Biarritz is an incredible little city in the Basque Country in France. You will not only fall in love with the beauty of this place but also with basque culture (surfing and chilled vibes guaranted !). There are many places you should not miss if you come to visit the Bask Country : Guéthary, Bayonne, Saint Jean de Luz, Espelette or La Rhune are all must-see places. But you can’t leave this region without discovering all the amazing things to do in Biarritz ! I share with you all my favourite spots to experience the city like a local. A perfect itinerary mixing activities and chilling times.
Visit the Halles de Biarritz and taste the gastronomy of the South West region
Located in the city centre, Les Halles de Biarritz is a great place to start your visit of the city of Biarritz and start tasting the local specialities. You will only find producers who are passionate about their products and eager to share them with you!
The Halles are open every day from 7.30am to 2pm and from 6pm to 9pm from 12 July to 23 August.
Have lunch in one of Biarritz’s many great restaurants
You will quickly realise that in the south-west we love good food and obviously, good products. This can be seen quite easily on our plates but also when walking through the streets of Biarritz. So after having worked up an appetite at the Halles de Biarritz, I invite you to discover one of the excellent restaurants in the town. There are very few “touristy” restaurants and it is difficult to be disappointed. Therefore, you are unlikely to find a bad address, but I will share with you my favourite addresses.
Among my favourites for brunch or lunch, I recommend you to look at the menus of Nuts, Nicolo’ My Kitchen Way, Milwaukee Café (these 3 are in the same street), La Cantine, Xuxu for vegan cuisine, Cibo or Saline Ceviche Bar. There are many others but these are still in my top 10 best restaurants in Biarritz.
Stroll from the Grande Plage to the Côte des Basques
The other way around works too! Depending on where you choose to have your lunch, start exploring the coastline from the closest place to where you are. Either the Grande Plage or the Côte des Basques. Allow 30/45 minutes for this digestive stroll. Visiting Biarritz on foot is, in my opinion, the best way to sense the atmosphere of the city.
You will see that there are really different atmospheres from one place to another. The Grande Plage is still quite touristy but beautiful with the view of the lighthouse and the Casino overlooking the beach. The Vieux Port has kept all its charm and the Bask Country spirit is still really alive with its small fishing boats and its colourful houses. From the Rocher de la Vierge you can admire the view stretching to the Landes beaches on the right and Hendaye and Spain on the left. Finally, the Côte des Basques is both an undeniable surfing spot (for the quality of the waves as well as the view) and also a trendy place to have a drink while watching the surfers.
Discover the area by electric bike
If you don’t feel like walking, there is also the option of cycling. Biarritz is quite hilly, so you will find many shops offering electric bike rentals like Volta Edison for example. You can do the same walk from the Grande Plage to the Côte des Basques by bike. Why not even go as far as the Milady beach to get out of the city a bit?
The distances are quite short in the area. To reach La Milady from the Grande Plage, for example, it will only take you about fifteen minutes.
Surf in La Côte des Basques
How can you visit Biarritz without a surf session? At the bottom of the Côte des Basques, you will find many surf schools offering surf lessons but also equipment rental for those who do not need to take lessons. Any surfing pros out there?
Depending on the season and time of day, the waves will be more or less suited to your level but the instructors will be there to guide you to have the best experience! Especially if it’s your first time.
Enjoy a little swim at the Port Vieux beach
For those who prefer to laze around, I suggest the Vieux Port beach, my favourite beach in Biarritz. It is very small and can get crowded if you visit Biarritz in the middle of summer but what a pleasure to swim in this small bay. You can then either stay here and have an aperitif at one of the addresses suggested below or go to the Côte des Basques for a drink there.
Have a drink with an ocean and sunset view
If the weather is good, I encourage you to enjoy the ocean and sunset view from one of the trendy bars on the coast.
Another place where I love to have a drink at the end of the day for the view and the atmosphere is again at the Côte des Basques. That is, at Carlos, which is located at the bottom of the stairs, next to the surf schools. They offer excellent cocktails and various tapas. It is also a restaurant if you want to dine there. I have never eaten there but the menu looks delicious.
Or at the Etxola Bibi, this time at the top of the stairs, this little guinguette has a breathtaking view over the ocean. Another of my favourites and a must in the evening if you visit Biarritz. Again, a great atmosphere with wooden tables and benches next to the petanque courts but also tables with a perfect view to admire the sunset. As for snacks, there are boards to share with local products such as the famous Bayonne ham or ewe’s milk cheese. There are also other vegetarian options.
Stop for an ice cream at Maison Dezamy
Let’s finish this top 8 must-do’s to visit Biarritz with a sweet note. It’s not an article about “where to eat in Biarritz” but it’s just like that because, as I said at the beginning of this article, we really like to eat in the south west!
So to finish, I strongly recommend that you stop at Maison Dezamy to taste the best ice creams in Biarritz. If you start your day at Les Halles, Maison Dezamy is right next door.
One last word before I end this article, good luck choosing just one flavor! Cremino is my favourite.
As usual, if you have Pinterest I invite you to save this article to find it easily! 🎯
Those are the top things to do in Biarritz, if you stay longer, please visit the surrounding cities and Les Landes, you will love it too. Feel free to write me in the comments or on social media if you want any additional tips !