We arrived on Thursday afternoon in a raging rainstorm, flying in from Paris. It was a good flight, but landing was a little nerve-wracking because of the high winds. We stayed that night at a charming little hotel in Biarritz called the Edouard VII.
The next day we were off to discover Biarritz, the surfing capital of France. By the fierceness of the waves crashing against the shore, I can understand why this is a surfer’s paradise. The town is set on the coast, with a wide beach and is very walkable and interesting. This part of France is in the Basque region, so you will see traditional Basque homes and signage in both French and Basque. Dinner at the 5-star Hotel de Palais topped our day. Former summer home of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, it is a superb architectural beauty, and the dinner was outstanding.
We moved hotels and are now staying at the Mercure Plaza Biarritz Centre. This Art Deco hotel is right across the street from the beach and in the center of town. We have a fantastic view of the beach from our room. You will notice that there is an Art Deco Casino just across the street as well.
Today we spent most of our time in the medieval town of Bayonne, which is set a bit inland from Biarritz, but is just a 15 minute drive. We started our visit at the beautiful Cathedral, known for its colorful and intricate stained glass. Attached to the cathedral is the cloister, which is in the midst of restoration. It is a must-see in this charming town. Today was also market day and the stalls along the river bank had beautiful local produce and artisinal cheeses and pastries.
We then stopped along the beach-walk in the town of Anglet. The town is a beach and recreational community with year-round residents. There are skate parks, an ice-skating rink, a nature habitat area and golf courses nearby…anything for the active resident or tourist.
Tomorrow we will travel to St Jean de Luz, near the border with Spain. A bientot!