Biarritz is a famous luxurious sea resort located on the Golfe de Gascogne (Bay of Biscay), which spreads from Brest to the Spanish border on the Atlantic coast. Biarritz is one of the most prestigious sea resorts on the Atlantic Coast, and is also a worldwide famous spot for surfers. The city is home to 26,690 inhabitants, called the Biarrots (or Miarriztar in Basque), and with Anglet and Bayonne it forms the BAB entity.
Biarritz, as the surrounding towns and villages has an uncertain culture, mixed between the Basque culture and the Occitan one. Historically, the area belongs to the Occitania; however, after the creation of the Pyrenees Atlantiques department (after the Revolution in 1790), both Bearn and Basque Country were merged in one department, and the Basque culture has taken over the Occitan one. Nowadays the Occitan language is not spoken any longer in the area, and most of people even ignore the genuine origin of the city.
Located only 18 kilometres (11 miles) away from Spain, Biarritz is perfect for a weekend trip in the Basque region.
Due to its perfect location on the Atlantic coast, close to the Pyrenees and to Spain, housing prices in Biarritz are incredibly high. The average price for a property to buy in Biarritz is €4,370/sq m. Biarritz is one of the French towns where housing prices are the highest: it is the 118th most expensive out of 1,000.
Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz areas are amongst the most dynamic ones within the Aquitaine region in terms of property market. But if we compare housing prices in these 3 towns, we notice that estate in Biarritz is much more expensive than in its neighbouring areas. Buying an old apartment there costs about €4,000/sq m against 3,440/sq m in Anglet and €2,640/sq m in Bayonne.
Out of the 22,240 houses in Biarritz, only 30% are second homes – which is quite surprising as properties along the Atlantic coastline are very sought-after. But the number of holiday homes in Biarritz is more and more increasing along with the town’s popularity.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Dordogne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Aquitaine Property Prices.
Biarritz has many assets to be popular amongst tourists and locals: large beaches of fine sand, festivals, outdoor activities - you just can not help being seduced by this town!
Beautiful beaches: unlike in the Landes department, beaches on the Basque coast are made of cliffs, rocks and also white sand, which gives more personality to the scenery. In Biarritz, visitors can choose between six different beaches according to what they are looking for: Miramar beach is a peaceful beach forbidden for surfers; La Grande plage (the large beach) is located at the heart of the city and is one of the largest beaches; Le Port Vieux (Old Harbour) is perfect for families with kids; La Cote des Basques is the perfect place for surfers and is the stage of many surf contests; Marbella beach is next to the Basque coast and is also a surf place; and finally the Milady beach is a busy beach where most of Biarrots go, it is ideal for families with kids.
Outdoor activities: surfing is the most common outdoor activity of course, as Biarritz is renowned for its annual surf festival. Why not take surf lessons at the école du surf (surfing club) and test the immense waves of the Atlantic Ocean? There are also 2 golf courses nearby. The Rugby club is one of the best ones in France and games of the Biarritz Olympique are particularly renowned for the good atmosphere from supporters. The pelote basque is another sport practised in the city. It is a traditional basque court sport played with a ball using one’s hand, a racket, a wooden bat, or basket propulsion against a wall.
Museums: everybody may be satisfied by Biarritz’s museums - families will enjoy the musée de la Mer (Sea Museum) and its sharks and turtles, the musée du Chocolat will be very popular amongst food lovers (tasting sessions) and the musée Historique de Biarritz (Biarritz’s historical museum) amongst history amateurs. The Asiatica museum is located at the heart of the city and is one of the five largest eastern art museums in Europe. There are over than 1,000 master pieces from Prehistory until today and coming from India, Nepal, Tibet and China.
Events & festivals: given the proximity of the town to Spain, Biarritz hosts some Spanish festivals, as well as French and Basque ones. Biarritz Surf Festival (in July) is the major one, with people coming from all over the world to attend the 1st surf event in Europe. The artistic street festival (in May) and fireworks evenings held during summer on the main beach are also worth a trip!
Easy access: Biarritz is easily accessible from Paris by TGV high-speed train and by air thanks to its airport – Aéroport de Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne – located 4 km away from the town. The road network is also well-developed, but driving to Biarritz from Paris or England is not the best solution as it may take you at least 8 hours.
Architecture in Biarritz and its surroundings is various. You will definitely find many Basque houses but also art deco villas for instance.
Basques houses: there are plenty of gabled basque houses in Biarritz and its surroundings. Rectangular size, huge rooms and very large walls are some of the features of these typical houses full of character.
Typical harbour houses: located around the port, these small houses’ features are colourful doors and shutters, white-painted walls and red-tiled roof. The name of the house is sometimes written on a wood sign (in the Basque language) on top of the door or windows.
Bearnaise houses: typical of the Bearn region, these houses are made of stone, pebbles, tile and slate. We can find this kind of architecture in the inland more than on the coastline.
Click here for more info about the Architecture of Aquitaine.
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