Biarritz is a fashionable resort, loved by emperors and celebrities, “the king’s beach and the king of all beaches”. In the Middle Ages, Biarritz was a small fishing port where brave whalers lived. Legend has it that Biarritz got its name from the merger of two names – the beautiful Miarritz, a young resident of the village, and her lover, a fisherman from Gascony, whom the girl saved during the shipwreck. What was the name of the rescued Gascon, however, the legend is silent.
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Today Biarritz is a city full of bright colors and cultural life (all kinds of festivals, plays and concerts, numerous museums and exhibitions) with an eventful sports life (surfing championships, golf competitions, tennis courts and various sports centers).
But first of all Biarritz is a prestigious thalassotherapy centers with a full range of preventive and special medical programs. The quality of the treatments, the modern equipment, the professionalism and the constant care of the experts in the most famous thalassotherapy centers, together with the beauty of the beaches fringed by the ocean and the invigorating power of the sea climate, make Biarritz irresistible!
Biarritz is one of the most beautiful cities on the Atlantic coast. The mildness of the Atlantic climate attracted people from all over the world. Biarritz became famous thanks to the wedding of Louis XVI with Spanish princess Maria Theresa which took place here in the second half of the XVIII century. The heart of Biarritz is the seaside boulevard Promenade (Promenades), where the steep cliffs drop straight into the ocean. Of interest to tourists is the Sea Museum (Musee de la Mer) with numerous aquariums. In the city there is a museum of miniature cars. Everywhere palaces, spas and golf courses.
Eugenie Montijo, wife of Emperor Napoleon III made Biarritz a fashionable resort. In 1854 the “Villa Eugenie” was built there for her. Now the Hotel du Palais stands on that spot. By tradition since the middle of the XIX century all the high society gathers there in summer.
Movie stars, famous artists and painters, high society from around the world come here. It was at this time, following their taste for rough life, was born Biarritz, which we now know as a fashionable resort, which has preserved its identity, welcoming its guests, and always open to those who love life. When Victor Hugo arrived in Biarritz in 1843, he was fascinated by the white village with its bright red roofs and he predicted a great future for it.
Members of the Russian royal family were frequent visitors to Biarritz. Empress Maria Feodorovna and the morganatic widow of Alexander II, Princess Yurievskaya, came here. Russian merchants Morozov and Ryabushinsky rested here. Very much loved Biarritz and the Russian intelligentsia. Nabokov spoke enthusiastically about this city. Chekhov wrote with amazing warmth in his letters.
Autumn and winter in Biarritz are often called the “Russian season” because of the large number of Russians who come here during this time. A testament to the great love of the Russians for Biarritz was built at the end of the last century at the expense of the Russians Church of the Protection of the Virgin Mary and St. Alexander Nevsky, which is still the decoration and pride of the city.
Those who can climb the lighthouse, overcoming 248 steps, will see the world at their feet. The variety of boutiques, restaurants, tea rooms, bars mixed with quaint villas and small palaces makes Biarritz unique.
Biarritz also has a large thalassotherapy institute located 3km from the airport/train station. It offers various procedures based on sea water and mud treatment. These are general health courses and cosmetic services.
Winter has the highest temperatures in France.
- March – April: +12 ° to +15 °,
- May: +11 ° to +18 °,
- June and October: +17 ° to +20 °,
- July to September: +16° to +23°,
- November: +11° to 15°,
- December – January: +5° to +12° C.
Among the architectural sights worth mentioning is the church of Saint Eugene (Eglise Sainte Eugenie). It was built in the Byzantine style in 1864 by order of Empress Eugenie. The Imperial Chapel and the Church of Saint Martin, built in the XII century and restored in the XVI century, attract tourists. The luxurious Hôtel du Palais was also built by order of the empress in 1854. The Imperial Chapel was also built by Empress Eugenie in 1864. The Orthodox cathedral attracts visitors with its blue dome. The city casino was opened on August 10, 1901. There is also a museum of Asian art, the Sea Museum and the Chocolate Museum. Among the attractions can be attributed and indoor city market.
Beaches of Biarritz
Biarritz has a long, sandy beach stretching from the two rocky promontories of St Martin and Atalay to the famous northern beach of Chambres d’Amours (Rooms of Love). Biarritz – a real Mecca for lovers of active recreation, the most popular here are considered golf and windsurfing. Every year there are international competitions in windsurfing, which attracts professionals and amateurs from all over the world, and local schools of the sport are considered the best in Europe.
The Atlantic coast of France is famous for its wide sandy beaches. However, the tide is high and the tide is high: In some areas the sea can go a kilometer offshore.
