Biarritz History

The coastal resort Biarritz is located in the region Aquitaine in France. In medieval times the seaport of 26,000 inhabitants was a famous place for whaling. Its development from a small fishing village to one of the most popular seaside resorts on the Atlantic coast was the work of Napoleon III who built a summer residence for his wife in Biarritz in 1854. Since then, numerous crowned heads were visiting the town, among others the Empress “Sissi” of Austria. Many of the buildings in the town bear witness to its former glory, for example the erstwhile residence of the Empress Eugénie which serves as a hotel now.

Holiday in Biarritz
Today Biarritz is a hotspot for surfing, but also a popular destination for business travel. A favoured place to meet for a coffee and enjoy the lively atmosphere is the Place Georges-Clémenceau. The best view of the Atlantic offers a walk along the seafront where you can also find the symbol of Biarritz, a 73-meter-high lighthouse. Everyone looking for a romantic location should go to the idyllic fishing harbour. This is also a good departure point to walk to the nearby reef Rocher de la Vierge which is accessible via a bridge built by Gustave Eiffel, who has also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In the aquarium of Biarritz you can explore the habitants of the oceans.

Vacation Rentals and Holiday Homes in Biarritz

Biarritz Sights

Rocher de la Vierge
The virgin rock Rocher de la Vierge is a reef on the French Atlantic coast. On its top you find the statue of Madonna and Christ, built in 1864, which protects the fishermen and shows them the right way. Napoleon III instructed the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel to build a bridge that connects the rock to the mainland. Take some time for a relaxing walk and enjoy the atmosphere and the sea air.

Lighthouse of Biarritz
Far away from the coast the brilliant white lighthouse of Biarritz, built in 1834, can still be seen. Take the 248 steps up to the 73-meter-high platform where you can enjoy a stunning view of the back country and the coast of the Cap Hainsart that separates the sandy beaches of Departement Les Landes and the stone beaches of the Basque region.

Musée de la mér - Aquarium of Biarritz
On 6 floors you can discover a stunning collection of sea dwellers at the aquarium in Biarritz. Already on the first level the visitors can look forward to 20 pools which focus on the Bay of Biscay. Have a first experience with sea turtles, sea lions, rays and shoals. Highlight of the aquarium is the open-air sea lion terrace from where you can observe the majestic animals. The aquarium is a great adventure for the whole family, not only on rainy days.

Musée Bonnat
The Musée Bonnat is an art museum in the French town of Bayonne, built in 1901. The local painter Léon Bonnat handed his extensive collection of drawings to the town. In the museum you can marvel at the most important exhibition of French and British paintings, containing of 6,500 pieces. Amongst others you find pieces of famous artists like Degas, Rembrandt, Duerer or Goya.

Jardin botanique littoral Paul Jovet – Botanical Garden Paul Jovet
The Botanical Garden Paul Jovet is located in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It is based on its eponym Paul Jovet who worked for the national museum of natural history in Biarritz. After the first groundbreaking in 1901 it took 17 years to finish the construction work and open the garden. One highlight is the location of the garden, only 50 meters from the Atlantic on a rocky cliff. You can mainly find local plants which grow along the Atlantic coast. Furthermore you can discover a field with economic plants, a magnolia garden and a biotope with wild plants from 5 different continents.

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