendaia-Hendaye.