If we're picturing the perfect European Summer, for us that's only one place in the world: Biarritz! Pris spends every Summer here with le boyfriend Arnaud, who grew up in this stylish French surfer town and founded Biarritz's first Acai Bowl cafe: Bali Bowls (with now more than 4 locations in France!). Biarritz is not only the go-to destination for European surfing and beach vacations but also home to the cutest cafes, boutiques, vintage markets and picturesque streets. When Eve came to visit with Manua and Stephen, we explored every inch of our favorite city by the sea to create this complete Biarritz Travel Guide for your next European adventure.
We're kicking it off with a short Q&A and then line up 50 x Biarritz tips for you, from the best coffee, acai bowls, where to book your surf lessons to where to sleep. Let's pack those bags and go!
BIARRITZ TRAVEL Q&A
How to get to Biarritz?
We usually travel by plane from Amsterdam to Bordeaux, and there go by car to Biarritz. This is about two hours drive (you can rent a car at the airport, it's best to arrange this upfront online to get the best price). If you're flying from other European destinations like Paris or London you can arrive straight to Biarritz airport. Unfortunately, Amsterdam doesn't have direct flights to Biarritz anymore! Of course, you can also travel by car.
How long should I stay in Biarritz?
If you're pitstopping in Biarritz during a road trip make sure to stay at least two or three nights. You'll be able to get a taste of the Biarritz good life, catch some waves or beach time and definitely go around for the best spots. But even if you can stay for a few weeks you'll love it, especially if you're a surfer. Because it's also easy to make fun trips from Biarritz to surrounding areas. More of this in the tips below!
When is the best time to travel?
Between April and September, it's Summer in Biarritz. Expect high season crowds in July and August.
How is it to travel to Biarritz in Corona time?
In Biarritz you need to wear your face mask on the streets in the center, inside stores and restaurants (you can take them off while eating). Streets and beaches are pretty crowded during July and August, so note it will be hard to maintain distance.
Do I need to book my accommodation in Biarritz before I arrive?
During high season most hotels and Airbnbs are booked up quite fast. So we do recommend to book your favorite stay as soon as you know your travel dates. But if you want to find something on the spot there's most of the time something available. From camping spots to cute hotels to stunning apartments with ocean view. See all Biarritz places to stay here!
Is Biarritz kids friendly?
Absolutely. It's the perfect town to combine beach playtime with some city explorations. Manua is now 1,5 years old and we took him around in the stroller. If your baby is still small it would also be nice to bring a baby carrier, because it's easiest to get around by foot Biarritz. And for the bigger kids, the ocean is one big playground! It's the best and most fun place to learn how to surf.
More questions for our Biarritz Q&A? Write them in the comments below and we'll answer them for you!
OUR 50 X BIARRITZ INSIDER TIPS
WHERE TO STAY IN BIARRITZ
1. The Sunset Apartment
The apartment where we stayed together last month had the breathtaking sunset views. Hence, it's name! We stayed at the Sunset apartment (by Homies Holidays Biarritz, they have a lot of amazing accommodations around Biarritz!) for a week and it felt like home. The apartment has 1 bedroom but sleeps 4, as the couch can be turned into a 2-persons bed. We loved the location as it was not in the busy city center but just outside (close to Miramar beach) - but walking distance to all beaches, shops and restaurants.
It also has access to a huge grass field just in front of the apartment building, which is perfect if you're traveling with a family (Manua loved running and playing here). Homies Holidays also offers extra options such as a baby cot, chair or you arranging rented bicycles (they have such good personal service you can ask them anything!). Also a plus: it has free private parking. Which is great as parking in Biarritz can get quite expensive.
2. Hotel Les Baigneuses
For the best location, stay at Hotel Les Baigneuses. It's close to all the beaches, cafes (1 minute from Bali Bowls :) and shops. The 12 rooms have seaview over Port Vieux. What else would you need! It also has a restaurant and rooftop bar, where we often to go for sunset drinks and dinner. They also have yoga on Saturday morning on the rooftop.
3. Carlina Lodge
Surf, eat, sleep, repeat? Book a room or apartment with ocean view at Carlina. You'll be overlooking the waves of Cote des Basque, the best surf spot of Biarritz. You can also arrange your surf lessons when staying here.
4. La Cabane 64
We are loving the tropical vibes at this cozy 2 bedroom apartment, close to Miramar beach. We love the location as it's not in the busiest part of town, but you can walk from here to all the beaches, shops and cafes in Biarritz. We can recommend staying in an apartment rather than a hotel if you love to have the option to cook yourself on some days, instead of having to eat out all day. We love our morning routine of waking up early, walking to the boulangerie and get some fresh croissants for a nice breakfast at home with the fam.
5. Cosy Studio Cote des Basque
This tiny studio by Marta Tomasini from Surfragette is all you need. Our favorite beach and surf spot Cote des Basque is just across the street, and it's close to all shops, restaurants and surf schools.