In addition to the wide sandy beaches, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
Surfing, the king of water sports has become a symbol of Biarritz and the region. However, it appeared here almost by accident – in 1956, when it was not yet known in Europe, only in Hawaii and California. The history of surfing began with Peter Wirtel, an American film producer who came to V Biarritz with his wife, the famous actress Deborah Kerr, to shoot the film “The Sun Also Rises”. It was then that the locals saw the surfer for the first time. In 1959 in Biarritz appeared the first surf club “Waikiki Surf Club”, in 1964 was created by the French Surf Federation with headquarters in Biarritz, in the 80s, surfing became a mass hobby, and in 1987 the first professional competition among the 10 best surfers in the world was held here.
The local schools are some of the best in the world. If you are a beginner and want to learn the sport, come here. International competitions are held every year in the coastal waters of the city.
You’ll be happy to join the aristocratic sporting activities – horseback riding, golf, tennis.
Rugby is as much a part of the tradition as surfing or Basque pelota (a mixture of squash and baseball: the pitcher, using a special racquet mitt, shoots a ball into the wall, and the opponent tries to catch the ball bouncing off the wall with the same mitt). Biarritz, like the southwest of France, loves rugby.
The history of French and European golf began here. The Biarritz Golf Club opened in 1888. For two centuries this region has become a true Mecca for golfers in Europe. At a distance of 5 to 50 kilometers, was built about a dozen excellent clubs, varying in beauty, length and complexity. Golf in the vicinity of Biarritz is not so much a sport as a poetry – a superb mild climate, spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Biarritz’s high relevance in the golf world is also due to the most famous European Golf Training Center. Its doors are open to all, regardless of age. Hotel Du Palais has a deep respect for the sport. A small course is located right on the territory of the hotel. Every year the hotel becomes a residence of the best golfers of the world during international tournaments and meetings.
Du Palais has prepared special offers for professionals as well as for beginners.
Golf de Biarritz Le Phare (open all year round)
Golf de Biarritz, founded in 1888, is one of the oldest in Europe. It is 500 meters from the Hotel Du Palais and the city center on the picturesque coastal strip with a beautiful ocean view. Thanks to this location, on hot summer days a light ocean breeze allows even the hottest players to enjoy their time at the clubhouse. The total length of the fields is 5,379 meters and the area is 30 hectares. The 18-hole course (6 to 3 pars) has different courses (some are complicated by lowlands, water obstacles and bunkers). A total of 69 pars. On-site facilities: driving range, putting green, golf equipment rental, restaurant, boutique.
Chiberta (3 km from Hotel Du Palais)
Golf de Angelet Chiberta An 18-hole course, 71 par, 5,650 meters, in a picturesque location between the ocean and the forest. Some holes are complicated by water obstacles. Golf equipment rental, restaurant, boutique.
La Nivelle (15 km from Hotel Du Palais)
Golf de la Nivelle An 18-hole course with 70 par, 5,587 meters. A beautiful view of the bay and the mountains. Extras: driving range, putting green, golf equipment rental, restaurant, boutique.
Golf d’Arcangues (4 km from Hotel Du Palais)
An 18-hole course, 72 par, 5,650 meters Designed by Ronald Fream, opened in 1990. On the territory of the club: driving range, putting green, rent of golf equipment, restaurant, boutique.
Bassussarry (6 km from Hotel Du Palais)
Golf de Bassusarry – Makila Golf Club is an amazingly beautiful place. The course was designed by the American golf architect Rocky Roquemore (opened in 1993) and combines park style and classic links, i.e. it has both wooded areas with century-old oaks and open fields. The total length of the course is 6,176 meters. An 18-hole course (70 pars). Some are complicated by various obstacles. From each hole there is a picturesque view of the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees. The practice area (admission is free) is represented by 12 artificial turf courses and 20 grass courts. The club’s chief golf professional is 1987 French professional champion Jean Lamezon. On the territory of the club: driving range, putting green, golf equipment rental, restaurant, bar, boutique.
Seignosse (30 km from Hotel Du Palais- open all year round)
Opened in 1989 by architect Robbert Von Hagge, Golf Blue Green de Seignosse offers a huge area with unique contrasts in terrain. Professionals who have played here note the unique beauty of this course and at the same time its relative difficulty. The fields from the first to the 6th hole are located amphitheatrically. Further on up to the 11th hole there are beautiful oak trees and ship pines. An 18-hole course (72 par), 6,124 meters. The club invites golfers of all levels for excellent practice on one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in Europe. On the territory of the club: driving range, putting green, rent of golf equipment, restaurant, bar, boutique.
Treatment and recovery
Seawater treatment is the main direction of the local balneological centers. There is a very large thalassotherapy institute here. It occupies an area of 3000 square meters.
