Monday, November 2, 2009

Biarritz, France

Biarritz is a seaside resort in the Basque region on the French side of the border across from Spain. Once a popular holiday destination among the affluent French, Biarritz today attracts just about anyone.

So what's there to do in Biarritz? Surfing has got to be the list topper as the coastal town boasts of world class beaches for all sorts of surfing activities. This is where some of Europe’s biggest surfing events are held every year.

Above: After summer, the beach is noticeably very much less crowded.

Apart from hitting the beaches, other interesting things to do include:
* Playing Golf. There are 10 golf courses concentrated in Biarritz itself and Golf de Biarritz le Phare (a scenic yet challenging par 69, 18 holes course stretched over a distance of 5402m) is particularly reputable and recommended.
* Indulging in a Thalassotherapy session at any spa in some of the finest hotels in Biarritz and experience the beauty benefits of natural marine products.
* Visiting the Casino Barrière de Biarritz located just along the main beach front, la Grande Plage, facing the ocean.
* Visiting the Museums. The interesting ones include the Museum of the Sea (which houses several aquariums), the Historical Museum of Biarritz, the Asiatica Museum and the Chocolate Museum.

If none of the above is your cup of tea, stick to shopping and eating then!

For some high-end shopping, check out place Clemenceau. If you'd rather leave all boutique shopping to be done in Paris, then check out the other smaller shops around rue Gambetta, rue Mazagran, ave. Victor-Hugo, ave. Edouard-VII, ave. du Maréchal-Foch and ave. de Verdun. You can find all sorts of souvenirs, antiques, jewellery, linen and of course, the traditional espadrilles!

Also, you'll be able to find a variety of restaurants that'll tickle your fancy. Go for their typical Basque cuisine (which isn't limited to just seafood) - a fusion of both Spanish and French influences.

Above: The 73m tall lighthouse 'Le Phare' in the distance.

Above: On the right is the rocky plateau de l'Atalaye which has a tunnel dug through it leading to an esplanade. A footbridge then stretches out from the esplanade to the sea, connecting to a rocky islet on top of which a statue of the Virgin stands. Hence it is aptly named Rocher de la Vierge (Rock of the Virgin).

Above: An old hotel set in a location with superb ocean views.

Looking out to a beautiful view from the Atlantic Coast.

Above: A quaint little shophouse restaurant.

If you're one with a sweet tooth, you'll love the fact that there're quite a number of chocolatiers around town like Henriet and Pariès.

I was enticed by the sleek, modern decor of one such chocolate boutique called "Maison Adam" (don't be fooled by their retro looking website!), so I went in to check it out. What an interesting discovery. There were lots of tiny gourmet chocolates, all nicely packaged in clear boxes tied with lime green ribbons, assorted flavour sweets & nougats, individually wrapped decadent fruit cakes...THEN, something caught my eye...

Right at the back end of the store, I saw several stacked, glorious, golden, mountains of macaroons…oooh lalaaaa...

...and they seem to be beckoning me to come closer...

I have a love-hate relationship with macaroons. I love how they always look so colourful and tempting, but hate it when they looked better than they tasted. This time however, it was the opposite. These from Maison Adam were like the ugly ducklings of macaroons. They come in only one colour (almond flavour), and they would look shabby next to those perfectly shaped Ladurée multi-flavoured macaroons. However, take one bite and you’d be blown away.

Don’t believe me though, go try it for yourself!


  1. Beautifully captured! Great end/change of season images. Looks like a FUN road trip with interesting, cozy spots. OMG, the macaroons look sinfully delicious ;-) Now if those things could just roll our way...

    Safe travels,

  2. Hi again Myrna, thanks! Yes the whole trip was fun despite rain clouds following us everywhere :) And those macaroons..were really yummy..wish I could find similar ones nearer home...


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