A Bargain Beach Vacation in Biarritz, France

Posted February 1, 2010 by Jamie Moore

Biarritz In summer, beach bums on a budget and ultra-chic jet-setters alike flood the gorgeous beaches of Biarritz, one of Europe's best surf spots. In this little town in southwestern France, you'll find people eating three-course meals or dropping big bucks at exclusive shops just steps from the sand. But you don't have to spend a fortune to feel fabulous here. Celebrate frugality with a stay at an 18th-century home, a taste of Basque culture at a chocolaterie, and a stroll on the seafront's promenade.

Grand Plage Promenade
: Thanks to a major revamp from the city, the seafront now spreads out to a gorgeous and foot-friendly downtown. Terraced gardens and pathways lead from the city's shops and cafes to the Grande Plage, Biarritz's most popular beach. So take in the sea air mingled with the scent of magnolias and hydrangeas while you listen to the rhythm of your flip-flops and forget that you're not staying forever.

Maison Paries
: When you work up an appetite from all that sunbathing, head a few blocks from the beach to this 1894 gastronomie/chocolaterie for a decadent delicacy. The mouchous (biscuits) and kanougas (chocolate toffees) tempt even the most dedicated dieter, and the gateaux Basques (Basque cakes) are renowned well beyond the Basque region. Try one with soft almond cream filling for €11 (about $15; see XE.com for current exchange rates).

Hotel Alcyon
: This historic 18th-century home-cum-hotel, in the middle of all the action, is an absolute find. From here you can easily walk to the beach, casino, restaurants, bars, and shops. Or retreat in one of the 15 comfortable, modern rooms with LCD televisions and grand arched windows that stretch taller than you. Room rates begin at only €85, or $118.

You can use our tool to compare airfares to Biarritz from multiple travel providers.

(Photo:iStockPhoto.com/Jean-Yves Benedeyt)

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Reader Comments

Sounds like an affordable beach getaway. I'm bookmarking your blog :~)

Posted on September 02, 2010 at 07:41 PM by Anonymous

Thanks for the heads-up, Jamie! This has made my plans to visit France sound a bit more feasible. Hahaha! I want to believe what you said about not having to spend my whole savings account to have a blast in that beautiful country, but I guess I should just prepare for the unexpected as well. I wouldn't want to leave France unsatisfied.

Posted on April 18, 2011 at 01:00 AM by Sofia Britts

Hotel Alcyon is a grand hotel. I saw the place on a travel show. I would love to visit there.

Posted on November 01, 2011 at 11:00 PM by tours in spain

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