Biarritz is a city of Pyrénees Atlantiques department, in Nouvelle Aquitaine region. It is a luxurious seaside resort held in very high esteem on an international level. With its paradisiacal beaches and stunning architecture, Biarritz is truly a holiday destination for those who like to inject a small amount of extravagance into their vacation. The much-revered writer Victor Hugo once said of the city,
« Je ne sache pas d’endroit plus charmant et plus magnifique que Biarritz… »
Biarritz has very good national and international transport services both to and from the city.
Rail: Biarritz is served by the High-Speed TGV Rail Link from Paris Montparnasse. Journeys generally take 5 hours 30 minutes.
Air: The airport is shared by Biarritz, Anglet and Bayonne giving it the apt name, “Aeroport de Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne”. There are low cost flights to and from the UK provided by both Easyjet and Ryanair throughout the summer season. The airport is only 4km from Biarritz city centre.
Road: Biarritz is located only 5km from major motorways (A63).
Biarritz is awash with sights, complementing its nautical aspects as well as the philanthropic and the historical. Should one wish to have a relaxing wander around taking in the city, one can see museums including:
The Asiatica Museum: A museum showing “art deco” primarily from Far East countries such as India, Nepal, Tibet and China.
Museum of the Sea: A tribute to the city’s nautical history as much as anything else. Biarritz was largely known as a whaling port in the 12th century and has been a key port throughout France’s history. This museum also includes a “marine” zoo, housing such incredible sea-life such as sharks and seals.
Museum of Chocolate: For those with a sweet tooth, this museum depicts both the history and the processes involved in the manufacturing of chocolate.
For those with more historical tastes, there are three “must-see” churches in the city.
St Martin’s Church: Built in the 12th century, this 900-year old church was restored in the 16th century and continues to be a source of much interest for visitors coming from all over the world.
The Russian Orthodox Church: This outstanding work of architecture was constructed in the 19th century to supply the religious needs of visiting Russian aristocracy. Particularly eye-catching is the large blue-dome roof of the church.
Chapelle Imperiale: As with some other recognisable landmarks in Biarritz, this was built for the Empress Eugénie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III in the mid-19th century. This church is a true tribute to modern French architecture.
A large tourist hotspot, Biarritz naturally caters for the holiday-maker who is keen to mix their pleasure with a bit of chance. There are 2 casinos in the area the “Barrière” and the “Bellevue”. Two film festivals are held in Biarritz annually, one of which looks at discovering Latin American actors and actresses as well as their films (Le festival de Biarritz, cinémas et cultures d’Amérique-Latine) . The other looks at international television and discovering new talent there (Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels).
In terms of sport, Biarritz is the home to the successful rugby union side “Biarritz Olympique”, a golf course dating back to 1888, “Pelote Basque” – a typical game played in the Basque region and finally, surfing. Surfing culture is huge in Biarritz and has been recognised at a world class standard since 1957.
There are of course numerous beaches next to the sea that are eternally popular to both locals and holiday-makers alike. Indeed so much so that historically the city has been known to house royalty on occasions with monarchs such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII of England and King Alphonso XIII of Spain staying there for summer vacations.
Whilst not necessarily known as a gastronomic city, Biarritz still has its fair share of regional specialities that are sold there and throughout the Basque region. Cuisine from the region tends to be a distinct mixture between French and Spanish (the Spanish border being only 11 miles from the region). It tends to incorporate tomatoes and sweet or hot peppers into dishes. Dishes and products such as “Jambon de Bayonne”, a strong cured ham and “Bacalao”, salted cod, are of particular note. The Basque region is known for its ciders which are “still” rather than “sparkling” and are usually identifiable by their strong, acidic apple flavour. These ciders also tend to be strong (around 6%) but are no less delicious.
There are a range of restaurants featured within Biarritz and they cater for most types of taste and budget. All levels are looked at, from restaurants supplying local snacks and small dishes, to those supplying cuisine of recognised Michelin-star standard.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Biarritz . We have a large network of agents in Aquitaine. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Aquitaine matching your requirements. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about our selection of properties for sale in Biarritz.