To the south of Biarritz, the Cité de l’Océan et du Surf is an educational, scientific and fun site, where you can learn all about theocean, in connection with the history and culture of Biarritz. Innovative in both its architectural design and its content, as you follow the interactive route you get a vision of a living ocean, which must be respected by humans: how does it work? What are its moods, its weaknesses? This interactive museum uses all the latest technology so you can experience the oceans in a whole new way.
This is an absolute must-see for all those who love the ocean, or are just a little curious about what's really under the sea.
Discover, in this centre of marine activity, a display of fish and invertebrate species from the Gulf of Gascoigne, learn about the different fishing techniques of the region, and all about marine history from the Basque coast; admire scale models of ships, and wonder at fascinating things from the bottom of the sea... And prepare yourself to come face to face with the sharks in the shark cave!
Don’t miss the opportunity to feed the seals right by the terrace.
And to celebrate the year of biodiversity, the Museum of the Sea in Biarritz houses an exhibition entitled Sea birds from the gulf of Gascoigne, discovering its biodiversity.
The Rocher de la Vierge (The Rock of the Virgin Mary) named for the statue of the Holy Virgin placed on its summit in 1865, was used by Napoleon III as an anchoring point for the Port du Refuge (The Port of Refuge) dike that he planned to create.
Hence, the rock was made accessible to land via a wooden bridge and a tunnel was drilled that enabled the delivery of stone blocks used for the construction of the dam. The wooden bridge didn't withstand the test of time and Gustav Eiffel replaced it in 1887 with an iron bridge that is still in place.
The statue of the Virgin Mary was installed as a token of gratitude by whalers, saved from being shipwrecked by following a dazzling and mysterious light perceptible from the rock's summit.
The Grande Plage de Biarritz (The Big Beach) is without doubt the most popular beach with the tourists right in the heart of the Biarritz resort, attracting hordes of visitors seeking sun and sea. The most strenuous activity on this big beach is sunbathing in the shadow of the famous blue, yellow, green or red striped beach huts.
Sunbathers can enjoy splendid views of Biarritz Lighthouse without having to lift a finger. Biarritz Grande Plage fronts one of the resort's most well known landmarks, the luxurious Hôtel du Palais, built by Napoleon III for his wife Eugénie.
Biarritz is also a historic surfing capital and the Grande Plage de Biarritz is ideal for your debut as a surfer, before moving on to the bigger waves of the beach at the Basque Coast.
A decree dating back to 1289 allowing the running of oxen, cows and bulls through the streets of Bayonne is still in place today. It's the oldest written reference to bull running in the world!
Years later, in 1757, the city thought it prudent to fence off the bullfighting. The idea ofarenas was also starting to take shape. The building that is open to visitors today was inaugurated in 1893. With 10 000 seats, it's one of the largest arenas in the South West.
This neo-Moorish style building is now an integral part of Bayonne's heritage.