What to do in Biarritz : the best 20 activities (Summer 2022)

Beach, sun, surf… Biarritz has everything to please! This small town in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques has an ideal location in the South West of France, between the sea and the mountains, only 2 hours drive from Bordeaux and 25 kilometers from the Spanish border.

Biarritz is a must-see seaside resort in the Basque Country. It is a pleasure to discover it, no matter what the period, as it enjoys an exceptional climate all year round: summers are pleasant and sunny and winters are relatively mild. Between cultural visits, gastronomy and landscapes worthy of the most beautiful postcards, discover without further delay our list of 17 activities to discover absolutely if you plan a stay in Biarritz.

The beaches of Biarritz

@isabellecvt

It is impossible to come to Biarritz without taking a moment to discover its dream beaches. This is the Atlantic here so you’ll need to steel yourself to affron the cool Basque waves, but a little idleness never hurt anyone, right?

The Great Beach of Biarritz

The Great Beach of Biarritz
@corentin.gastronomy

This is the most famous beach of Biarritz located a few steps from the city center. A beautiful beach, very popular in summer, and lined with many bars and restaurants. The perfect place to sip a good cocktail while admiring the sunset for example.

It is on this same beach that you will also find the superb Barrière casino in Art Deco style or the Hotel du Palais whose construction was initiated by Napoleon III in 1854.

The Basque Coast

The Basque Coast
@paon.paon

The Côte des Basques is the essential beach for surfers in Biarritz. Framed by cliffs and overlooking the Spanish coast, this beach, which extends over nearly a kilometer, is a must-see during a stay in Biarritz. If you feel like a surfer, it’s time to jump into the water!

The Miramar beach

Miramar beach
@lacabane64

The Miramar beach is the small, quieter neighbor of the Grande Plage of Biarritz. Swimmers enjoy it as much as surfers, but people come here especially to admire the view of the ocean with its “pierced rock” that stands proudly offshore.

The beach of Milady

The beach of Milady

The beach of Milady
@manu.morin

The Milady beach is one of the most frequented by the Biarrots (the inhabitants of Biarritz). It is particularly appreciated for its pretty promenade.

The beach of Port Vieux

The beach of Port Vieux

The beach of Port Vieux
@amandaoakley9

It is the smallest beach of Biarritz, but nevertheless one of the prettiest of the coast! Nestled in a rocky cove, it has the advantage of being sheltered from the wind and waves.

If you have the opportunity, don’t miss the beaches of Bellevue, Petite Chambre d’Amour or Marbella.

The market of Les Halles de Biarritz

If you want to discover a real mix of flavors and cultures, the Halles market is the place to be! For lunch or to do some shopping, no doubt you will find what you are looking for here.

@dothydecouvre

Beyond the traditional stalls of fish, meat and vegetables, you can also discover some nuggets such as the Italian delicatessen La maison des pâtes, the Lebanese Mezze-ona or the delicatessen specialized in truffe Maison Balme. Inaugurated in 1885 in the heart of Biarritz, the Halles market is a true gustatory journey!

@marritzdebiarritz

Open every day, from 7:30 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm on summer evenings.

The Rocher de la Vierge

The Rocher de la Vierge is the emblem of Biarritz. Legend has it that whalers were caught in a storm until a “divine light” appeared and allowed them to return safely. The surviving fishermen then decided to install a statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the rock in 1865 as a token of their thanks.

@basque_spirit

It is then at the initiative of Napoleon III that a footbridge was created to connect the rock to the mainland. Since then, the walk is a real ritual for Biarrots and tourists. Once on the rock, the panoramic view that offre then to you is simply exceptional!

@biarritztourisme

The Aquarium of Biarritz

Formerly called the Museum of the Sea, the Biarritz Aquarium is located opposite the Rock of the Virgin in an Art Deco style building inaugurated in 1933.

@aquariumbiarritz

If in its early years, the Aquarium presented only species from the Bay of Biscay, the place has subsequently expanded to allow its visitors to discover the seabed characteristic of the Caribbean, the Atlantic or the Indo-Pacific area. Sharks, seals, turtles, jellyfish, they all await you!

@poret_noemie

Once you have discovered the aquarium and its 1500m³ tank, one of the largest in France, don’t forget to explore the exhibition rooms dedicated to marine animals but also to fishing and boats.

Don’t miss: the seals’ meal every day at 10:30 am and 5 pm.

@@poret_noemie

Open every day from 9:30 am to 7 pm (closed at 10 pm in July and August).

Rates: adult = 15€; children from 4 to 12 years old = 11€; reduced (13-17 years old, job seekers) = 13€.

The city of the Ocean

In order to perfect your knowledge of the marine world, go this time to the Cité de l’Océan. With your family, come and discover all the secrets of the deep sea thanks to many immersive and fun experiences: virtual reality helmets, 4D cinema room or even surfing simulators. Kids love it!

@citedelocean

It is possible to combine this visit with that of the Biarritz Aquarium for a full day around the theme of the ocean. The visit is really worth it, if only for the incredible and modern design of the building.

Rates: adult = 13€; children from 6 to 12 years old = 9€; reduced (13-17 years old, unemployed, student) = 11€.

Combined Biarritz Océan (Cité de l’Océan & Aquarium):

adult = €24
child from 4 to 5 years old = 11€.
child from 6 to 12 years old = 16€.
teenager from 13 to 17 years old = 20€.

The Orthodox Church of Biarritz

@coco_dasilva

In the XIXᵉ century, Biarritz saw a large wave of visitors coming straight from Russia to its coast. Some of them even decided to settle there permanently. It is in this context that the decision was taken to build an Orthodox church in Biarritz in 1890.

