Biarritz, France is a city of major duality. Once a sleepy fisherman’s port, the city was redefined when Napoléon III and his wife, Empress Eugénie began summering here in the mid-nineteenth century. Once escalated to imperial status, Biarritz transformed into a glamorous destination city for those looking to experience a high-class beach vacation fit for royalty. But, with its position on the Côte de Basque creating the perfect waves for surfers, the city still maintains a laid-back attitude that attracts young backpackers and athletes from across the world to plan their own Biarritz itinerary. In a balancing act, Biarritz has found a way to accommodate both, making it an excellent destination city for those traveling from Paris to Biarritz. This Biarritz itinerary is the perfect way to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
Spend the first day of your Biarritz itinerary enjoying nautical activities.
Morning: Explore the Biarritz Aquarium
The Aquarium of Biarritz, or Le Musée de la Mer, sits overlooking the Côte de Basque, and inside, you’ll not only find an incredible collection of sea-life, but also an homage to the city’s past as a fisherman’s village. With outstanding exhibits and some of the largest sea turtles you’ll find in France, you will love testing out your sea legs at the aquarium while in Biarritz.
Lunch: Eat fresh seafood in Port des Pêcheurs
A must see on your Biarritz itinerary is Port de Pêcheurs, the old fisherman’s port. Now, the brightly-colored houses with wooden doors and blinds hold some of the best restaurants in all of Biarritz. Specializing in seafood, this place is the perfect spot to take in the cuisine of the region, all while overlooking a beautiful and rocky port with a small secluded beach.
Afternoon: Relax on the beach at Le Grande Plage
Biarritz has four major beaches to choose from, but Grande Plage outranks them all. With rock formation views straight out of a travel magazine, this beach boasts incredible waves and golden-sand walkways. Spend your first afternoon sunbathing, or take in the surfers as they shred the waves in front of you. Cafes and stores line this area as well, making it a great place to spend a few hours.
Evening: Take part in the famous Biarritz nightlife
A cultural cornerstone in Biarritz is dancing, drinking, and having all round fun at clubs, bars, and cafes strewn across the beach. The history surrounding this nightlife culture isn’t a recent addition to Biarritz, and heads back to Napoleon III and his Empress Eugénie in the 19th century. Head to a chic cafe where surfers like to watch the sun set near Côte-des-Basques beach. Or head out to a club or disco near the city center.
Explore the larger landmarks and points-of-interest on your second day in your Biarritz itinerary.
Morning: Take in the panoramic views at Rocher de la Vierge
Perhaps the best well known tourist attraction in the city, the Virgin Rock extends deep out into the sea and connects to the rest of Biarritz by a wooden bridge. Here, you can take in the beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary while enjoying panoramic ocean views all around you. On your way to this site, be sure to stop by other important landmarks like the Cloche du Plateau de l’Atalaye.
Lunch: Grab a quick bite near Beach Garden
Take your lunch in the classic local fashion by stopping by the beachside cafe right along the trails leading from the Rocher at Beach Garden. Here, you can grab sandwiches, salads, bagels or smoothies, and take them to go. Grab a spot on a park bench overlooking the ocean below you or trek a little further and have lunch on the beach. Either way, you’ll be dining the classic Biarritz way for this quick and easy lunch.
Afternoon: Try your hand at surfing
You simply cannot come to Biarritz and not try your hand at surfing. Whether it’s your first lesson or you’re a pro, surfing in the Côte de Basque is a great experience for anyone adventurous enough to try it. The region is full of surf schools and there are plenty that will offer you one-time lessons for anywhere from one to three hours. The surf is up and waiting for you in Biarritz!
Evening: Grab a drink and watch the sunset
After a busy and tiring day of seeing the sites and hitting the waves, you’ll want to kick back and relax in a laid back environment. Hit one of many beachfront bars near La Grande Plage for a refreshing drink, conversation with company young and old, and take in the legendary sunset.