Biarritz wows visitors with its outstanding sandy beaches, cliffs and coves. When the rain sets in the stretches of sand give way to views of mist-bathed mountains. However, the beaches become deserted; the famous surf schools and beach clubs seemingly less tempting in the company of looming clouds. Luckily the town has plenty more to offer, allowing visitors to experience the wonders of the ocean while keeping dry.
Indulge in seawater therapy
The outstanding location between the Atlantic and the Pyrenees lends itself perfectly to seawater spa treatments. The Thalassa Spa offers a truly energizing location with views across the vast beaches. The spa was one of the first seawater therapy institutes in France and treatments on offer include mud baths, toning showers and physiotherapy.
Top up your nautical knowledge
There is an abundance of museums in Biarritz providing a wealth of knowledge about the local area and its history. Visit the Biarritz Historical Museum to learn how the small fishing village transformed into a favorite of European aristocracy. To refuel, take shelter in Biarritz’ covered market, renowned for its numerous stalls of fresh fish and seafood.
Explore the wonders of the ocean
Biarritz is home to one of the largest and oldest aquariums in France. Shelter from the rain in the recently-modernized Art Deco building. Gaze out at fabulous sea vistas and look underwater at sharks, rays and barracudas. There are more than 150 species and 20 aquariums teeming with sea life.
Massive panoramic windows give way to unrivalled views of grey seals and loggerhead turtles. A cetacean gallery amazes visitors with reconstructed models of underwater giants. For a closer encounter, a touch pool allows visitors to get hands-on with jellyfish and other aquatic inhabitants. Meanwhile, behind thick glass await France’s only hammerhead sharks. Watch from safety as the magnificent animals glide past.
Dive in to learn more
Just a short trip away from the aquarium is its sister site, Cite de la Océan, innovative in its architectural design and its content. The exhibition encompasses everything imaginable about the ocean, its complexities and what we can do to help protect it. The science center is an amazing undertaking giving unique experiences to its visitors. Interactive displays and 3D animations help visitors immerse themselves in the depths of the ocean.
If you’re not a seasoned surfer, then take shelter from the rain and get a piece of virtual reality. Virtual reality experiences include scuba diving and the new 5D surf sensation. Throw on a virtual reality mask and take your place on a dynamic surfboard. The movement, 360° vision, wind and spray allow you to soak up the experience like never before.