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The town of Biarritz and the surrounding region are ideal for a short break, with the town itself a pleasure to explore, the chance to stroll along the beach, and lots of interesting places nearby to visit.

Low price flights are also often available to get here from the UK, so it is quite easy and cheap to plan your off-season break.

Biarritz town

Biarritz and CasinoMany resorts that were well established in the 19th century have fallen into a slow decline, but I'm pleased to say this isn't the case with Biarritz.

The town centre certainly still contains a great deal of 19th century architecture, and some of the buildings are perhaps a little jaded, but the overall impression is of a vibrant and modern town that is a pleasure to explore.

Of course, if you plan a long weekend here in February the beach is less likely to be the main focus of your visit than if you visit in August, but even when the sea is a bit chilly the beach and seafront are very pleasant for a walk - indeed the beautiful coast walk through the town is perhaps more exciting in mid-winter when the waves are a bit choppy!

As well as the beach you will want to explore the town centre admiring the ornate 19th century buildings, visit the marina and the cottages in the Fishermen's port, and if you are feeling lucky you might like to visit the long established casino on the sea front. Even if you are not a gambler it is a nice place to go for your aperitifs...

 
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Outside the town

Assuming that you want to pack as much as possible into your long weekend it is a good idea to hire a car and spend a day or two exploring. The most popular options for a day out are:

Travel east into the foothills of the Pyrenees

If I only had one day free to explore the region around Biarritz this would be my preferred choice.

The basque region of the Pyrenees here has very attractive scenery and also several very picturesque small villages with many houses decorated with the traditional red and green shutters that are so distinctive here.

We suggest a route that passes east from Biarritz through the village of Ascain, then Sare and Ainhoa, both of which are listed among the most beautiful villages in France, then if time permits continue on to Espelette and Itxassou, also very traditional basque villages.

The main reason that time might not allow is if you get sidetracked by the small tourist train that runs up the La Rhune mountain - if the weather is good and the skies are clear this is an excellent way to pass the time and see more of the region than you would from your car, less attractive if it's raining when you visit!

p>EspeletteTravel south to the border with Spain

Another nice day from Biarritz follows the coast south to the border with Spain - and perhaps a little way beyond.

Your first stop should be the quiet resort of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is only a few kilometres to the south which provides an interesting contrast while also having some attractive 19th century architecture.

The other side of the harbour from here is Ciboure, even quieter and centred around its small harbour where you can see houses once owned by Maurice Ravel and Henri Matisse.

Continue to follow the coast southwards and the last town you reach before the Spanish border is Hendaye, a substantial town with a large beach, but we suggest that instead of stopping here you continue across the Spanish border.

Here you can visit visit Hondarribia, a very attractive town with a large fortified centre and very impressive medieval streets and buildings.

Travel information

- There is a good selection of hotels available in the town centre from quite basic accommodation to expensive luxury hotel suites so there is no problem staying somewhere centrally situated - see Biarritz hotels for a wide choice. If you are not travelling on a budget and fancy a weekend of being pampered the Hotel du Palais will be ideal - but its certainly not the cheapest hotel in the town!

- If you are staying more than one day we would recommend you hire a car if possible when visiting Biarritz. See our car hire section to get quotes.

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