Beaches of the French Basque Country

Just a 30-minute drive from Akelarre, the French Basque Country is known for the uniqueness of its small towns. From stately cities like Biarritz, where the French jet-setters of the past spent their summers in palaces and villas in front of the sea; to quaint coastal towns whose wood structures are painted in the traditional white with red accents so characteristic of the area.

Even though these places offer year-round tourism, the summer is, without doubt, the best time of year since, apart from strolling through the streets and enjoying the gastronomy of its many cafés, one can enjoy the coastline in its most pleasant conditions. Of the many beautiful beaches of the French Basque Country, we’ve hand-picked some of our favorites:

San Juan de Luz
The beach town of San Juan de Luz stands out for its wooden houses and its half-moon shaped bay. Its architecture, humble fishing port and delicious cafes deserve a visit. The wide, protected beach is the perfect place to enjoy a swim while taking in the views of the Cantabric Sea.

Hendaya Beach
With 3km of fine sand, Hendaya’s beach is the largest on the Basque Coast. Its calm waters, thanks to the protection of the Cape of Higuer and the Santa Ana Point, make it one of the safest of the French Basque coastline. Its wideness, unique views of “the twins”, oceanfront boardwalk and surrounding elegant houses, make this beach one of the best options for enjoying the coast in the summer.

The coastal municipality of Biarritz is known for its beaches, which are in surrounded by nature and in pristine condition.

Le Port Vieux Beach
This small cove near the center of Biarritz offers postcard-worthy views. With golden sand, protected by a rocky cliff which blocks wind and waves, clear waters and surrounding nature make this an ideal setting for a day on the French Basque coastline.

Côte des Basques
Considered the “heart of surf culture in Europe”, this picturesque bay offers unique views of rolling waters and sharp surrounding cliffs. At low tide one can walk along the sand, sit and watch the waves break or have a refreshing swim in the waters of the Gulf of Biscay.

Milady Beach
Yet another beach with chilly waters and strong waves, known as a popular surf spot. However, in the summer the swell tends to be calmer, offering optimal conditions for a swim. Surrounded by nature, this semi-urban beach is ideal for those looking for a relaxing day at the beach with a mountainous backdrop.

Beaches of the French Basque Country