cities in france

Cities in the southwest France: history, tourist sites, activities.

View All Cities

france tours suggestions

Eight suggestions for touring the southwest of France.

View All Stories

french gastronomy

Traditional dish recipes from southwest part of France.

View All Recipes

french trivia

France in facts and figures! Interesting less known facts about France

Check Out!

Tourist Sites in and around Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Tourist sites and attractions within a radius of km* from the city center

* The distances are point to point and not driving distances!

At around: 0.23 km

San Juan Bautista Church The Church of San Juan Bautista - or Saint Jean le Baptiste - is known for its seventeenth-century altarpiece of gilded wood, probably the greatest in French Pays Basque and the memory of an exceptional event: the marriage here of the French kings Louis XIV and the Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, June 9 1660.
According to the memorial plaque on the exterior wall the door the pair entered the church was forever walled up being considered that no other human being is worthy enough to enter again through the same entrance as the royal pair!
In reality the church was rebuilt between 1649 and 1680 - it was under construction at the time of the marriage celebration!-...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 0.35 km

Louis XIV Museum The museum situated in the Louis XIV Central Square in Saint Jean de Luz is a beautiful 17th century house, built between 1643 and 1645 by Juoannis de Lohobiague – hence the house name Lohobiague-enea - , a rich ship owner and the town’s mayor, in a Louis XIII architectural style.
According to the local stories the house’s view of the port was obstructed in the second part of the 17th century by the construction of the town’s city hall by the new mayor Jean de Casabielhe who wanted to punish the landlady of Lohobiague who was refusing his advances.
Lohobiague-enea is the place where King Luis XIV stayed in the days of his marriage to Maria Theresa of...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 2.07 km

Fort Socoa Fort Socoa is a small fort overlooking the Saint Jean de Luz bay.
The fort was initially built during the reign of Louis XIII in 1627. In 1686 Vauban visits the Basque Country and the Socoa stronghold and decides to reinforce it. The work on the Socoa fort starts shortly and will last until 1698. Vauban builds inside a barrack and a chapel.
Unfortunatelly the fort cannot be visited at the interior. It is currently in the process of changing the owner to the city of Ciboure....

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 2.7 km

La Corniche "La Corniche" is a protected natural area, which stretches ten kilometers from the town of Ciboure to Hendaye in the Basque Country, on the very seafront the Atlantic Ocean.
With its steep cliff suspended over the ocean, some with vertical layers of rocks due to long past tectonic activity, "La Corniche" offers breath taking views of the Basque Atlantic Coast all the way to the Spanish shores.
On its southern part "La Corniche" ends on the Abbadia domain famous for its castle-observatory built by architect Eugene Violet-le-Duc.
"La Corniche" makes in any season an ideal walking, cycling (on a designated bicycle path) or driving (road 912) tour.
Unfortunately our generation is probably the last one to enjoy the view of the Basque...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 7.22 km

Abbadia Castle Perched on the Sainte-Anne Point near the town of Hendaye (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Abbadia castle-observatory appears as a "missplaced" Irish manor lost in the Basque land.
This néo-gothic castle was built between 1864 and 1879 by the famous architect Eugène Villet-le-Duc - who restored also the famous UNESCO listed Carcassonne Cité.
The castle was the property of Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie d'Arrast a linguist, geodesy engineer, cartographer, astronomer - born from an Irish mother and a Basque father - and mayor of the town of Hendaye between 1871 and 1875.
Nowadays the Chateau d'Abbadia is the property of the French Academy of Science who received it from Antoine d'Abbadie few years before his death in...

facebook share tweeter share

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 10.43 km

Sare "Saran hastia" means in the Basque language "At Sare we take our time". This is the motto of the village of Sare, located in the French Basque Country and listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France ("Plus Beaux Villages de France"). A medium size community - population just over 2,000 - Sare is an emblematic regional village with typical Basque architecture houses lining the streets that radiate from the central "Fronton".
The Saint Martin church of Sare, situated near the center of the village, is in itself a monument. It was rebuilt in the 17th century with a five-level bell tower and a splendid interior, decorated with three stories of oak carved galleries, that makes it one of...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 10.98 km

