The Basque Coast is a region along the Atlantic coast that is rich in natural and, above all, cultural treasures. Nestled between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, the coast offers an exceptional setting for a family or friends’ vacation. I invite you to discover the most beautiful places on the Basque Coast, from cities to visit, paradisiacal beaches to relax on, historical monuments, and the most breathtaking viewpoints.
The Basque Coast boasts several cities that symbolize the Basque country and its culture. These cities naturally deserve a visit during your stay. Among them, Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Bayonne are standout destinations that combine charm, history, and traditions.
Biarritz: The Jewel of the Basque Coast
Biarritz is undoubtedly one of the most famous and sought-after cities in the Basque Country. This renowned seaside resort attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy its beaches, chic and relaxed atmosphere, as well as its numerous cultural and sports activities.
During your visit, don’t miss the Grande Plage beach for sunbathing and surfing, and be sure to admire the iconic Rocher de la Vierge. You can also stroll through the city center, filled with elegant shops and café terraces, before exploring the architectural splendors of the Imperial Quarter, where Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie once resided.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz: An Authentic and Picturesque Town
Situated between the mountains and the ocean, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a town with a unique atmosphere that charms with its authentic charm and rich heritage. Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town to admire the traditional houses with colorful facades, and then head to the harbor to observe fishing boats and savor local specialties.
Among the must-visit places, mention should be made of the Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, where the marriage of King Louis XIV to the Infanta of Spain, Marie-Thérèse, was celebrated in 1660. Also, take a leisurely walk along the Jacques Thibaud promenade, which runs along the beach and offers a breathtaking view of the bay.
Bayonne: A Historic and Gastronomic City
Located at the confluence of two rivers, the Adour and the Nive, Bayonne is a city steeped in history that captivates with its architectural heritage and quality of life. Spend a pleasant time in the narrow streets of the city center lined with half-timbered houses before visiting the Sainte-Marie Cathedral to admire its elegant Gothic architecture.
Bayonne is also renowned for its gastronomy, especially its famous ham and delicious chocolates. Take advantage of your stay to savor these specialties and discover the flavors of the Basque Country.
The Most Beautiful Beaches on the Basque Coast
The Basque Coast is known for its fine sandy beaches and world-famous surf spots. Among the most beautiful sites to discover are Hendaye, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Biarritz.
Hendaye: A Haven of Peace for Families
Hendaye is the largest beach on the Basque Coast, with its 3.5 kilometers of fine sand bordered by a pedestrian promenade. Ideal for families, it offers calm and shallow waters, as well as numerous water and leisure activities.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz: A Preserved Beach in the Heart of the Town
The beach of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is an exceptional site located at the foot of the mountains and a few steps from the city center. Protected from the Atlantic waves by a dike, this sandy beach is a popular place for swimming and relaxation.
Biarritz: The Surfing Mecca of Europe
Biarritz is a must-visit destination for surf enthusiasts. Among the most renowned spots are the Grande Plage and the Côte des Basques, where surfers come to challenge the waves of the Bay of Biscay.
Monuments and Viewpoints Not to Miss
The Basque Coast also offers superb monuments and viewpoints to discover during your stay. Among the must-sees, do not miss the Rocher de la Vierge in Biarritz, the coastal trail from Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Hendaye, and La Bastide Clairence.
Rocher de la Vierge: An Iconic Site in Biarritz
Facing the Grande Plage, the Rocher de la Vierge is a must-see site in Biarritz. Accessible via a metal footbridge, it offers panoramic views of the ocean, the city, and the surrounding mountains.
The Coastal Trail: A Walk Between Land and Sea
The coastal trail is a hiking trail that runs along the Basque Coast between Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye. Offering breathtaking landscapes, this walk will allow you to discover the natural and cultural riches of the region.
La Bastide Clairence: One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France
Located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, La Bastide Clairence is a medieval village classified as one of the most beautiful in France. Stroll through picturesque streets to discover its historical heritage and half-timbered houses, then head to the Place des Arceaux to enjoy a friendly and lively atmosphere.
The Basque Coast provides an idyllic setting for an unforgettable vacation between mountains and ocean. Whether you seek relaxation, cultural discoveries, or thrilling experiences, the region is filled with natural and historical treasures that are sure to enchant you. Don’t hesitate to explore the cities, beaches, monuments, and viewpoints mentioned in this article to experience a unique journey at the heart of the Basque Country.