The origins of Biarritz


Biarritz, the Basque seaside resort is known for its marvelous landscapes and its undeniable quality of life. Between sea and mountains, it is one of the most popular cities on the Basque coast and for good reason, between beautiful waves, luxury real estate and sumptuous surroundings, it is good to live and spend your holidays in Biarritz. In a rich region populated by magnificent towns and villages, it stands out as the most popular.

The history of Biarritz is closely linked to Empress Eugénie (1826-1920), wife of Napoleon III (1808-1873). Indeed, Biarritz was once just a simple fishing village who lived off whaling until the cetaceans ended up deserting the coasts, putting an end to this activity definitively in 1686. Developed in the 17th and 18th century sea bathing. Initially reserved for “medical” use, doctors from Bayonne bathed the mentally ill. Then, these sea baths, which were believed to have curative properties, began to attract high society. It was under the impetus of Empress Eugénie that Biarritz really took off. Gradually it became popular with the European aristocracy and became the luxury seaside resort that we know today. Tourism, especially luxury hotels and leisure activities around the sea are on the rise. Punctuated by tourism, but also luxury and of course surfing, Biarritz, a chic and refined seaside resort, has nothing to envy to its neighbours.

The essentials of Biarritz

Between the discovery of the Biarrots landscapes, the spectacle of the ocean, its manifestations, places and leisure activities, there is plenty to do in Biarritz. On vacation or living in the city each day can be different, organized around an activity, a walk or a sporting moment. The mild climate of this seaside resort, despite the rainy days, offers great discoveries in forecast.

The Basque coast and its sublime beach is also the ideal place for a surf session, jogging, a golf course, or simply a stroll. So you will not miss the beauty that overlooks the place; Villa Belza. Stop by the Saint Eugénie church, an emblematic monument of the city which pays homage to this empress who contributed to developing the city's coast.

You can also soak up the princely atmosphere by passing in front of the Hôtel du Palais and then visiting the unmissable imperial chapel. Remembrance of the Russian aristocracy, Villa Natacha is listed as a Historic Monument and the Orthodox Church is worth a detour. The Moorish villa Marbella erected by the wife of an English lord gives its name to a beach and the Boulevard Prince de Galles proudly borders the seafront.

Interesting art galleries are to be discovered as well as the Asiatica museum dedicated to major works of Chinese, Tibetan and Indian art.

Resolutely linked to the ocean, Biarritz is symbolized by the Rocher de la Vierge with a breathtaking view of the large beach of Biarritz and the Hôtel du Palais, an astonishing natural promontory on which a statue of the Virgin was built and the famous lighthouse of Pointe Saint-Martin. It also offers places created to make visitors aware of marine life. The former sea museum, now Biarritz Aquarium, reveals lagoons, coral reefs and the daily life of seals, rays, sharks and tropical fish. In addition, the Cité de l'Océan takes us into a scientific, fun and interactive universe linked to the seabed.

Restaurants, bars and clubs enliven Biarritz evenings, as does the superb Art-deco style Municipal Casino, with an auditorium and a huge terrace overlooking the Atlantic.

Charming, atypical and full of history, the old port will also charm you, don't miss one of the small restaurants to nibble on some tapas while admiring the view... Discover the Biarrotes beaches as well and take the opportunity to treat yourself to a surf lesson, the less adventurous can try the very accessible stand-up paddle. You will notice it very quickly once there, there is no shortage of water activities and you will be spoiled for choice to occupy your free time. Museums, cultural and artistic events, but also sports abound, do not hesitate to inquire and discover unmissable places such as the very famous museum of the sea, or the chocolate museum. For shopping fanatics, Biarritz is home to superb luxury stores, but also more affordable and typical shops, especially to bring back your souvenirs and treat yourself. Pastry or chocolate lovers will also be delighted by the local masters, take a look at Miremont, Adam, Henriet or Pariès, the unmissable pastry chefs and master chocolatiers.

On the sport side, Biarritz is full of famous surf spots such as the famous Côte des Basques or those of Marinella and for golf lovers, the Golf du Phare, facing the ocean, offers you one of the most beautiful courses in 'Europe. Biarritz also offers many cafes, restaurants and bars to spend pleasant moments with family or friends. In addition, many festivities and events take place throughout the year in Biarritz.

Living in Biarritz

Between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains, the most elegant seaside resort in the Basque Country is located a few minutes from Guéthary, but also from very famous cities such as Bayonne or Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Biarritz is renowned for being a very fashionable seaside resort. This city of multiple wonders also benefits from a very privileged proximity to Spain, only 25 kilometers separate them and represents a real advantage. Regarding the real estate market in Biarritz, the high end is on the rise. Indeed, exceptional properties exist in Biarritz in different architectural types, from the traditional Basque house to the more modern villa. You will find sublime old, spacious residences, some of up to 500 square meters, often in exceptional settings. Biarritz is home to rare properties in extraordinary settings, facing the sea, at the foot of the mountains. The castle of Ilbarritz or other extraordinary properties notably signed by great architects are a good example.


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