Hondarribia Hondarribia is not on the French territory but in the border Spanish town of Irun.
It was not built or reinforced by Vauban but he new about its existence when he was trying to reinforce the French southern Atlantic coast.
Hondarribia is a beautiful, wonderfully preserved or restored, large citadel.
Its name means in Basque language 'sand crossing'.
Its first document attestation dates from 1180 during the reign of King Sancho VI of Navarre. The town was reinforced by the Castilian Kings.
The shape the citadel is in now was given to in the second part of the 16th century.
Given its border position the town withstood many attacks from the French armies. The most devastating was in 1638 during the 'Thirty Years War'...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 12.91 km

Le Rocher de la Vierge Le Rocher de la Vierge is truly the hallmark of Biarritz.
From its highest point of view, one discovers the beautiful panorama of the Biarritz beach on the left and the beach of the Cote des Basques on the left.
The statue of The Virgin was installed in 1865. In 1887 the wooden bridge that was providing access to the rock was replaced with the metallic bridge that came from the workshops of Gustave Eiffel.


facebook share tweeter share

At around: 13.08 km

Sainte Eugenie Cathedral The cathedral built in the neo-gothic style between 1889 and 1903 stands on the place of a small chapel built in 1856 in the Romano-Byzantine style and dedicated to Saint Eugenia Saint Patron of Empress Eugenie of France.
The church has impressive stained glass windows and uses the motif of the lily flower extensively in the walls decoration, the lily flower being of course not only the symbol of the French royalty but also the emblem of the Saint patron Eugenie.
The crypt is now an exhibition place....

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 13.23 km

Miremont Pastry Shop The Miremont pastry shop/tearoom is a historic monument - declared as such by French Ministry of Culture in 2006 - and listed as one of the ONLY 10 of France's historic tearooms by Lonely Planet.
Miremont tearoom was created in 1872 by Etienne Singer but taken over in 1880 by Joseph Miremont who gave the establishment the name it bears to this day.
Miremont is a Biarritz institution. During the "Bellé Epoque" - the golden era of Biarritz - it was the meeting place for Europe's crowned heads like King Edward VII of England - who was coming every year to Biarritz - , the King of Spain Alfonso XIII - who made Miremont the "Purveyor to the Royal Household of Spain",...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 13.64 km

Imperial Chapel Listed as historic monument in 1981 the imperial chapel was built between 1864 and 1866 on the order of Empress Eugenie de Montijo by the architect Auguste Boeswilwald a student of the famous architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The chapel is built of bricks and stone in an architectural style that combines elements of Roman-Byzantine and Hispano-Moresque styles.
Unfortunatelly the chapel is closed for renovation for an unannounced time....

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 14.57 km

Biarritz Lighthouse The lighthouse of Biarritz stands on Saint Martin Point. It is a 44 m tower that was built between 1830 and 1834. From its upper deck (248 stairs to climb!), a wonderful 360° panorama opens to the visitors eyes and on a clear day even the i the Spanish city of Saint Sebastian can be seen on the horizon! The lighthouse uses a Fresnel lens named this way after the French physicist that invented it and whose portrait adorns the entrance of the tower.
For information about all the lighthouses that can be visited on the South west French Atlantic coast click here....

facebook share tweeter share

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 15.92 km

Ainhoa Ainhoa, population just under 700, is listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France: "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France". It is situated in the French Basque Country in the old province of Labourd some 22 km or 13 mi from the Atlantic Coast.
The village was formed around a 13th century vicariate that was a stop for the pilgrims on their way to Saint James de Compostelle. This vicariate created through an agreement between Juan Perez de Baztan, the local landlord and a member of the Navarre's ruling elite, and the abbot of the nearby monastery of Saint Sauveur d'Urdax became shortly a so called bastide that was attracting region's tradesmen that were given here (almost) equal land...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 18.13 km

Espelette The village of Espelette is surprisingly enough not listed as one of "Most Beautiful Villages of France" -"Plus Beaux Villages de France". It is nevertheless one of the most beautiful villages of the French Basque Country, a place where Basque architecture, local history and traditions are well preserved and in brazenly displayed.
The first mention of Espelette - Ezpeleta - comes from the 11th century when it was a lordship belonging to the Kingdom of Navarre: the castle where the town hall and the tourist office are now belongs to this period!
Espelette achieved world fame with the farming of a variety of red pepper called Espelette pepper. The pepper dried and ground produces a mildly spicy and aromatic powder highly appreciated...

