Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a beautiful, historic city on the coast of France, a mere 10km from the Spanish border. The site of Louis XIV’s marriage to Maria Theresa, and the signing of the Treaty of Pyrenees in 1659, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is buzzing with history and has much to do. It’s shared coast with Basque Country has also led to some Spanish infused architecture and gastronomy spilling into the city. Topped off with an incredible beach, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a great place to spend 24 hours. If you don’t know what to do in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this itinerary will help you get the most of your time in the city.
Morning: Maison Louis XIV
Get to know the history of the man who put Saint-Jean-de-Luz on the map. From his wedding to important political moments in history, to just simply summering in this beautiful town, Louis XIV escalated Saint-Jean-de-Luz from a simple fisherman’s town into the destination vacation city tourists know it as today. Travel back in time in a museum dedicated to explaining Louis XIV’s important legacy in the region and discover the odd quirks that made him such an interesting man.
Lunch: Xabi Krakada
Grab lunch at a quirky wraps and burgers joint a mere ten steps from the beach. In this place, you’ll find some of the best priced meals in all of Saint-Jean-de-Luz but Xabi Krakada’s real killer is its incredible personality. The owner and his bulldog spend nearly all of their time here; you’ll find both equally endearing. The decorations that line the walls, all black and white pin ups, and the red and white checkered tables give the place a 1950’s vibe that never gets old. Fill up here before an afternoon at the beach!
Afternoon: Le Grande Plage in Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Saint-Jean-de-Luz’s bach is only a few steps away from Rue de la Républic, the street where you’ll find Xabi Krakada and a plethora of other restaurants and store fronts. While you’re dining and exploring on Rue de la Républic, the beach will waiting for you patiently. These golden-sanded shores are the perfect place to sunbathe and its slow, lulling waves make the area perfect for swimming. The smooth water nestled into a protected bay serves as a great place to paddle board, sail, or swim, and a great destination for families. If you’re not into swimming, check out a bike tour along the beach.
Evening: Take in the local cuisine
Before leaving Saint-Jean-de-Luz, be sure to stop by La Taverne Basque, an incredible restaurant featuring regional cuisine with Basque Country influences. A great stop for seafood, but be sure to dine on other regional fares like toro soup. Definitely don’t skimp on splitting a Serrano ham charcuterie board. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of their many duck options, which is a delicacy of the region. At the end, you can wash it all down with a pitcher of Sangria—the perfect way to end a day in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.