Biarritz, located in the French Basque country, was for several decades, at the end of the 19th century, the most fashionable resort in Europe. Nowadays that style still survives, but in a more laid-back, pleasant way that is enjoyable for anyone.
In the past decade or so there has been a refurbishment of the hotels and main buildings in Biarritz. One of these is the Casino Municipal, that dominates the Grande Plage or main beach; where many say the only perfect waves on the Atlantic are to be had, thus accounting for the numerous surfers that travel to here yearly.
The best place in Biarritz for strolling and people-watching is the Rocher de la Vierge in the Port-Vieux or Old Port. Not far from here is the Musee de la Mer that contains an aquarium dedicated to marine life in the Bay of Biscay. Also nearby is the famous Musee du Chocolat (Chocolate Museum).
Very closeby is Bayonne, an attractive and lively town. Divided into two main areas: Grand Bayonne and Petit Bayonne. The city’s landmark and symbol is the 12th century Cathedral Sainte Marie, one of the few examples of gothic style in the south-west of France. Just behind the Cathedral is the Chateau-Vieux, fortress of the city.
Suggested day trips to:
San Sebastian or Donostia as it is known in the Basque language is gloriously situated around a shell-shaped bay, called Bahia de la Concha, protected from the Atlantic by a wooded islet, the Isla de Santa Clara. San Sebastian is considered the most elegant and fashionable Spanish seaside resort, as it became a popular resort in the late 19th century with the Spanish aristocracy.
Its old town, Parte Vieja, is fascinating, although none of the buildings predate 1813, when it was reconstructed after a devastating fire. This area is known for being the home of pintxos or Basque tapas, without doubt the very best in Spain.
La Concha beach and promenade is the most popular place in town for relaxing, strolling and people watching. Beyond the beach stands one of the greatest monuments of modern Spanish sculpture: Eduardo Chillida’s Peine de los Vientos (Comb of the Winds). Also of note in the city are the 19th century Ayuntamiento (town hall) and the Museo San Telmo.
Bilbao, founded 700 years ago, is a classic European city in every respect. Uncluttered and easily explored on foot, its wide open boulevards feature interesting public buildings, museums, parks and of course the titanium clad Guggenheim Museum. A delightful riverside stroll will take you to the Old Quarter where Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassic and Modernist buildings house innovative shops and traditional Basque restaurants and bars. Bilbao is also a friendly, open city where visitors are welcomed and made to feel at home.
The Guggenheim Museum has been acknowledged as one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century and there are many other modern sights in Bilbao worth seeing including the white Zubi Zuri bridge designed by Calatrava and the award winning metro designed by Norman Foster.
See also the Museum of Fine Arts located within the pretty, fountain-filled Doña Casilda park and enjoy the many shops and cafés along Gran Vía.
Founded in 75 BC, the Capital of Navarra, sits on a strategic fertile plain, and has been given the nickname of the “Gateway of Spain”. Pamplona is internationally famous because of it´s San Fermin Festivities, the running of the bulls held every July (6th – 14th), that attracts tourist from all over the world. In the historic Casco viejo almost everything remains intact beginning with Plaza del Castillo, which is the heart of the city. On the north side of it, is the 14th - 15th century Gothic Cathedral, with a neo-classical façade. In this building the Kings of Navarre were crown before the Romanesque statue of Santa Maria La Real. Also remarkable is the Ciudadela, on the south side of the city, this star-shaped construction was built on the orders of Philip II and now has a green park inside.
If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.
Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on to insert it into your itinerary.Not available