facebook share tweeter share

UNESCO Heritage List At around: 18.85 km

Bayonne Fortifications - Grand Bayonne Bayonne is a fairly large city, a "sous-prefecture" of the department of Pyrenees Atlantiques.
It was already a fortified city during the roman occupation of the Aquitaine.
During the reign of Francois I the city’s fortifications were overhauled (between 1520 and 1528) according to the new principles of the artillery of the time.
Beginning from 1680 Vauban starts the reorganization of the defense system of the Spanish border and modernizes the Bayonne fortress and builds on the right bank of the river Adour a citadel called Chateau Neuf (it can be visited only on special occasions like the National Day of the Patrimony on the third weekend of September).
Nowadays the interior of the fortification walls on the left side of the...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 19.88 km

Villa Arnaga Edmond Rostand (1868-1918) was French writer, poet and essayist.
His most famous work, and one of the most popular plays in the French theatre, is the drama "Cyrano de Bergerac", a play loosely inspired by the life and work the writer Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655).
Arguably the second most famous work of Edmond Rostand is "Chantecler", - a drama/fable about a rooster that believes that the sun rises because of his crowing. The play was written in 1910 while the Rostand family was residing in Arnaga, near the little town of Cambo-les-bains, in the French Basque Country.
Rostand came first to Cambo-les-bains in 1900 to heal his pleurisy. He fell in love with the region and decided to build a house here....

facebook share tweeter share

Plus Beaux Villages de France At around: 32.99 km

La Bastide Clairence La Bastide-Clairence is listed as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" ("Most beautiful villages of France"). The town is located in the French Basque Country and though is described in tour guides as a bastide it has little resemblance to the bastides from other regions of the southwest France. Instead of the traditional central square that is the heart of any bastide, La Bastide-Clairence village was built along a main road bordered by (now ancient) houses that exemplify the best of the Navarre and Labourd - the two Basque provinces of the region - architecture. Unfortunately these houses are private property and cannot be visited inside.
The village called in local Occitan language "Bastida de Clarenza"...

facebook share tweeter share

At around: 34.19 km

Capbreton Capbreton, oh beautiful Capbreton, population a little more than 8,000, is situated on the Atlantic coast in the southern part of Landes department and is the department's only port. Together with its north neighboring town of Hossegor, Capbreton is a popular holiday destination for surfers, sailors, beach-goers and fish and seafood lovers - the town has a famous fish market located (by law!) 2 meters away from the docks!
Situated once on a branch of the Adour River, at the border with the French Basque Country and no further than 40km north of the Basque towns of Biarritz and Bayonne, Capbreton has maintained a strong "Landais" identity throughout its tumultuous history that saw the town's main livelihood, the very Adour River,...

facebook share tweeter share

UNESCO Heritage List At around: 42.37 km

Saint Jean Pied de Port Saint Jean Pied de Port citadel is a part of the network of forts built or rebuilt by Vauban. It sits on top of a hill overlooking Saint Jean Pied de Port town. The name is deceiving for a town close to the mountains and more then 50 km away from Atlantic Ocean. The word Port means in fact "Pass" in the local language and it meant the Pyrenean Mountains pass for the pilgrims on the route to Santiago de Compostela .
The town - former capital of the Basse-Navarre - has two parts the high fortified older part and the lower town.
It was initially built in the 12th century and fortified in the beginning of the 13th century by Sanche...

facebook share tweeter share

Côte d'Argent At around: 48.72 km

Landes Atlantic Coast Landes department Atlantic Coast is a part of the so called "Côte d'Argent" - the name given to the French Atlantic Coast between the rivers of Gironde and Adour.
Endless Ocean sands, the biggest planted pine forest of Western Europe, natural reserves and blue water and sandy beaches lakes that rival any tropical region lagoon make of the Landes department Atlantic Coast an extraordinary beautiful place.
The Landes forest owes its current extend – almost one million hectares- to Napoleon III during whose reign the law called “The Act sanitation and cultivation of Landes of Gascogne” was adopted on June 19, 1957.
The law provided for the planting of marine pine trees in order to assuage the moors that were covering the...

facebook share tweeter share