It was a beautiful, sunny spring day as I walked through the Basque city of Biarritz. I only had a few hours, and wanted to make the best of my visit, before I travelled to St. Jean Pied de Port and the Camino de Santiago. On my last post, A Walk in Biarritz, France, Part One, I flew into Biarritz from London, and proceeded to walk through the downtown area toward St. Eugenie Church. I ended that post with my first view of the brillant Bay of Biscay. Now, I’ll resume my journey as I spent a pleasant late April afternoon in Biarritz, France.
In my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, I arrived in Biarritz on page 20. From St. Eugenie Church, I walked onto the Biarritz seawall. The view of the Bay of Biscay, and the Old Harbor, was amazing.
This is one of my favourite photos. The stone foot bridge to Le Rocher du Basta (The Rock of Basta).
I took my time and watched the waves rush under the bridge, and along the seawall. Here is some rough video from my YouTube channel. Don’t Worry, There’s No Nudity.
This was my first view of the lighthouse and the beach, La Grande Plage.
Looking again over the marina or boat enclosure. I especially like the contrast between the colour of the shrubs, the rock, and the brillant blue sea.
Le Rocher du Basta: a very pleasant spot with beautiful views of the Bay of Biscay, lighthouse, and beach.
The lighthouse and beach from Le Rocher du Basta.
The wide building in the centre is the Casino Barriére de Biarritz, originally opened in 1901.
A closer look at the beach and Casino. According to the Biarritz Tourism website, the city has six kilometres of beaches, and 2,300 hotel rooms. Biarritz is also renowned for surfing and the Biarritz Surf Festival is held every year. According to this surfing article in the Guardian, Biarritz’s festival is the “Best for Female Surfers.”
Outside the gates of the Hotel du Palais, originally built in 1854 for Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. The Hotel du Palais’s excellent website also has a page on the history of the site and building. Monarchs such as Queen Victoria have also stayed there. Sadly, I didn’t. My hotel in Bayonne definitely didn’t look like this.
Finally, I made it to the lighthouse. By this time, my energy was waning from the long walk in the warm afternoon. I wasn’t used to carrying a full backpack, and had spent eight hours carrying it around London the previous day.
The Hotel du Palais on top of the cliffs, above a secluded beach.
After about a three kilometer walk, this was the view looking back. My walk wasn’t over…
I came across Golf de Biarritz Le Phare quite by accident. I had been walking toward the downtown but since I didn’t have a map of Biarritz, I found myself a little off course (which is also the reason I no longer play golf). Golf de Biarritz Le Phare was built in 1888 by English residents, and is the second oldest golf course on the European continent.
Shortly after I left the golf course, I hopped on the first bus I saw. I toured around Biarritz until I boarded the bus that took me to Bayonne. On my next post, THE MEDIEVAL CITY OF BAYONNE, FRANCE, I’ll resume my walk in Bayonne before travelling to St. Jean Pied de Port, and the Camino de Santiago. Please join me.
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