The beaches in the French Basque Country


I start with the southwest beach on the border with Spain in Hendaye and then move north along the côte basque (Hendaye, Ciboure, Saint Jean de Luz, Guéthary, Bidart, Biarritz and Anglet). 

The local websites of the tourist offices have all the information online. A visit is always worthwhile in a tourist office, where there are also maps where all the beaches are listed. After Angelt begins the region les Landes, known by its immense Atlantic beaches which reach as far as Arcachon. The beaches of Ondres, Capbreton or Hossegor are worth a visit.

My recommendation for families and surfers. A 3-4 km long beautiful and safe sandy beach with lots of space. From Ciboure to Hendaye is an imposing drive along the beautiful coastline of the Corniche.

In Hendaye you can take the ferry from the sports port to Spain (Hondarribia). In less than 5 minutes you are already on the Spanish side and can spoil yourself with excellent tapas. Furthermore, Hendaye has a super water sports shop / outlet from the brand Tribord (Decathlohn), since there is everything from bikini to neoprene.

In the high season (mid-July to August), there may be shortages in parking slots, so either you arrive early from around 10.30 am or use the lunch time after 1 pm. On the beach there is always enough space.

Saint Jean de Luz

The Grand Plage in the beautiful protected bay of Saint Jean de Luz in the city. After the beachyou can stroll through Saint Jean de Luz and enjoy an ice cream at Txomin. 

The beach of Lafiténia (great surfing scene), Maiarko and plage de Cenitz, are located about 2-3 km north of Saint Jean de Luz, in the district of Acotz. In these beautiful natural bays one can feel the Atlantic at first hand. At the plage d'Mayarco there is a mini golf course with a good bar (Bibam Bar), which has an incredible view of the Atlantic. There are two, three completely relaxed beach bars in this corner. Nearby there is also a Carrefour supermarket and the ultimate Sufshop boardrider from Quicksilber. The beach Erromardie (no photo) is located at the northern end of Saint Jean de Luz with open access to the Atlantic.

Guethary and Bidart

Guethary is a very attractive former fishing village with access to the sea. There are also a few great and relaxed restaurants with sea view. The plage d'Uhabia is just to the left of the road between Guethary and Bidart. The beaches of Bidart then reach Ilbaritz, where you really feel like already in Biarritz. If you are once at the beach of Ilbaritz make sure to have a drink or a meal at the “blue cargo”, a great spot to enjoy the basque coast.

Take a break at blue cargo great atmosphere, drinks, food and an excellent service.

Biarritz and Anglet

In Biarritz, the surfing culture of the region began more than 30 years ago. The Grand Plage is the famous beach in the center of Biarritz, the plage de la Côtes de Basques to the left of the Rocher de la Vierge and the Aquirum is well known for longboard surfers.

The Grand plage in winter at high tide.

In Anglet the long Atlantic beaches begin. The first beach is Chambre d'amour, where you can also hang around with nice cafes. This is followed by a beach after beach, therefore Anglet is also known as little California. 

Les Landes

Starting from Anglet almost until Arcachon you have more than 100 km of beaches. Hossegor and Capbreton are also first class surfing spots. Take the motorway direction to Bordeaux and exit Capbreton.

Beach from Anglet with view to the phare of Biarritz.

San Sebastian

In the famous beach La Concha even the king used to take a bathe. For the surfers I recommend La Zuriola, which is located in the neighborhood of Gros. So after sightseeing the city, you can have a nice bath and prepare yourself for the long Spanish nights. There is even a parking garage at Zuriola.