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Old 05-26-2009, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
288 posts, read 761,113 times
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From the photos on Flickr, it doesn't seem like it's much more than a beach destination, but there must be something . . .
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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I've never been a fan of European beaches, even in Greece. They are almost always rocky, dirty, crowded, and over-priced....with the only plus being the topless bathers (negatively balanced out by the 300 pound pale German in speedos).

Europeans love them because, well, it's either that or traveling 1,000's of miles to an American or Pacific beach. But there is no reason for an American to go to Europe to visit a beach, it would be a waste.

Anyways to answer your question I've never been to Biarritz but I suspect the appeal is only the beach.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I can't believe that you posted this--I have never been to Biarritz but I was JUST speaking to a French woman about Biarritz. I had heard of it a lot as well as a destination, was considering a trip and so asked her all about it when we met.
She told me that from June-August, it is miserably crowded. However, we both agreed that we preferred a calmer destination; if you are into a beach party scene, then you will be in heaven as Biarritz is a popular summer destination for the hip and beautiful.
The attraction is the beach and the partying that goes with it. I have not heard of any particular cultural sites in the area but I deign to say that it is completely devoid of anything cultural, especially if you are willing to take day or weekend trips.
The one place she said was a must-see in that region is San Sebastian, located in the Basque region; she said that it is absolutely stunning.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
288 posts, read 761,113 times
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Well, I am definitely not into the beach party scene! I was just wondering about this place because one of Hollywood's Beautiful People said it was her favorite vacation destination. But when I looked it up on Flickr, all I see is one crowded beach with maybe a casino. I'd much rather visit Basque country.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:42 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,914,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
The one place she said was a must-see in that region is San Sebastian, located in the Basque region; she said that it is absolutely stunning.
Yes, this is the place that I had considered visiting, but time constraints made it too far south for us.
I think Biarritz used to be a glamorous spot for the previous generation of wealthy Euros, maybe it still is with the younger set.
Just going to Spain (San Sebastian, or further south) might work better.
There *are* some European beaches that I have enjoyed, and not just in Greece.
However, I agree with Dd714 that it's probably not a great idea to fly across the Atlantic expecting sugar-white Florida beaches.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:05 AM
 
Location: virginia beach, virginia
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I have been to a few beaches in Spain and can agree with most of what has been said. The difference could just be in the accomodations and food in Spain compared to Florida. I found the entire San Sebastion area to be extremely crowded and I was there in Sept - Oct.
My biggest uneasy factor was leaving my vehicle with my belongs parked anywhere in Spain. Not being one of the jet set I couldn't leave my belongings with Security.
The Basque regions were unique but I found out from a lot of expatriots that they are very predjudiced towards anyone that is not Basque but that probably wouldn't be noticed by tourists.
My fondest memories of Spain having been there twice is the food, sangria, food, beer, food. Oh and of course tapas and beer.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: DC
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I haven't been to Biarritz, but a few friends went there for a weekend trip while we were studying in Bilbao. From what I gathered from them, it's nice, but San Sebastian is nicer. SB is an "it" place for celebrities and foodies right now, which unfortunately adds to the price and crowds. One option is to stay outside of San Sebastian and just explore the entire area. Bilbao is an interesting city, and is 20 minutes from several small beaches (less crowded; Plentzia is a cute little fishing village, Sopelana I believe has better waves/surfing). Guernika is also nearby, and if you go during San Fermin in July you can hit up the running of the bulls in Pamplona (very touristy, but still an interesting experience). A visit to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is also fun. All in all, I absolutely loved the area, and consider it one of my favorite places.

Regarding the Basque culture, an outsider moving in is very different from a tourist. We didn't experience any hostility as Americans (even in 2005), and even had several gush over Bush and Basque independence (evidently the war in Iraq equated to a support for Basque independence in his mind...). It's a very interesting culture and history, and they love to tell you about it. There are also not too many Americans visiting the area (at least, 4 years ago), so it's almost a novelty if you're not French or British. If you ever go, go out for a txikiteo (paseo in the rest of Spain) and get yourself some txakoli (very very hard to find in the U.S.), kalimoxto, bacalao pil pil, marmitako, kokotxas, or idiazabal, in addition to the standard Spanish sangria, boquerones, and tortilla.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Brookfield, Illinois
288 posts, read 761,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperbleu View Post
Regarding the Basque culture, it's a very interesting culture and history, and they love to tell you about it. There are also not too many Americans visiting the area (at least, 4 years ago), so it's almost a novelty if you're not French or British. If you ever go, go out for a txikiteo (paseo in the rest of Spain) and get yourself some txakoli (very very hard to find in the U.S.), kalimoxto, bacalao pil pil, marmitako, kokotxas, or idiazabal, in addition to the standard Spanish sangria, boquerones, and tortilla.
I would love to try all of it, thank you for the suggestions!
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: DC
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^^ You're welcome! I'm sure I could think up more, if given a chance
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:20 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,970,506 times
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If you're looking for a more authentic Basque city on the coast, try Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It has some charming streets with traditional Basque architecture, the church where Louis XIV was married, and a beautiful coastal walk.
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