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Nowadays, Biarritz is synonymous with luxury and recreation. It’s been that way for a long time, going back to the 19th century when it was discovered by the nobility. But before that, Biarritz had more humble origins. From the 12th century onwards, the economy of Biarritz was based around fishing and whaling.
Whaling was the principal industry of Biarritz for centuries. To this day, the town’s coat of arms features a whaleboat with a sailor brandishing a harpoon. Beginning in the 16th century, however, the number of whales in the area began to diminish, leading to the whaling industry's decline. Of course, these days, whaling is banned in France.
The town's fortunes changed in 1854 when the wife of Napoleon the Third, Empress Eugenie, built a palace on the beach. This brought Biarritz to the attention of the only people who could afford to be tourists at that time – royalty. Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and Alfonzo 13th of Spain were all visitors to the increasingly fashionable resort.
Over time, growth in the tourism industry saw Biarritz become more and more popular with visitors from Europe and further afield. Tourism really took off following the Second World War, and Biarritz has been flourishing ever since.
Fun fact: Biarritz was the first place where surfing was practiced in Europe. In 1957, a Californian friend of the film director Peter Viertel went surfing on the beaches of Biarritz and kicked off a craze that made the Basque Coast one of the most popular surf destinations in Europe.
The main reason people come to Biarritz is for its coastline. But there's more to this resort town than beaches. A grand hotel, an aquarium, and historic buildings all compete with the gorgeous beaches for the attention of the town's many tourists.
Vacation like the rich and famous at the Hotel du Palais. This was once Empress Eugenie's palace and the birthplace of Biarritz's reinvention as a holiday destination. After the fall of the 2nd Empire, it was reopened as a luxury hotel and casino. Along with royalty, the hotel has hosted celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Coco Chanel. If you can't afford a room here, you can still enjoy the extravagance with a meal at the Villa Eugenie restaurant or a drink in the sunset bar.
Try your luck at the Casino Municipal. Opened in 1929, this casino preserves its old-world charm with a dress code and highly trained croupiers. Stepping through the doors into this pleasure palace is like stepping back in time. And with a little luck, you may find your vacation pays for itself.
Take a journey under the sea at the Biarritz Aquarium. The Atlantic waters of the Basque coast are rich in marine life, and you can learn more about it at this state-of-the-art aquarium. Watch the feedings of seals and sharks and listen to the haunting sound of whale song as you explore Biarritz's ocean residents.
Go surfing on La Cote des Basques. This is where European surfing began, and there is no shortage of surf schools that can rent you a board or take you for a lesson. This wild and rugged coast gets plenty of wind and waves, so be prepared for a wet and wild time.
Visit the Rocher de la Vierge. This rocky outcrop was once a lookout for the whales the town depended on, and in the 19th century, a wooden bridge was built to connect it to the mainland. This lookout offers incredible views of Biarritz's bay and the Basque coast, and you may even catch a glimpse of the Pyrenees mountains behind the town.
Biarritz train station sits around two miles from the center of town. It connects the city with regional trains in the area, and is also served by a high-speed TGV train that makes the journey from Paris to Biarritz in around five hours.
The number 2 bus runs from the train station to the beach and brings travelers to the center of the resort town.
Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne International Airport receives flights from around Europe. There is a shuttle bus from the airport to the center of Biarritz.
Thanks to its impressive scenery, Biarritz is a great place to go for a walk. Exploring the town on foot is the best way to see the major sights and soak up the ambiance of this upscale French vacation destination. But you don't want to do that with heavy bags. Drop off your unneeded possessions at a Bounce luggage storage in Biarritz so that you can travel more easily and enjoy everything the town has to offer.
Biarritz lighthouse: Get above it all at the Biarritz lighthouse. Just to the north of the city, this lighthouse dates back to 1834 and keeps ships clear of the rocky coast. At sunset, it offers spectacular views of the ocean and the rugged beaches along the shore. If you feel up to it, you can climb the 250 steps to the top deck. Otherwise, you can enjoy the view from solid ground. Either way, you will want to bring heavy bags with you, so make sure you leave them at a luggage storage shop in Biarritz before you head out.
Anglet: For more beach activities, check out Anglet. To the north of Biarritz, the beaches in this area offer more sand than you'll find on the Basque coast. However, the waves can be just as impressive, and the surfing just as much fun. It's also a great place to fly kites or just relax and watch the crashing waves. Make your beach day more enjoyable by dropping off any heavy bags at a luggage storage service in Biarritz so that you're not carrying more than you need to.
Bayonne: Head a little inland to the charming town of Bayonne to experience the unique Basque culture. This medieval town is known for its quaint streets and Gothic cathedral, and the Musee Basque will teach you more about the history and traditions of the Basque people.
Rated 4.83/5 (7434 ratings)
This was my first time using this service and it worked seamlessly. I had no problems at all dropping my bag off at NYC Racquet Sports and it was just as easy picking it up. This location is a couple blocks from Penn Station, so it was perfect for exploring Manhattan for several hours before catching the train to Newark Airport for a late night flight. Will definitely use this service on future trips!
Really excellent service, right around the corner from A/C/E trains at Penn Station in New York. Popular and busy restaurant, too — but no one kept me waiting to drop off or pick up a bag.
This place is awesome, it’s near Macy’s and other souvenir shops, nearby food outlets too and near the Penn station in New York. This is the best place to leave your luggage for last minute shopping before you head to the airport via Penn station. Plus the Employees are very courteous and kind
The price for luggage storage in Biarritz is just €5/bag for the entire day.
There are multiple locations all around Biarritz which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Rocher de la vierge, Bayonne Cathedral, Château d'Ilbarritz and many other areas.
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $10,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Biarritz.
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Biarritz. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Biarritz where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $10,000 Bounce Gurantee.
The most popular restaurants to visit are Flunch, Le Clos Basque, and Le Brouillarta. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Biarritz are Hôtel du Palais, Ibis Bar rendez-vous, and Eskualduna.
Biarritz offers several scenic parks including Jardin Public Natacha, Parc écologique Izadia, and Square Marcel Campagne.
You can find local tourist information at Office de Tourisme et de congrés de Biarritz, Office de Tourisme Pays Basque, and Anglet Tourisme.
If you're looking for a good museum in Biarritz, we recommend Arnaga, Musée du Château d'Arcangues, and Musée de la Mer. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Biarritz's most popular historical attractions including Bayonne Cathedral, Château d'Ilbarritz, or Château-Observatoire Abbadia and monuments like La Maison Moulis, Ama Lur, or Paroisse St Paul du Seignanx. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Fuerte de Ametzagaña, Château de Bellocq, or Château de Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle.