Biarritz - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Biarritz


Situated in the very southwest of France, the holiday destination of Biarritz became famous in the 19th century when Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) fell in love with this part of the Basque country and built a Palace on the beach (which is now the world-class Hotel du Palais) and a centre with natural springs at Eugenie les Bains.

Soon the became popular with aristocracy from all over Europe - Queen Victoria came here regularly over a period of 30 years, Edward VI stayed in the Hotel du Palais days before his death and in the 1930s Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson were regular visitors. Until the revolution in 1917 the Russian nobility wintered here and built the magnificent Orthodox Church next to the Palace.

However, the days of being reserved for high society are long gone and today Biarritz is an affordable, vibrant and cosmopolitan town with magnificent beaches. There are a couple of interesting museums, including the Musée de la Mer which houses 24 aquariums of fish native to the bay; try to visit during seal-feeding time (10:30am and 5pm).

Biarritz has good sporting facilities, including some excellent golf courses and the best surfing in France to enjoy while on holiday. Each summer, surfers from all over the world come to Biarritz to ride the waves at the annual Surf Festival. Those after more gentle exercise while on holiday opt to stroll along Biarritz's principal promenade, Quai de la Grande Plage.

Information & Facts

French is the official language.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).
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