Aerial view of Biarritz, Aquitaine, France (MDLF/R-Cast)

Sea in Biarritz (iStockphoto)

Biarritz (Hemera)

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What to do in Biarritz

Sun-soaked Biarritz takes all the charm of French seaside towns—umbrella-shaded sidewalk cafés, sparkling white-sand beaches, and fashionable boutiques—and combines it with the mellow, free-spirit appeal of a Hawaiian surf spot. The town's two beaches showcase its dual spirit. Grande Plage is for the resort crowd: Pastel-colored parasols shade sunbathers in designer swimsuits and sunglasses, with upscale cocktail bars just off the shore. On the other side of town, the Côte des Basques is headquarters to the hang-ten scene, where the waves are reliably higher and an international longboard festival is held every year. Biarritz is widely considered the surfing capital of Europe, with ten surf schools in town and steady waves coming in off the Atlantic year-round.

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