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Biarritz Beaches – Napoleon’s Favorite Resort

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Biarritz Beach France

Biarritz, France surfing. Ah, yes. Two words that one week out of the year go hand in hand. The Biarritz Surfing Festival draws surfers from all over the world. See our other video below for some rad surfing action, right here in Biarritz, France. There are over 5 Km’s of beaches here – and people frequent them year round. You, no doubt, want to experience Biarritz Beaches in the fullness of summer. And you’ll find that it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year. But let us warn you that it can get quite toasty in France as well. Peak times are early and late summer. But don’t let those seasons stop you from visiting this jewel of Napoleon’s France.

Yes, he loved it here, but it’s the same reason everyone else does. It has an awesome vibe to it. The beach here is nice. It is brown but fine sand that packs well. This is what makes it good to find a beach chair. At the same time, you will see that as the beach approaches the Bellevue area, it turns more rocky and finally into the outcropping that is the center part of Biarritz. Gentle wave give way to huge surf throughout the year. But it doesn’t matter. You can enjoy both by getting onto the beach and hanging out, taking in the spectacle that is the Basque area.

Biarritz Beach FranceBiarritz established itself as a popular coastal resort in the mid-19th century when Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie used to spend their summers here. Since then it has proved popular not only with royalty but also with Europe’s rich and famous.

Biarritz lies along the Basque coast, near Spain’s Basque region. You can easily see the influence even today in the Biarritz architecture and cuisine. Any of the many hotels in this beautiful French resort town reflect that.

There are five beaches in all, each with a distinct history. Once a fishing village, this area became a European surf mecca when in the late 50’s American filmmaker Peter Viertel brought a longboard from California and surfed the huge waves astonishing the locals.

Surfing BiarritzToday Biarritz, France is home to the “Biarritz Surf Festival” attended by over 150,000 surfing enthusiasts.

You will find this area of France astoundingly picturesque with majestic hotels and old resorts with all of the amenities. But book your hotel early; this is one popular place for both local Europeans and people from all over the world.

If you tire of the beach and don’t want to be cooped up in the hotel, head for the local aquarium, one of the best in the region. Or, walk to several of the museums of Biarritz. Check with your hotel concierge for times and locations.

Other attractions include the old whaling port which looks a lot like it did many years ago when whaling was the prime means of commerce. Biarritz is full of boutiques with the finest from Europe. And at night, the City Casino stays open until morning. You can also head off to the local disco and dance away any energy you may have left.


  • Sand – dark, coral/loam mix, some debris
  • Facilities – various along all beaches
  • Shade – none
  • Sports – none except surf rentals at select beaches
  • Notes – a popular destination for international tourists, who flock to the beach during the summer months. Biarritz becomes crowded during the July Surf Festival, and hotel prices increase. The climate in Biarritz is always temperate: winters are comfortable (average 50 degrees F), and summers are warm (average 72 degrees F). Biarritz has an average of 61 rainy days per year. Closest major airport – CDG.

But which area in France is considered home to the Best Beaches? – Next >>

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