Two daring and direct sparrows were staring at us and almost saying that yeah, you can sit there and enjoy the view towards the Rocher de la Vierge but that biscuit by your cappuccino belongs to us, no question about it. The first tip for Biarritz: the Eden Rock Café (6 place du Port Vieux). The café sits on the rocks and overlooks to the sea. The espresso and rosé were tasty and the spice of the place was the mighty sea right next to you, not to forget the new feathery friends.
I had a strong wish to visit Biarritz during our Basque Country adventure and I’m really happy we did, though I don’t know where the urge and idea originally sprang from. Maybe it was the images of long sandy beaches, high waves and a trifle of discreet luxury.
Biarritz is a small and beautiful city on the Atlantic coast in the Basque country, around 35 kilometers from the border of Spain. It is a popular surfing spot: we saw groups of barefooted surfers running towards the beach in their wetsuits and with their boards. Biarritz is a relaxed city with a classy and bourgeoisie twist: a mixture of stylish and laid-back. You can find small boutiques selling local creations, cafés and of course the characteristic and tower-loving architecture. Yes, the architecture: it is distinctive and even slightly peculiar. Fine, varying and allowing, one could say.
I’ll share my Biarritz tips and spots from one afternoon to the afternoon of the following day.
Start by walking by the beautiful Grande Plage beach towards the light house Phare de Biarritz. The views are spectacular and along the walk the forceful sea breaks against the rocks. By the lighthouse there is a small café where you can get something to drink or an ice cream. You can enjoy a glass of something cold and the panoramic view towards the long beach, the Rocher de la Vierge and the center of Biarritz. You might even catch the peaks of the Pyrenees. Sniffing the sea air feels good. For you running enthusiasts there is an eminently popular running route that goes beside the Plage.
When you head back one place option to have an aperitif before dinner time is the bar of the Casino Barrière de Biarritz. One disappointing thing about the casino itself was that you couldn’t try the game machines just with some coins as they had blocked the coin holes. This was slightly annoying, and greedy. Hence the cocktails were the only purchase we made there.
Our restaurant choice for dinner was Le B2 (5 Rue Du Centre) and it was outstanding. The oysters, the salmon tartar, the white wine (from Chateau Pouyanne) and the warm atmosphere. The special mentioning goes to the dessert which was worthy of the title the best cheese cake in the world (our opinion, but a very convinced and delighted one). Now I only have to find out how I can have that treat delivered to Helsinki. Le B2 is a very cozy and a rather small place. In the vicinity of the Market Hall (Rue des Halles) there are attractive looking bistros and restaurants.
For the next day I would suggest: visit the market hall Les Halles to admire the place (I have a soft spot for market halls, maybe I’ll write a post of my favorite ones one day) and for a breakfast or a lunch to go pit-stop. There are fresh cut flowers, bread and a wide selection of vegies, cheeses, fish and meats. Even a stand for wine and sushi. I recommend having seafood when in the Basque Country. The market hall opens early in the morning and closes at three pm. The Day 2 route suggestions also include: a walk via the Allée Port des Pêcheurs to the Rocher de la Vierge and wandering in the small boutiques. Though the price level of bauble jewelry was surprisingly high.
I would recommend marine Biarritz for a day trip or for a weekend getaway. Both if you surf and if you don’t. If you are in San Sebastian, it’s less than an hour’s ride away and definitely worth the visit.