6. Port Vieux
Just next to the old port in Biarritz and close to all shops and cafes you'll find this small beach, located in a rocky cove. Port Vieux is perfect for sunbathing all day and especially for families with young kids (no surf, so fun water to play in)! It's very popular with locals all-year-round. You'll find them doing their morning laps and also the kids in town get their swim lessons here. How fun!
7. Plage du Miramar
Close to Grande Plage you'll find Miramar. Usually, a bit less crowded than Grande Plage as it is a short walk from the city center. If you walk along the cliff all the way to the end you can even find a quiet spot during high season. Also the perfect place to head over to for a sunset and pizza picnic on the beach.
8. Cote des Basque
Our favorite beach in Biarritz. We mean, look at this view, the picture says it all! This long, stretched beach is surfers paradise. When the sun hits the Atlantic ocean it has clear blue waters and sunsets here are a dream. You can rent boards at BTZ surf shop and book your surf lessons at Jo Moraiz Surfschool. But if you're not into surfing you can hang out on the steps with the locals and soak up the view (you can even look all the way to Spain from here!).
9. Grande Plage
Sunbathe all day at Grande Plage! This is the cities 'main beach' and you'll recognize it by its colourful striped umbrellas. Expect a lot of people during high season. So we love to come here for an early morning swim before the crowds come in. It's a beach where you can surf but the waves can be big and quite rough. We recommend surfing at Cote des Basque instead if you're a beginner or looking into booking surf lessons. Restaurants and shops are a short walk away.
Extra tip: Marbella
When it's low tide you can walk all the way from Cote des Basque to Marbella and even further to Ilbarritz. So it's a bit further out of town but therefore a nice beach to chill. You'll find more locals surfing here, not many tourists.
Cote des Basque is the beach to surf whether you're a beginner or pro! You can surf low and mid-tide. On high-tide, there is no beach and it's not possible to surf, as you won't be able to get out of the water through the steps.
10. Jo Moraiz Surfschool
Surfing in Biarritz is a must! If you want to learn how to surf or need a refreshing lesson you can find surf schools at Cote des Basque. We can recommend Jo Moraiz Surfschool, also for kids. You can book your surf lessons in Biarritz online here and rent boards (short & longboards) on the spot for 10 euro an hour.
11. BTZ Surfshop
In need of a rashie, new bikini or wax? Check out BTZ Surfshop at La Cote de Basque. Ready to paddle out by yourself as well? You can rent the most fun soft-tops for 10 euros an hour.
Breakfast & Lunch Spots
12. Bali Bowls
All-day, every day you will find us here. it's not only our favorite cafe because it's founded and run by Arnaud - but it's truly everyone's favorite. Bali Bowls is an eco-friendly vegan cafe & juice bar. Think fresh juices, acai & smoothie bowls, salad bowls, coffee and all kind of healthy snacks like bliss balls and other vegan vitamin superfoods. It's located in the center, close to Port Vieux beach & Grande Plage beach.
To go shop:
18 Place Clemenceau
Cafe with terrace:
4 Rue Gaston Larré
13. Le Palm
This cute little cafe is the perfect spot for a healthy lunch. We love their famous grilled cheese sandwich.
Loving this organic cafe with sunny terrace, where you can sit down for a healthy lunch date. Especially drooling over the desserts!
15. Etxola Bibi
Start your morning at this spot with a fresh croissant and soaking up the ocean view. It's located on top of the stairs at Cote des Basque. Also perfect for sunset drinks or yummy tapas.
Rather get some croissants and bread to go for the day? Loubere is our number one boulangerie (bakery).
The most famous and oldest patisseries in Biarritz is Miremont. This rococo styled bakery with pink walls is famous for it's delicious treats and high tea with ocean view.
DINNER / SUNSET DRINKS
18. Le Surfing
Right in front of the main beach entrance at Cote des Basque, you'll find this ocean-view restaurant. Sit outside for a dreamy sunset session or book a table for a lovely dinner at sea.
Located next to Le Surfing, this well-styled restaurant is another favorite spot for sunset drinks and ocean view dinner. The go-to spot for the cool crowd.
20. Saline Ceviche bar
For the best poke bowls in town, head over to Saline.
21. Cafe du Commerce
Located in one of our favorite neighborhoods of Biarritz, this restaurant is reminding us of Paris with its cute terrace tables and chairs. Popular spot amongst locals.
22. Bar Jean
Being quite close to the Spanish coastlines, you'll find many tapas restaurants in town. Our go-to spot is Bar Jean. Don't forget to order a can of sangria with it! Summer feelings at it's best.
Feeling for a fancy dinner? At Epoq you can wine and dine on top French cuisine. Salut!
24. Le Tandem
In the heart of the city center, you'll find Le Tandem. What we love about it, is that is has something delicious for everyone. From local fish dishes to healthy buddha bowls to a yummy (veggie) burger with french fries.
25. Les Baigneuses
This rooftop restaurant has a stunning view over Port Vieux beach. It has that feelgood summer vibe. We love to come here for dinner or a sunset drink, but it's open all day. It's part of Les Baigneuses Hotel which we can also recommend staying!
26. Casa Juan Pedro
This local favorite is a little hidden inside the harbor. And famous for it's fresh fish and moules et frites.
