Feel the hot wind of the holidays getting up? Then how about a trip to Basque country - to Biarritz? Famed among surfers all over the world, Biarritz has authenticity, beach scenery, street life, great culture (food, local festivals) and leisure sports, all under the sun ... and it’s free!
Like great scenery? Climb to the top of the Rocher de la Vierge de Biarritz and take in the view from Bayonne port, down the long beaches of Anglet to Spain. If you wish to walk while taking in the view, take the coastal path: 33 miles (54 km) from Bidart to San Sebastian, at your own pace.
For another wonderful view, climb to the top of Biarritz’s phare; 248 steps for your pleasure! Under 3s go free, adults €2.50.
A little further on is something you cannot leave without doing: climb the Rhune. You can see the whole coastline from its 2969 ft (905 m) high peak.
If you’re looking for local products, pop along to the Halles de Biarritz, open every morning. And if it tickles your fancy, check out the night-time markets, where crafts, regional products and more will liven up your evening.
Into sports? The Basque country has some of its own. Heard of Force Basque? Don’t miss this show if you’re in Basque country. Teams challenge each other in games of strength and skill. Also watch Basque pelote matches played against special walls in Biarritz. Dates can be obtained from the Biarritz Tourist Office.
Have a go at the chemins de la forme. You get to see Biarritz from a different angle, via totally free urban sport routes. Just sign up and choose a route or routes. You can even join a group led by a trainer! A great way to burn off the calories of the day before.
For the European capital of surf, the ocean is a priority: learn how to use it, but also preserve it. In partnership with the town, Surfrider Europe Foundation organises regular beach cleaning events through its Ocean Initiatives. Why not join in? It’s free and it helps the planet. Check out the programme!