Solo in Biarritz- what do you think?

Old May 20th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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Solo in Biarritz- what do you think?

I am 50 yo woman, creative professional, neeeding to get away, and a friend had to back out of our travel plans. I love the sea, am not a great solo traveler, thinking maybe a spa, and can do a 3-4 star comfortably. I've never been to this area- it looks beautiful and appealing, but I am open to other suggestions.
Help?

Thank you!
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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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We just returned from this area a week ago. In my opinion it's one of the most beautiful areas of France. I'm 52 but traveled with my husband so can't be of any help with opinions of traveling alone.

The beach at Biarritz is beautiful. I was thrilled with the wide, sandy beach, the vegetation around, and the town. I think the undertow is quite bad here though so be careful. There were several men surfing the waves.

I would suggest renting a car, very easy to do at Biarritz. The airport is very tiny and the rental car lot is just next door to the tiny terminal. The Basque area is so beautiful and easy to drive in. Don't forget a Michelin map.

Don't miss: St.Jean de Luz which also has a lovely beach and very relaxed, pretty town. This may also be a good place to stay. They have a wonderful market on Friday morning. Don't miss it.

Hondarribia Spain is a very quaint fishermans area, fun to spend a couple of hours here and enjoy some of the fantastic pintxos.

The hills are so, so wonderful. Don't miss them. Visit Espelette, fun market here on Wednesday a.m. and a few shops. We stayed 5 minutes from this town is a great gite! It was only 260€ for the whole week, since it's low season. It was a working sheep farm, but the sheep weren't close to the gite. It was fantastic!

Ainhoa is a darling town with great shops. See inside the church and the special cemetary behind it. There is an excellent 1* restaurant Ithurria in the small square. Our best meal of the trip.

Sare was a bit plain, but nearby is la Rhune RR that will take to to the top of the mountain, and you can hike down.

Bayonne has a wonderful Basque museum. We enjoyed it alot, but didn't care for the town to much. It's easy to spend a couple of hours here though. Don't miss the great chocolate!

San Sebastian is also a good day trip, although we didn't care for it as much as others. The drive from Hondarribia to San Sebastian, along the coast is spectacular. I posted yesterday on the directions of how to find this road.

There is so much to do in this area, but it's also a wonderful coastline to just relax on. You won't regret a trip here!
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:50 AM
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I was solo in the whole area last fall. I stayed in Sare.

Yes, the airport is small and easy to navigate. I flew into Toulouse and ended up flying out of Biarritz. I did a Kemwel lease buy-back. Great rates and a good way to do it.

Enjoy........
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Thank you both!
You've mentioned desitnations that had not even occurred to me and I am going to look into them all.

You've also confiremed that this will be a beautiful trip.



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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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I would far rather base myself in St-Jean-de-Luz and visit Biarritz than the other way around.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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I totally agree with St. Cirq. She had recommended St Jean de Luz to us over Biarritz, and it is now one of our favorite destinations in France. The Grand Hotel in St. Jean de Luz is on the beach, and in the middle of town, walking distance to everywhere.
Also day trips out of St. Jean are easy and close.
Biarritz did not hold that much interest with us (weve been there twice), except for the surfing for my son. St Jean is much more quaint.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:02 PM
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Forgot to mention that the Grand Hotel is extremely nice, has a spa and indoor pool, and all the chambermaids dress in traditional Basque clothing. We love staying at this Hotel.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Have you looked at Maribel's Guide to the Pays Basque (http://maribelsguides.com). You may find it very useful regarding your stay in Biarritz or the surrounding area.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:39 PM
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I am very appeciative of the feedback- it has convinced me that St. Jean de luz is the place to stay.
I have just inquired at the Grand Hotel- it is getting kind of late for plans.
If there are any other hotel reccomendations, I'd appreciate it!

Thank you!
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:46 PM
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Robert- that was a great link to Maybel's guide-thank you!
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:47 PM
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oops- maribel's...
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Old May 21st, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Don't overlook San Sebastian. Check out this write-up. http://marshlands.blogstream.com
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