Located on the French Basque coast, 15 km to the south of Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz is a renowned seaside resort as well as a traditional fishing port. This town is famous for many reasons: its long sandy beaches, its old architecture and of course its gastronomy and art de vivre. Being the last major French town before the Spanish border, you will be able to visit St Jean de Luz’s surroundings as well as San Sebastian town in the neighbouring country.
Before being a renowned resort, St Jean de Luz got its wealth from the activity of its harbour, which was really well ranked in the French ports. During the 17th century, St Jean de Luz was the second major town of Labourd (one of the 7 former provinces of the French Basque country) after Bayonne.
St Jean de Luz is a jewel in the French Basque country. It is appreciated by many French people and foreigners for the rhythm of its fishing harbour, the quietness of its bay and its sandy beaches. The charming Grande Plage (largest beach) - protected from the Atlantic ocean by 3 huge sea walls - is the perfect place for family-bathing. Everybody can be satisfied in this town since there are also other beaches - wilder than the Grande Plage - which are perfectly suited to the practise of windsurf. St Jean de Luz’s architecture is wonderful with several monuments from the 14th and 15th centuries or later. This lively cosmopolitan town is awaiting your visit!
Since 2002, housing prices in the Pyrenees Atlantiques department have been increasing. They are even slightly superior to the national average.
With an average price of €4,640 / square metre for a property to buy, St Jean de Luz gets the 79th place out of the 1000 most expensive French towns in terms of property prices. Buying a studio flat there costs between €3,700 and €5,200 / square metre. Out of the 11,400 properties in St Jean de Luz, more than 70% are apartments, which is a significant number.
With about 13,250 inhabitants, St Jean de Luz is a dynamic town, especially during summer with a sustained tourist activity. A preserved architecture, relaxed way of life and beautiful surroundings explain the increasing popularity of St Jean de Luz. Buying a property in this town is a good idea if you want to enjoy its pleasant life during summer months and go to the Pyrenees for skiing delights during winter.
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.
St Jean de Luz’s assets are not only its beaches, even if that is the main reason why the town is so popular amongst holiday makers. Let’s discover some other centres of interest of one of the busiest coastal resorts in France!
A lively town: you will definitely not get bored in this great cosmopolitan town! You can go for a walk in the shopping street or the covered market, eat in one of the best seafood restaurants on the Basque coast, have a drink in one of the numerous bars or just relax at a terrace in the main square and enjoy a Basque Choir (every Sunday morning).
Eglise Saint Jean Baptiste: this monument is the largest and the most famous Basque church. Its architecture is just amazing: thick walls, a square bell tower topped by an octagonal steeple, lateral chapels, a large chancel, a massive main portal, etc. King Louis XIV of France married the Spanish heir to the throne Marie-Teresa of Austria in this 16th century Basque church in 1660.
L’écomusée: let’s discover the Basque culture and traditions in St Jean de Luz’s eco-museum. Located in a typical farmhouse of the Basque country, you will find in this museum produce done by locals, but also essential components of the Basque culture such as traditional singing and music, dances, the language, gastronomy, sport in particular the Basque pelota, etc. The eco-museum, the approach of which is authentic, is worth a visit.
Botanical garden: between ocean and mountain, dominating the Archilua cliffs, the 2.5 ha botanical garden is a haven of peace. Created by the French botanist Paul Jovet, it has an abundance of regional flora and seacoast’s natural plants. Plants from the 5 continents and horticultural plants provide a uniquely rich collection. Let’s enter in a world where respect for nature is the expected behaviour.
Thalassotherapy: if you are looking for relaxing holidays, then you will enjoy staying at St Jean de Luz thalassotherapy centre. Discover the sea based spa therapy: bathing in thermal spa waters, underwater massage, aquagym classes, treatments with salt water, seaweeds and algae, etc. More than a peaceful environment, thalassotherapy can also cure many diseases (splitting headache, sprained ankles, rheumatism, etc.).
Festivals: the choice of events in St Jean de Luz is wide. Amongst others, there are the Andalou festival (May), the Feast of Saint-Jean (June), the Cesta-Punta internationals Basque pelota (from June to August), the Music festival on the Basque coast (September, 2 weeks long) and the international festival of young film-makers (October).
St Jean de Luz’s architecture is great and various. Historically speaking, there are French King Louis XIV’s house and Marie-Teresa of Austria’s one. But there are also other interesting architecture styles.
Neo-Basque houses: if you walk along the beach, you will see many charming houses fitted with footbridges, which give direct access to the beach. The architecture of these houses is neo-Basque with the classic white walls, red shutters, doors, windows and balconies, tiled roofs and coloured-wooden beams.
Luxurious villas: many villas were built for the 17th and 18th centuries for upper-class-persons, ship owners and merchants of the town. You can find such imposing villas in rue Mazarin (Mazarin street), rue Gambetta (Gambetta street), Place Louis XIV (Louis XIV square) and quai de l’infante (Marie-Teresa of Austria’s quay).
Click here for more info about the Architecture of Aquitaine.
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