St Jean de Luz: Basque Country and Atlantic Ocean

At the southern tip of the Basque coast, a few kilometres from Spain, Saint-Jean-de-Luz enjoys a privileged location in the Nivelle valley in the Pyrénées Atlantiques department within 20 km of the seaside resort of Biarritz. Boasting 7.5 kilometres of coastline, the famous seaside resort is the ideal destination for those seeking relaxation in an exceptional setting. Rich city pampered at all times by the kings of France, it hosted the wedding of Louis XIV and the Infante Maria Theresa of Austria. It is also famous for its baths and therapeutic virtues of seawater and as many maharajas as Grand Dukes of Russia came to visit...

The bay of Saint Jean de Luz

The bay of Saint Jean de Luz

The port of St Jean de Luz from Ciboure

The port of St Jean de Luz from Ciboure

What to see in Saint Jean de Luz

Grande Beach and the Pergola

Grande Beach and the Pergola on the left

The city has a beautiful promenade along the sea, which starts from boulevard Thiers and continues to the port. The Pergola, a shopping gallery from which one can look on the beach, is a stylish stroll. Every morning, feel free to go around the Halles Centrales that blend tradition and modernity. A good way to explore local products, including cold meats and the famous Bayonne ham, but also Basque cakes and macaroons which recipe has nothing to do with the best known pastry cream. One can also savour much-appreciated grilled sardines! One tip, avoid taking the car, the market is very popular!

House of Louis XIV in St Jean de Luz

House of Louis XIV - Photo taken in winter

Strolling through the city, one will pass House Esquerrena, the oldest of the city on the list of historic monuments and which is located rue de la République or on Louis XIV square where the house of the famous sovereign stands, which can be visited all year round. The gallery offers a lovely view of the nearby town of Ciboure as well as of the Pyrenees. Do not forget to admire the Basque architecture and colours, deep red and pine green, the woodwork on the facades.

St Jean de Luz on the seaside

Grande plage of St Jean de Luz in the center

Grande Beach in the center of St Jean de Luz with its typical houses

The 25 kilometres of coastal path also passes through Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It connects Hendaye and Bidart via Urrugne, Guéthary ... A good way to find more discreet and beautiful beaches and watch surfers. However, the city has five beaches for all profiles of holidaymakers! Grande Beach is the best known and particularly popular with families since there are three dikes protecting it from the waves. Four clubs allow many introductions to beach sports, windsurfing, kite surfing… Erromardie Beach alternates sand and pebbles like that of Mayarco. Both are close to nearby campsites. If one wants to try surfing, one must go to the beaches of Lafiténia and Cenitz, a paradise for those who wants to practice this sport!

What to visit around St Jean de Luz

All around, the village of Sare, Ascain, Espelette and Aïnhoa, lost in the Basque countryside, are small havens of peace. Why not go for a ride to the other side of the border, to San Sebastian and Hondarribia to party or Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim Museum, which is exciting!

Saint-Jean-de-Luz is an ideal destination that will delight all travellers!

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