This coastal town between Biarritz and the Spanish border is known for being the site of King Louis XIV’s marriage to Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain in 1660. With a historic port and old town, winding streets, and bright beaches, it remains a popular holiday spot. The harbor is one of the largest in France, once a prosperous fishing and shipping port, and there were even Basque pirates, known as corsairs, who brought wealth to the area.
There are many covered markets and colorful shops with Basque goods along the Rue Gambetta. The old town is a mix of white, red, and green buildings of the Basque tradition, most dating back to the 17th century. The Saint Jean Baptiste Church is an example of historic, Basque-influenced architecture, and there is also a large waterfront promenade and many beaches and surf spots to explore, including the largest: the Grand Plage.
Saint-Jean-De-Luz is located only 15 kilometers from the border with Spain. It can be accessed via car from the A63 motorway, or on the train from Bordeaux, Bayonne, and San Sebastian. Beaches can get crowded by mid-afternoon.