Enjoy a little stroll near the Grande Plage to come and admire this superb neo-Byzantine style church, classified as a historical monument since 2015.

The Church of Sainte-Eugénie

Let’s continue on our way by discovering a new religious building in Biarritz: the church of Sainte-Eugénie.

@lescarnetsderaph

Of Roman-Byzantine style, it is dedicated to the patron saint of the Empress Eugénie de Montijo, the wife of Napoleon III. You can admire the beauty of its exceptional stained glass windows made by the French painter and illustrator Luc-Oliver Merson.

La villa Belza

@lesfillesaubeurre
@baionanne

Impossible to miss this neo-medieval style villa located on the end of the Basque Coast. The fruit of many legends and ghost stories, the Villa Belza (which means black in Basque) seems to have known everything: the social parties of the 1920s, the decline following the stock market crash of 1929, the German occupation during the Second World War as well as several fires… Ah, if walls could talk!

Unfortunately, the Villa Belza cannot be visited, but nothing prevents you from admiring its extraordinary architecture from the outside.

@cleusalery

Hôtel du Palais

If offering a night at the Hotel du Palais remains inaccessible for most of us, there is nothing to stop you from stopping by to admire its Louis XIII style architecture and linger on its facades and roofs, which were classified as historical monuments in 1993. It is even possible to go there simply to have a drink.

@biarritz_vibes

Formerly called Villa Eugenie, Napoleon III had it built from 1854 to allow his wife to be closer to her country of origin, Spain. When Napoleon III died, the empress decided to sell the building to the Banque de l’Union Parisienne, which transformed the place into a hotel-casino. It was then called the Palais Biarritz. After several fires and a big reconstruction period, the place finally became the hotel du Palais that we know today. If you’re curious about what the rooms look like, this is where part of the movie Hors de Prix with Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh was shot.

@paseando_con_montes

In August 2019, it was at the Hotel du Palais that the heads of state gathered for the G7 summit.

The Fishermen’s Port

In order to better understand the Basque culture and tradition, we strongly advise you to visit the Fishermen’s Port. This small port contrasts greatly with the city center.

@xavh28

Here, it is as if time had stopped, everything is more authentic. We discover the crampottes, these small houses, with colored doors and shutters, which were once used to store fishing equipment. The walls affichent inscriptions in the Basque language and the sailors are engaged in their favorite pastime: maintaining their boats. And if you’re hungry, you should find what you’re looking for since there are also several restaurants.

@rosa_caninaa

The lighthouse of Biarritz

To discover a lighthouse monument (no pun intended) of Biarritz and enjoy a superb view on the city and its coast, go to the Pointe de Saint-Martin.

The lighthouse of Biarritz
@mirlincorine

This is where the emblematic lighthouse of Biarritz, built in 1834, stands. Overlooking the sea at 73m high, the lighthouse is the limit between the rocky coast of the Basque Country and the sandy coast of the Landes. Before you can fully enjoy the view from the top of the lighthouse, you will have to climb 248 steps!

The plateau of Atalaye

Formerly a lookout, this place allowed the fishermen of Biarritz to watch for the passage of whales, the presence of enemies or the return of their peers on land.

@sc_traveldiary

Today, the Atalaye plateau that juts out over the Atlantic Ocean offre spectacular views from its sandstone-made lookout. You can take the time to admire, comfortably installed on a bench, the lighthouse of Biarritz, the Grande Plage and the Rocher de la Vierge, rocked by the incessant rhythm of the waves.

Maison Miremont

@glam_rock_re_belle

For a snack, Maison Miremont is the unconditional appointment of all Biarrots. The place is a treat for the taste buds as much as for the eyes since it is, since 2006, classified as a historical monument. We come there to enjoy a good hot chocolate and taste the excellent Basque pastries in a superb setting with a decoration dating from the beginning of the century.

With a little luck, you can even find a table with a view on the Grande Plage.

Discover Biarritz on a Segway gyro

Want to rest your legs and discover Biarritz in an original way? Les Roues de Lilou offers you to discover the city in a Segway gyropod.

@gyrozonebigbasque

You will pass by the most beautiful sites of the city, its beaches, its historical monuments and you will learn more about its history. Electric bikes are also available for those who prefer a more traditional means of locomotion.

Price: 50€/person for a 2-hour ride on a gyropod.

The Casino Barrière of Biarritz

Far be it from us to make you lose money, but a short visit to the Biarritz Casino during your stay will allow you to discover a place classified as a historical monument since 1992.

@casino.biarritz.barriere

This Art Deco building built in 1929 stands on the Grande Plage facing the ocean. If you feel like gambling, try your luck on one of the 200 slot machines and other gaming tables of the Casino.

Check out the program during your stay, as concerts and shows are sometimes organized there.

@casino.biarritz.barriere

Discover the local Basque specialties

There is no shortage of culinary specialties in the Basque Country and it would be a shame to miss out.

Among the must-try dishes are the Basque cake, the sheep’s cheese (Ossau-Iraty, does that ring a bell?) or the famous Espelette pepper, a true emblem of the region, protected by an AOC label. Don’t miss the Pintxos, the French equivalent of tapas, at Bar Jean, a must!

basque cake @maisagetnguyen

For charcuterie lovers, there is only one address, the Montauzer house. Take a look at their website, your mouth will already be watering!

On the sweet side, you can taste mouchous (a kind of small Basque macaroons) at Maison Pariès. It seems that the Basque cakes are also excellent.

@armengaud_marie

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