France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Biarritz, France Guide
Sun, surf, sand and celebrities—all that and more in Biarritz, the posh 19th-century seaside resort on France's southwestern Basque coast.




Biarritz! Just the name conjures up images of wide sandy beaches full of beautiful sun-tanned people, resorts, and, of course, surfers.

Long popular with royalty (especially Emperor Napoléon III and his Empress Eugénie) and the literary set, Biarritz epitomizes glamor.

Biarritz enjoys a dramatic setting on the Atlantic Ocean (map), with large breakers and waves and some steep cliffs providing ever-changing dramatic views. In the summer, beaches are crowded with young and old. And during much of the year surfers flock here to challenge the waves.

Grand Plage & Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz, France
La Grande Plage & Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz, France.

There's more to Biarritz than the beach. In the 19th century many beautiful villas were built, and some can be visited today. The charming architecture can be enjoyed as you walk or drive around the city.

Situated in Basque Country, Biarritz enjoys a long and storied history. Starting as a fishing village, it grew into a large resort. The villas, luxury hotels, a grand Casino, and other attractions keep the glitterati coming.

The most famous Biarritz landmark is the Rocher de la Vierge, or Virgin's Rock, set dramatically on a small point and surrounded by the sea.

Biarritz is easily reached from Bordeaux (206 kilometers (128 miles), a two-hour drive to the north. Its Basque neighbors include Bayonne (8 kilometers/5 miles) and the lovely town of St-Jean de Luz, 19 kilometers (12 miles) to the south.

You can get to Biarritz from Paris by train in about five and a half hours.

Hotels in Biarritz

Restaurants in Biarritz

What to See & Do

Biarritz Transport

Tourist Information

Basque Country


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Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz, France

Visitors stroll to a lookout in the
center of Biarritz, France.

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