swimming pool at Biarritz, south west France


In Basque country
A village made prosperous by whaling,
But the place to go in the 1850's
After wife of Napolean III
Had a villa built there for her leisure.

The rich followed and built large villas of their own,
The warm winters becoming a magnet for the elderly, then and now
Visit the Rocher de la Vierge, and feel the breeze biting against the glorious view.
Come to experience thalassotherapy,
The eminent French recipe for well being
Invented by biologist Renè Qiunton,
Who realised the affinity of sea water to blood plasma.
In Biarritz visit Institut Louison Bobet de Biarritz,
Or Thermes Marins de Biarritz,
Two of over 40 centers throughout France.
Enjoy seaweed wraps, jet showers, seaweed baths, massage
Bring back the spring of life to tired, and aching limbs
And if you want to turn the wheel, make luck happen
Go to the Casino, and give the old style the new style

Saint-Jean-de-Luz - resort, fishing village.

Visit nearby St Jean de Luz as it has a welcoming smile. There is a warmth in this fishing village and resort. The people, the homes, the sea, the beaches, the rocks, the cliffs, vibrate with a positive energy.

It comes as no surprise perhaps that the warm tones, the pleasant melodies of Ravel were born here. Visit his birthplace at the port of Ciboure.

Place Louis XIV is the place for concerts, artist exhibitions, a square that remembers the time when St Jean de Luz was a "Little Paris" - a fashionable resort.

Visit the church of Saint Jean-Baptiste dating from the 15th Century, where Louis XIV and the Infanta Marie Thérèse were married - the interior is quite spectacular - with 3 levels of galleries and a 17th century organ - providing good accoustics for a number of concerts through out the year.

Whats to do? There are an incredible 10 golf courses within 20 kms of St Jean de Luz - (the Saint-Jean-de-Luz golf course - opened in 1892).

Enjoy yourselves on a Thalassotherapy weekend with Helianthal. Come for the Young Film Directors festival. Come to the International Festival of Surf Films.

Enjoy the sea, the beach, the fishing. Dive into the gastronomy of St Jean de Luz from Basque specialties from Squid with ink, to Piperade; local confections of Macarons, Mouchous, and Kanougas. Visit some great St Jean De Luz Restaurants

Its just a short distance to Spain, or the glorious landscapes of the Pyrenees.

Great place to surf

atlantic surfing


At the mouth of the Gironde,
A Carmargue on the beaches of the Bay of Biscay
Deep forests, and the smell of pine trees, bowing to the sea breeze
At the tip, Le Verdun Sur Mer, with the Cordouan Lighthouse
200 feet high, first stone laid in 1584
Where classic architecture meets the surf of sea and fisherman.

Taste good the wines of Médoc, stay awhile in Vensac,
The quiet 12th century church, and the 13th century windmill,
Still breaking grain to make flour.
Wander the woods, watch as roe deer, wild rabbits,
Wood cock and pheasant dart in the broom and gorse

Live full in the miles of dunes and beach
At Montalivet Helio Marine Center find the perfect friendly family base for naturism
Taste the oysters bought in the markets at St Vivien, and walk in the fields
Reclaimed by the Dutch from marshes in the 17th Century

Go back back in time to Grayan,
Where hunters in 7000BC lived until 2000 years ago
Leaving pottery and traces of their gardens.
Enjoy you at the Euronat naturist complex,
With shopping center with 22 shops,
A campsite covering 75 acres -
Visit the thalassotherapy center with its bubbling baths, seaweed and clay treatments.
Return to full health, amidst the splendors of nature, and enhancing living

church in vendee


There is a surprising Spanish flavor to the town
Moors and Basques escaped here in the early 1600's
Fishermen and trawlers, sardine and tuna
Give its core.
In the Chaume quarter
Rises the Tower of Arundel
Built during the 100 years war.

Visit La Tranche Sur Mer for the flower festival in early Spring,
And also the simple seaside home of Clemenceau (1841-1929)
A museum with garden in the village of Saint-Vincent-Sur-Jard

Of course there is Angles, where the simple church, once a 13th Century Abbey
Shows a statue of "Troussepoil"
A bear that abducted the most beautiful girls of the region
And then ate them.
A holy man called Martin, tamed the beast
Bringing him back to town, one market day
Where he turned the animal into stone.
Vendée is constant in surprises.

Charente Guide

South France Guide