Biarritz has a long tradition as one of the first sea baths. At some time, kings, emporers, muscians, artists and who else was en vogue went here to spend summer holidays. Famous architects left their finger prints in public buildings and privat chalets alike.
Now it´s a bit less glamorous but still plenty of tourists crowd the town during summer season, still fascinated by the combination of spectacular coastal landscapes and the architectural heritage of a vanished epoche.
The town has adopted to the new kind of tourists not only with fancy shops but also with affordable accomodation - there is some youth hostals and cheap hotels around - and a solid number of surf related manufactories and shops.
This makes it a perfect base camp for exploring the surf breaks around. There is a couple of them with a great variety from easy longboarding fun waves to challenging tube machines.
Starting from the north at the mouth of the river l´Adour there is La Barre, aonce famous wave that lost some of its quality due to the construction of a jetty. It follows Les Cavaliers with its quality tubes, the beach breaks of Anglet, more beach breaks at Sables D´Or at Chambre d´ Amour, Grande Plage right in downtown Biarritz, Cote des Basques which is one of the birthplaces of surfing in Europe and the reefs of Ibarritz.
Needless to say, that all of the mentioned beaches have a solid crowd during summer season. Due to the proximity to the densly populated Biarritz area all of the beaches have problems with water quality.
Winter has far less crowds and some fat swells and if the surf´s not up it is not far for a snowboarding session in the Pyrenees
Due to the lack of wind, which makes the area such a good surf destination, windsurfers won´t have much fun here. There is some storms in winter but they usually bring onshore winds.
Kiteboarders will have more luck with late afternoon thermical breezes in summer.
There is some more pics at the Biarritz gallery and more pics and information at the featured spots Grande Plage and Cote des Basques.