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Biarritz, summer 2023...sunbathing on the Basque coast

L'ÉPOQUE USA - Every summer, sophisticated people flock to the coasts of southeastern France, lured by the glamorous promises of the 'Côte d'Azur." They spend their days sipping overpriced cocktails at the upscale resorts that line the sandy beaches, as if they'd stepped right out of a photo by Slim Aarons.

05.03.2023 © L'ÉPOQUE USA

By David Thompson


Historically, Biarritz - a small coastal town on the southwest coast of France - was in close competition with its eastern Mediterranean neighbors. Both stretches of coast were vacation hotspots for the royal family in the mid-19th century and for French high society in the years following World War II. Biarritz's royal influence has waned since then, largely due to the wilder and more unpredictable nature of the Atlantic (making the town's development more difficult), but the appeal of Biarritz's privileged location in the Basque Country has never waned. What Biarritz lacks in pageantry, it makes up for in soul.


With its picturesque beaches that have earned it the title of "European Capital of Surfing," its majestic landscapes between the mountains of the Pyrenees and the hills of the Basque Country, and its proximity to cultural centers such as Bordeaux and Madrid, Biarritz has remained a well-known gem. While day-trippers from the Basque Country, surfers and French tourists have been visiting this town for years, Biarritz is getting a new boost this year thanks to French Michelin-starred chefs, a leading hotel group and a renowned gallery owner like Lucy Chadwicktous by making this small corner of southwest France a privileged destination.

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