There are places that are semi-legendary in your mind. And when you visit them, they live up to that vision. And sometimes they don’t. Biarritz, France is not a place I knew a lot about but I did have an impression that it was for the rich and famous. Its location, in the southwestern corner of France abutting Spain (just 22 miles from the border!) facing the Bay of Biscay, seems ideal with warmer climate and perhaps not the throngs of partying tourists that the Mediterranean coasts can attract. It sits in the Basque region of France and is home to 20-30-odd thousand residents.
So, as we went from San Sebastian, Spain to Lourdes, France this past September, we decided to stop along the way. It was not a long drive but we wanted an easygoing day. As I looked at the map, I realized there were several neat towns along the coast and inland (like Bayonne). As I talked to my Mom, she shared how she, when she was a girl, would read a novel with her best friend that took place partly in Biarritz and how they always daydreamed about Biarritz. That settled it for me: Biarritz would be our stop!
And then, we just picked a place on the beach (the ‘Grande Plage’ – or great beach) to have lunch -not because it had the look of a great establishment, but simply because of the view out and the fact that we would sit in open air enjoying the great weather that day.
Biarritz most distinctive or massively impressive structure is the Hotel du Palais (of which, unfortunately, I took the picture split by a lighting pole…) built in the mid-1800s by the wife of Napoleon III.
So, I can’t share much about Biarritz, its history or all the ins-and-outs of what to do and see. But, if like my Mom, you have wondered what Biarritz looks like, I hope this post checks that off your list!