Biarritz is a luxurious city found at the south-western part of France. Its stylish coastal side was once the favored spot frequented by Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenie. Tourists with Eurail passes and frequent travelers can enjoy the posh surroundings of the city, which fuses the modernity of a privileged life and the relaxing entertainment of cultural events and festivities that happens all-year round.
History of Biarritz
Biarritz’s history started when the Vikings turned Biarritz into their settlement site in 840 during their invasion of Gascony. For various times, the name of this city changed from Bearriz in 1170, into Bearids sixteen years after. Finally, it settled with the name Bearritz starting 1249. It has been known that communities within the city were segregated according to social groups. An example is the Gardaque Beach which is mostly inhabited by the Scandinavians. This type of segregation, however, was dissolved during the early part of the 20th century.
The city became a well-known site when Empress Eugenie had a palace built on the beach. The palace now stands as a hotel, Hotel du Palais, and currently attracts attention most especially to the royals of Europe and the rich and privileged all over the world.
Things to do in Biarritz
When in Biarritz, there are a number of spots that are worth visiting. The astonishingly extravagant blue dome of the Russian Orthodox Church, also known as the Église Alexandre Newsky, the vast Asian collection of art in the Asiatica Museum and the monumental manufacturing history of the Museum of Chocolate can entice the curiosity of those art-loving individuals. Sea-loving and underwater aficionados can find the Museum of the Sea amazingly beautiful with its spectacular aquariums filled with seals and sharks.
Those who are constantly looking for good bargains and those interested in various things should drop by the city’s central market, Rue des Halles, because it offers vast choices of foods and things to buy. As for the night owls, clubbing is an in thing especially since bars and clubs are open until three o’clock in the morning. The town’s lighthouse, Phare de Biarritz, built in 1834, is also a popular tourist attraction.
Getting to Biarritz
Biarritz is served by a direct train from Paris. The TGV fast train service takes about 5 hours. There is also a night train from Paris, which is a good option for Eurail Pass holders wishing to save on accommodation expenses.
If you are arriving by air, the Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne International Airport offers flights around Western Europe with low cost airlines.