Biarritz recommendations
June 15, 2010 3:34 AM   Subscribe

Wanting recommendations for interesting places to go, things to see, restaurants, beaches in and around Biarritz, France.

We've been lucky enough to be given the use of a friend's holiday apartment in Biarritz for 10 days between 30th July and 9th August. Hiring a car for that period. Flying into and out of Bordeaux.

Particularly interested in:
*Reasonably priced seafood restaurants (all other food types good as well)
*Romantic restaurants/date-type places for our 2nd wedding anniversary.
*Some live music would be nice.
*Anything within 1 or 2 hours drive of Biarritz.
*We're already planning to go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

Many thanks in advance
posted by mairuzu to Travel & Transportation around Biarritz, France (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Are you also looking for things to do in/near Bordeaux? If so, don't miss St Emilion.

St Sebastian is a must, IMHO. If you're going to/fro Spain and France then I'd recommend driving over the Roncevaux Pass, which is not only beautiful, but also the site of some fairly interesting history and immortalised in La Chanson de Roland.

If you go that way you'd also be able to visit Pamplona, too.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:58 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: I was in San Sebastian three days ago. Definitely worth a visit, walk up Monte Urgull there is a great museum at the top. Lots of good restaurants in the Ciudad Vieja.
Bilbao is also great. Driving around is a nightmare so park on the outskirts. The local transport system is cheap, frequent and clean. Don't forget to walk along the river. If you want a good view walk across the Zubuzuri bridge and take the funicular (every 15 mins) up the hill where there are several eateries. ( You can get a wristband to renter the Guggenheim again the same day)
posted by adamvasco at 4:42 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: You absolutely need to visit the Grotte d'Isturitz, a Paleolithic painted cave about 30-40 minutes inland from Biarritz. You can grab lunch at the little Basque Café in the adjoining town, St. Martin d'Arberoue. I have no idea about the name of the café, but it's a town of ~300 people, so there aren't many.
posted by The Michael The at 6:56 AM on June 15, 2010

Re the restaurants, if you don't mind the drive, try Mugaritz (chef: Aduriz) in Basque Country, Spain. It's about 1h - 1.5h drive, if I recall. Mugaritz is considered one of the top ten restaurants in the world, but you can book lunches at reasonably short notice.

There's also Auberge Basque, near Biarritz, but it's a bit too Parisian to my taste.
posted by NekulturnY at 8:15 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: On rereading your OP: if you're interested in good atmosphere, San Sebastian (Donostia) is a lot closer to Biarritz than Bilbao, and the food and atmosphere in the pintxos bars (Basque tapas) is outstanding. Gastronomically, Basque country is one of the top regions in the world: their love of fresh produce, fish, and locally grown organic meat borders on obsession.
posted by NekulturnY at 8:18 AM on June 15, 2010

2nding NekulturnY : try the old San Sebastian, you'll enjoy great food near great spots (the beach, the port...).
posted by nicolin at 8:20 AM on June 15, 2010

I'd sleep in Biarritz and spend every day in San Sebastian, honestly. I've lived in Spain and travelled all over. This is one of the best small citites in Europe, food is incredible and far, far better than the tourist fare in "Boarritz"
posted by Wilder at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2010

Nthing San Sebastian! Also, last summer we rented scooters in Biarritz and drove along the coast for a few hours. We stopped for lunch in a little tiny basque town. It was a blast!
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 3:03 PM on June 15, 2010

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