Saint Jean de Luz
Saint Jean de Luz ©
Saint Jean de Luz is a lively and cosmopolitan town to visit. The lovely medieval town centre has been influenced by Spain and the Moors over the centuries and offers a charming mix of interesting architecture spread along the narrow streets, blending old and new buildings. Considered one of the most attractive cities in Basque country, the beaches, shops, spas and other attractions draw hordes of local and international tourists to this spot just above the Spanish border.
Saint Jean de Luz is an active fishing port, and seafood is a local specialty with fresh sardines, tuna, and anchovies available in abundance. Some of the best seafood restaurants in the region are around the town's main square.
The beach is well-equipped for sunbathing and watersports, and there is good surfing at Lafitenia Beach. There are many small museums, aquariums, caves, and interesting architectural sights in Saint Jean de Luz, including the Chateau d'Arturbie, with its castle and manicured gardens. La Maison Louis XIV has rich collections of antiques and collectibles, as well as wax figures of important 17th-century people. The lighthouse at Pointe Ste.-Barbe offers fantastic views of the area.
The pedestrian avenue Rue Gambetta provides the best shopping in St Jean de Luz, and visitors will find everything from clothes and linens to leather goods and books. The newer, more commercial end of Saint Jean de Luz is littered with chic shops and boutiques. Popular souvenirs include delectable chocolates and candies like nougat and tourons.