Saint Jean De Luz Travel Guide

Saint Jean De Luz
Saint Jean De Luz © dynamosquito

A popular seaside holiday resort and active fishing port, 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 hodge-podge 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.

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.

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.

There are numerous bars and terraces from which to see and enjoy the regular musical events in the square. Most bars are open until around 2am, and much of the nightlife is centred around the casino. The Pub du Corsaire in the centre of town has an unpretentious air with rock and roll on the jukebox, but for the ultimate party head to the flashy and crowded Le Brouillarta on the promenade.

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.

As with many French resorts, prices can be quite high.