48 Hours in Biarritz

Find out why this seaside hot spot is causing waves with holiday makers
Tuesday , 03 May 2011
48 Hours in Biarritz


Why go? Aside from catching waves with buffed surfers, there are many reasons to visit this luxury seaside town in the south of France. A playground for the rich and famous (as well as British royalty), its mix of white sandy beaches and old-world glamour makes this an unbeatable destination. It is here that Coco Chanel opened her first store and Napoléon Bonaparte built a palace for Empress Eugénie. Plus, the Roxy Jam Women’s World Longboard Championships (that’s surfi ng to you and me) is held here every year. And where there are fi t women, fi t men are never far behind.

Spend the Day Start your day with an omelette at Chez Etienne, a super-trendy café where all the locals hang out. Then spend the morning walking up to the lighthouse, which overlooks the coast. If you are feeling adventurous, try out your surfi ng legs at one of the many surf schools dotted around the bay.
After you’ve worked up an appetite practising your best Point Break poses, snack your way through the tapas bars on Rue des Halles. For some more serious shopping, high-end boutiques cluster around Avenue Edouard VII. After all that, a visit to the chocolate museum (Planete Musée du Chocolat) is a must for anyone who has a penchant for all things sweet.

And the Night Being so close to the Spanish border, Biarritz nightlife is a heady mix of French and Spanish revelry. The best places to start the night off is at Le Surfi ng, on Prince de Galles boulevard, or Le Milk, by the Grande Plage beach area. Whatever you do in the middle, make sure you end the night at La Santa Maria, where you can enjoy a late-night tapas feast.

Get There A return flight from Dubai costs around Dhs5,500 with KLM.

Where to stay
You cannot enjoy this town, without staying in Hôtel du Palais. It is he very epitome of what luxury means to this place in the bay of Biscay and it dominates town, coast and tradition. Napoléon Bonaparte built the palace-turned-hotel for Empress Eugénie in 1854 and it drew the great, the good and the idle loafers from across the whole of Europe. Today, the hotel still draws a star-studded crowd of visitors and, with its sweeping staircases, majestic dining halls and plush rooms, it’s easy to see why. Rooms from Dhs1 500 a night.