area around Biarritz

Mar 20th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
area around Biarritz

Hello there,

I will be travelling to the Biarritz area this July and need suggestions on places to stay in or around Biarritz. Ideally something economical, close to the beach (my husband is an avid surfer) and child-friendly (I have a 2 year old). Or if you have suggestions on other towns along the coast, I would love to hear them! The smaller/less touristy, the better for me. Thank you!
san_diego_girl is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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My first attempt to visit Biarritz was in July and I could not find any place to stay. A few years later I tried in May and found a cheap place in the city. I don't have the name. Unless you get lucky on this forum or another you'll just have to keep plowing. If you are only interested in surfing, and no city life, you might check out some of the small seaside villages north of Biarritz. They are not easy to get to so the prices should be OK. I've never been in any of them.
hopscotch is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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See the following.
RonZ is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Hello San Diego...

Look no further...I have a great place for you that has moved up to Top Five on our Top Ten list of lodgings we have thoroughly enjoyed over the past several decades.

Bidart is a very small seaside town (village) about 3 miles south of Biarritz...close enough to visit. A perfectly charming, hotel on a cliff overlooking an amazing stretch of California style beach (I'm in L.A.) with a fairly good surf for an Atlantic Beach. The hotel is listed in Hotels and Inns of Character and Charm in France....VILLA L'ARCHE. ...uncrowded, and rock formations that are truly lunaresque. The town itself has about five small cafes, and we tried three of them..all very good and exceptionally reasonable. One is about 100 yards down the beach..excellent.
The hotel is small, too. About 12 rooms, but be sure to get one with a balcony overlooking the ocean..there is a big grassy "backyard" with steps leading down to the beach.
If you send me a fax number I can send you the brochure and price list. If not, go to Barnes and Noble and look it up in he aformentioned book.

Stu T. ([email protected])
tower is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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Mundaka a little north of Bilbao is very picturesque and reportedly has one of the longest breaks in Europe. Sure looks like it from the town (looking down on the bay.)
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 21st, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I would highly recommend St-Jean-de-Luz, south of Biarritz. It was nice, family-friendly beach town (I think it's a favourite with vacationing French families, but not many Americans have heard of it). The beaches are nice, and I saw lots of kids. The train from Biarritz didn't take long at all.

Another wonderful day trip I took during that long weekend in Biarritz was to San Sebastien. It's the closest big-ish city in Spain. My friend and I were obsessed with being so close to the Spanish border that we kept going there (we actually rented bikes in St-Jean-de-Luz and rode along the highways to Spain one day, but that is another, totally ridiculous story that involved me getting off the bike to ask strangers, "Hi, we're looking for Spain. Is this the right way?"). There are probably trains from Biarritz, although we, in our utter disorganization, took some strange sort of regional train. It only took about an hour, though. It's a beautiful city, and it's amazing how "Spanish" it looks and feels despite being so close to France. I wish our trip there hadn't been quite so spontaneous so I could have read about it beforehand. We had great paella, a great hike to a major pilgrimage site, and saw the most beautiful sunset before heading back to Biarritz.
Felly is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Posts: 152
Hi San Diego
It all depends what kind of holiday you are looking for. The coast North of Biarritz has hundreds of campsites with a mixture of mobile homes, chalets, and tents. There are also lots of holiday villages. These are occupied by a wide variety of Europeans (mostly with young children)with lots of activities arranged for the children and it all gets very busy in late July and throughout August. We spent some excellent holidays there when our kids were younger and the beach and the surf were what we wanted. Not much culture but a fun time!
You do need a car but the parking by the beaches was good and free (provided you're early risers). We're English and so we drove down from Cherbourg or Caen each time in our own car.
If this type of holiday interests you then you could try contacting the sites directly or looking at some of the english operators who go there such as Haven, Eurocamp or the ferry companies.
spiral is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:50 AM
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I agree with Felly, St Jean de Luz is much nicer. Biarritz is somewhat overdeveloped and have become too glitzy. Whereas St Jean de Luz has retained its French/Basque character.

However since your husband is an avid surfer, the surf at Biarritz is better.

Have fun!
swagman is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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Someone mentioned a "day trip" from St. Jean to San Sabastien--could you also do Pamploma and be back to St. Jean de Luz by dark?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Hi hopingtotravel,

I was the one who mentioned San Sebastian. Pamplona looks a little far. There are trains every three hours between SanS and Pampplona, and the trip takes about 2 hours, so I'm not sure if it would work to try to get to Pamplona from St. Jean in a day, especially since it already takes just over an hour to get from St. Jean de Luz to San Sebastian (going direct from Jt. Jean to Pamplona also takes about 4 hours).

But San Sebastian was really nice and low-key... I've never been to Pamplona though; is it really very nice?
Felly is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Thanks. Looks like if we ever did that, we'd want an overnight in Spain.
hopingtotravel is offline  
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