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Visit The Former Royal Resort Of Biarritz In France This Summer

Biarritz, France
Surfers in Biarritz [Image by moibtz from Pixabay]
Biarritz was formerly a popular resort for European royalty back in the 1800s but these days is a magic place for us ordinary folk. The town started life as a fishing village on the Basque coast of France until it started attracting royalty and these days is a great beach destination. The long, sandy beaches attract sun lovers and surfers alike, but the town also has other fascinating sights to see. Read on to find out more.

Best beaches of Biarritz

Beach in Biarritz
Beautiful beaches [Image by Alex S. from Pixabay]
One of the popular beaches here in the Plage Côte des Basques (Basque Coast Beach), a long and open beach known as a surfing paradise. In fact, it is said that surfing in France started on this stretch of sand.  The beach is backed with cliffs and offers beautiful views of the Pyrénées mountains and the coast of Spain. While this can get crowded in the summer months, the Port Vieux beach is smaller and feels more out of the way.

Visit the Biarritz History Museum

Town center
Town center [Image Wikimedia Commons]
For those new to Biarritz, the local museum is a fascinating visit, revealing the history of the town from its days as a tiny fishing village, its time as a royal resort and the town as it is today. Of interest to note, the museum is housed in a former Anglican church and was opened in 1986 by the Association of Friends of Old Biarritz.

For those keen on history, the porch of the museum features a memorial to the English soldiers killed in the Napoleonic wars. Most particularly, the museum’s exhibits include the battles in and near Biarritz in 1914. Meanwhile, the church’s former chancel hosts exhibits relating to the Second Empire.

Visit Le Musée de la Mer (Aquarium)

Le Musée de la Mer
Le Musée de la Mer [Image @aquariumbiarritz/Instagram]
On a lighter note, Le Musée de la Mer or Biarritz Aquarium first opened in 1933 in a beautiful art deco style building. Over the years the aquarium has been regularly renovated to allow more space for its exhibits.

The most popular part of the aquarium is the glass tunnels where visitors can walk surrounded by sharks, eagle rays and coral reef fish. Moreover, a great attraction for families is the seal feeding times.

Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz

Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz
Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz [Image by moibtz from Pixabay]
Another beautiful symbol of the town is its statue of the Virgin Mary, built in 1865 and perched on top of a rocky outcrop. Visitors can access the site via the metal bridge shown above. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views over the Bay of Biscay. Close by, a tunnel leads to an observation area, offering beautiful views of the statue itself and the surrounding beaches.

Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf

Cité de l'Océan
Virtual surfing [Image Cité de l’Océan/Facebook]
As mentioned, Biarritz is a popular surf destination. For this reason, the Cite de l’Ocean et du Surf (Museum of Ocean and Surf) is a major attraction. Among its exhibits, the museum offers a virtual reality surf experience for those who have never tried surfing.

Visitors wear a virtual reality headset which places the viewer in the shoes of a surfer. They are then challenged to keep the surfer on the board for as long as possible. Find out more in the video included here.

Take time out in beautiful Biarritz this year, visiting these attractions and more on the Basque coast of France. Find out more on the official tourism website here.

 

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