27. Crital Kfe
This cute little fish restaurant is an all-time favorite. Food is always good and 'fruit du mer' for the win.
28. Asia Way
Delicious Asian dishes for take away or enjoy on the cozy terras outside. Great vegetarian options. Super tasteful!
Loving this spot for their Hawaiian style poke bowls and burritos. It's located in a quiet area on top of the stairs at Cote des Basque. Walk around the neighborhood after to spot some dream houses!
You'll find tons of pizzarias in Biarritz, as there is a big community of Italians. Our number one favorite is Joie. Delicious traditional pastas and pizzas! Tip: the terrace can get quite crowded in high season, so grab a pizza for take-away and enjoy it on the beach while watching the sun go down.
31. Cibo Pizza
Made from locally sourced ingredients these pizza's are the ones we crave after a day of surfing and working.
32. Prima les Colonnes
Our go to spot for the best vegetarian pizzas (and a plus, because they come in a heart shape!)
33. Les Halles
In this popular area you can find this big market hall, with food stands and local products. You'll find locals getting their morning caffeine fix and tourists strolling around for some delicious souvenirs. It's open daily 7:30am till 2pm.
34. Vintage market
Just outside the market hall, you'll find lots of stalls from small local businesses. From jewelry to art and vintage clothing to handmade bags. We especially loved this one vintage market stall, where we found some lovely affordable summer pieces!
35. Les enfants terrible
This artist owned concept store is our number one favorite in town. You simply can't miss it when walking by (on the way to Port Vieux beach). From handmade souvenirs to vintage denim to jewellery and hand-painted artworks by the owner who you'll most likely find in the shop creating. You'll love it all.
36. The Wild Bazar
Lovely interior shop with Summery must haves, rotan decor and interior gems. Also loving it for the beach accessories, like hand embroidered 'Biarritz' towels.
37. Gallerie Lafayette
You would probably skip a shopping session at this well-known commercial center, but: on some days they have a few vintage racks just out in front. And we have been lucky to have found a few incredible pieces from there!
38. Open me
We love this little concept boutique for it's beautiful curated objects, from ceramics to kids clothing.
39. Colors of Surfing
This surf store recently opened and it's a must to check out when you're in Biarritz. You can also grab a coffee and a board to go surfing out front at Cote des Basque.
Live life sunny side up on your flipflops! Always been a big fan of Havaianas and walking on them all day when in Biarritz. They have a shop in the center.
41. Bijou Biarritz
In the cutest shopping street to Port Vieux (our favorite!) we found this store with beautiful rattan baskets and hats. If you walk to the beach, you'll find it about halfway on your right side. Or when at Bali Bowls, walk along the side into the little street and than take a left.
42. Namaste Yoga Biarritz
We met the Brazilian Laura years ago in Bali. She teaches early morning yoga sessions, overlooking the ocean at the cliff of Cote des Basque. Perfection! Find her Biarritz yoga schedule here.
FOR THE KIDS
43. Aire de Jeux at Plage de la Milady
We took Manua for some playtime at the playground (in French: aire de Jeux) at Milady Beach. We loved it as it was perfect young kids (tiny slides and sand to fall soft in:) You'll need a car to get there, as it's about 5 minutes' drive from Cote des Basque. It also has a little restaurant and takeaway cafe. So grab a coffee and let the kissies enjoy themselves at the playground!
44. Le Musee de la Mer
Fun city aquarium for the kids, especially for instance when it's raining and you can't go to the beach!
45. Rent a bike
When in Biarritz you can easily walk everywhere by foot. But if you love to bicycle that's also possible! Rent your bikes or ebikes and cruise around town (and outside) like a local. You'll find many local bike shops, ask you accommodation or check out this Biarritz bike rental store.
46. Dinner at Heteroclito inGuethary
This restaurant is worth the 20-minute drive with the car from Biarritz. This fish restaurant with sea view is our romantic dinner date getaway. Book a table outside for dinner early evening so you can catch the sunset.
47. Visit Anglet and eat at Beachhouse
10-minutes away from Biarritz by car you can visit Anglet. Perfect to surf and sunbake all day at the wide stretched white sand beaches. A must do is to have lunch or have dinner at Beachhouse.
48. La Tantina de la playa in Bidart
About 15-miutes down south of Biarritz you'll find another one of our favorite lunch and dinner spots: La Tantina de la Playa. Fresh fish by the beach with the most beautiful serene view over the Atlantic ocean. Make sure to book your table outside.
Up for a little day trip? Head over to Hossegor, famous for its good waves during summer. All professional surfers come here to train. It's about 40 minutes by car.
50. San Sebastian, Spain
Did you know Biarritz is only about half an hour away from Spain? Drive down to San Sebastian for a day trip. Explore old town and enjoy some tapas and sangria.
That's it sunshine friends! We hope you loved our complete insider guide to Biarritz. Let us know if you're planning a trip here of if you've visited Biarritz before. And let us know if you have any questions for us in the comments.
PS. Don't forget to check the latest news around COVID-19 regulations we advise you to check your local authorities.
Safe & happy travels!
Pris & Eve