© Atout France/L. Masurel
So long a playground; a ‘promised land’ for golfers, surfers, Basque Pelota and rugby players, and other devotees of sea water spa therapy, health, fitness and relaxation. The mild climate and the beauty of the coastline, its curved inlets, punctuated by rocky outcrops, and the great events that it hosts, make Biarritz a destination of enchantment at any time of year.
© Atout France/Aquashot
A century ago, this little whaling town became a fashionable
summer resort that, across the years, has stayed open to the outside world
without ever losing its identity. Fame came with the visit of Napoleon and the
Empress Eugénie; Queen Victoria visited in 1889, and the town later became a
favoured resort of Edward VII. Today, Biarritz remains ever-popular, and is
arguably the only town where you can see neoprene-clad surfers with surfboards
under their arms crossing paths with business men in suits and ties.
Open and cosmopolitan, this is the pearl of the Basque coast. Music, dance, cinema and the arts have a privileged place in local life. From the International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes (FIPA) in January to the Biarritz Festival of Latin American Cultures and Cinemas, which highlights the long-standing links between the Basque Country and Latin America, Biarritz pays attention to images of the world.
Dance has long been at the forefront here with the creation of Ballet Biarritz, a national choreographic centre directed by Thierry Malandain, and the annual 'Le Temps d'Aimer' dance event that, by combining classic and contemporary with innovation and tradition, provides an opening to large international companies and young training programmes.
All images © Le Doaré, Biarritz Tourist Board
Tel: 05 59 22 37 00