There is a sea water pool, beauty saloons, Jacuzzis, and a great number of procedures to choose from. Underwater massage, different kinds of showers, ultrasound treatment, algae therapy, electrotherapy, and sea aerosols are practiced here. With the help of these procedures you can quit smoking, lose weight, get rid of leg swelling, and regain strength.
You can appreciate a collection of boutiques and world-famous trading houses, of which Biarritz is justly proud.
Entertainment and nightlife
A special spirit of the resort gives its bright cultural life – festivals, vernissages, world premieres, fashion shows, concerts, legendary shows. Here every day is a holiday – and the incomparable taste of the ocean in the air, like sparkling wine, fills the whole being with a feeling of joy.
Sunny Biarritz will meet and exceed the brightest expectations of the most sophisticated and ambitious guests. Biarritz is also famous for its culinary traditions. In the numerous restaurants you can enjoy delicious dishes of French, Basque and Spanish cuisine. And of course, how can you forget the fireworks and celebrations in Biarritz with all the carefree fun, gourmet foods and music!
Spain is only 30 minutes away which means there are bullfights and a wonderful festival of Basque culture which takes place at the height of the holiday season in July. The cultural life of Biarritz is rich and varied: there are film festivals, art exhibitions, concerts.
In the evening there are numerous restaurants, casinos, bars and discos. For shopping lovers Biarritz offers boutiques of world famous trading houses and fashion designers. The festivals with fireworks all year round and the music, which doesn’t stop till morning, will never let you forget Biarritz!
The nightlife is lively and lively with the nightclubs and casinos. The Casino Municipal contains both an informal section with slot machines and an elegant room dedicated to table games. Head to the best nightclub in Biarritz, Le Caveau, or the trendy Le Copa Cobana, where you can dance to the rhythms of salsa and other Latin American music alongside the usual music. Cuban music and tequila await you at Le Cayo Coco, and the best way to spend the setting sun is on the outdoor terrace sipping cocktails at Cote 57.
How to get to Biarritz
To get to Biarritz you need 2 tickets: one international to Paris and one local ticket from Paris to Biarritz.
From Paris, you can get by plane from Orly airport (up to 8 flights daily, 1 hour 20 minutes journey time) or by high-speed TGV train from Montparnasse station (8 times a day, 4 hours 30 minutes journey time) during the day or all night, for the same cost.
Biarritz is a former aristocratic resort and makes you want to escape
Biarritz is a popular resort located on the Atlantic coast of France . For the first time I personally learned about this city from the movies, may be anyone watched the movie “Fatal Beauty” with Audrey Tautou? She plays a young chaser of elderly millionaires there, and all her machinations are just in Biarritz. Even on the basis of this you can conclude that this resort is for the rich, but at a personal visit all at once confirmed: brand boutiques, expensive restaurants, fashionable hotels and villas, and at least 30% of tourists – wealthy Russians. To be honest, I did not expect such a number, and I certainly would never have thought that every second boutique here will be called by Russian name.
As it turned out later (thanks to Wikipedia), Biarritz since the 19th century is in favour of the Russian nobility, and on local beaches at one time the health was not only improved – and Chekhov, and Chaliapin, and Nabokov. And we came here just for the beach, and at the same time we could go for a walk in the city. A pity only that windy and cloudy weather was totally unsuitable for recreation, so we had to do only one walk. It is clear that we did not like it here at first, it was all pretentious and shabby gloss. There are a lot of people, turmoil in the streets and the atmosphere is somehow nervous, not at all relaxing.
It is obvious that once this place really was the elite, and the French bourgeoisie probably had a great rest here. Judging by the remaining from those times graceful architecture, spacious streets and well-groomed squares with ideal lawns, now we can only guess, if we really want, about it. Because everything else is just a typical middle-class stuffed resort. Same Antalya, only French. The beach is in a jam, cafe – in a jam, on streets pandemonium. In general the rich men who have bought once a villa here, now probably spit up tirelessly.
So, we were not at all imbued with the famous resort, and here I will agree with the opinion of A. Blok, back in 1913, who wrote (thanks again to Wikipedia): “Biarritz is flooded with petty French bourgeoisie, so that even my eyes are tired of looking at ugly men and women… And in general I must say that I am very tired of France and want to go back to a cultural country – Russia, where there are less fleas, almost no Frenchwomen, there are dishes (bread and beef), drink (tea and water); beds (not 15 arches wide), washbasins (here basins, from which you can never pour all water, all dirt stays at the bottom) …. ” In summary and from myself I can say that the Silver Age of Russian poetry is long gone, and with it the golden days of the resort called Biarritz .