Biarritz Food and Wine Tours

Savor French-Basque Cuisine in "French California"

Doubling as a luxurious seaside resort and bohemian surfing mecca, Biarritz has long seduced visitors with its most alluring attraction, its stunning coastline. Spend the night at Hôtel du Palais, originally built by Napoleon III for Empress Eugénie, and later converted into a hotel that would attract monarchs from all over Europe, transforming a simple fishing village into a fashionable resort town. 

In the 1950s, while filming a movie based on Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Californian screenwriter and recreational surfer Peter Viertel inadvertently introduced surfing to the city. The sport quickly became popular, along with the culture that goes with it. Whether you’ve never surfed before or shred waves every day, Biarritz is a great place to hop on a board. Or relax and watch the professionals from one of the city’s 6 beaches. Strap on your espadrilles (traditional Basque shoes) and walk along Le Grand Stroll, lined with tamarisks and fragrant hydrangeas. Pass the lighthouse and the glorious blue dome of the Russian Orthodox Church, built for visiting aristocrats in the 19th century. People-watch in Place Sainte Eugenie right by the square’s lovely namesake church. Take the metallic passageway to the Virgin Mary statue mounted atop the Rocher de la Vierge rock or check out a pelota match at Fronton Couvert Plaza Berri. Rainy days call for a little bit of culture. Visit the Asiatica Museum or the Museum of the Sea, housing 24 aquaria filled with sharks and seals. Try your luck at the Barrière and Bellevue Casinos, or indulge in world-class shopping around Place Clèmenceau.

In Biarritz you will find upscale eateries next to pizza joints for surfers, vegan fast food, Michelin starred venues, glamorous hotel restaurants and small family businesses. Before dinner it’s apéro time. Enjoy local Brebis sheep cheese and Bayonne ham withtxacoli, a lightly sparkling white wine poured from a height. The cornerstone of Basque cuisine is piment d’Espelette, a powder made from red peppers certified by the AOC title. This seasoning appears in dishes like axoa (veal and pepper stew) and the beloved piperade, a ratatouille-type mix of sautéed onion, peppers and tomatoes. For fresh seafood, head over to the fishing cottages of the old port. A traditional must-try ismarmitako, a stew of tuna, potatoes and vegetables. Order steamed moules (mussels), amandes de mer (cockles) and merlu (hake) au piment d’Espelette. Explore the colorful variety of local products at Les Halles market and taste fresh Marennes oysters on the go. The ultimate Basque comfort food is poulet basquaise, chicken prepared with capsicum peppers, tomatoes and onions. And after a day of surfing nothing hits the spot like gâteau basque, a buttery cake filled with rich pastry cream.

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