The Biarritz Tourism Offices tel: +33 (0)559 223 710 are well organized and experienced in catering to convention attendees. Ready pre-programmed tours and excursions to the region are available on short notice.
Lourdes: 1h30 hour by road or train. Virgin Mary reported to have appeared here.
St Jean Pied de Port: 1 hour away, famous Basque village. Starting point of El Camino.
San Sebastian: Magnificent Spanish town/vintage/classic architecture, film festival.
Bilbao/Guggenheim Museum:– 1h45 coach ride from Biarritz.
Hossegor: 30 minutes. Capital of World Surfing Tour, French leg.
El Camino: Pilgrim trail to Compostela in Galicia, Spain.
Biarritz and area: Unlimited golfing on excellent and uncrowded courses.
Michelin Star Restaurants: Dotted throughout the region.
Visit mythological Basque mountain La Rhune and take rack-railway train to the top
• A national heritage site, La Rhune is rich in diversified fauna and flora.
• The summit weather at 905 meters, frequently differs from that on the coast.
DAY EXCURSIONS BY BUS/COACH
BILBAO until 1997, was a major industrial city and a large commercial port. The arrival of the grandiose Guggenheim Museum designed by Franck Gehry and its contemporary aesthetics has become emblem of the Basque city. Discover the museum whose spectacular effect is visible both outside and inside the building.
SAN SEBASTIAN was the place to see and be seen. Aristocrats flocked to this city known for its parties, games, and perfect surf. Tour the city, learn about San Sebastián over the centuries, from fortified village to modern-day resort town, its Belle Époque, and why it’s still awesome today. Learn why aristocrats used to flock here, and why surfers today still love it, See San Sebastián’s most iconic sites, including the stunning Old Town and beautiful La Concha Bay. | Video
LOURDES the mythical pilgrimage city. It is to Bernadette Soubirous that the city owes his celebrity. Discover the city called “miracles”; the Apparitions Cave; the sanctuaries and their 22 places of worship; the Boly Mill, Bernadette’s birthplace; Le Cachot, the former prison; the parish church, the former presbytery; are also a must. For a magnificent panoramic view of Lourdes, Tarbes, Pau, the Argelès Gazost valley and the Pyrenean summits, the century-old funicular takes you to the summit of the Pic du Jer in a few minutes. A walking path takes you to the observatory offering a 360 ° panoramic view.
LOYOLA the birth place of St. Ignatius to Loyola founder of the Jesuit Order. The Cantabrian corniche offers spectacular views with limestone cliffs dropping vertically to the ocean. Coves, beaches, and charming fishing villages follow one another along the wild coastline. Follow the footsteps of St. Ignatius to Loyola, in a monumental complex built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit The Holy House, the life and conversion of the Saint; The Basilica, The Prayer Space; the Spirituality of St Ignatius and the history of the Order; En route enjoy the little port of Getaria, the view from the top of Mount Jaizquibel and stroll through the alleys of the old town of Hondarribia, one of the most picturesque villages on the Basque coast.
ST JEAN PIED DE PORT this walled city is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. Stroll the cobbled streets, go back to the time of the Kings of Navarre and contemplate the Nive du New Bridge. On the way to Compostela, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port has always been a strategic place located just 8 kilometers from the Spanish border. After visiting the main attractions of the city, stops take place at the artisans village of Osses, a pretty locality of low Navarre.
ESPELETTE is a small village nestled at the foot of Mount Mondarrin, its name has an international dimension. Renowned for its famous Espelette pepper, the village is a place full of colors and charm, where the traditional houses represent all the singularity of the Basque Country. Visit this authentic village, stroll through the stands of the typically local market and meet artisans whose traditional know-how makes the reputation of Basque gastronomy.
PAMPLONA (Fridays only – April to September) known as Iruñea in Basque, goes beyond the famous San Fermin festivities and running of the bulls, that draws more than a million visitors each year. It is the modern and welcoming Navarrese capital that has lived through centuries of stories and history. This city’s heart balances between Spain and the Basque Country. Olite, the favorite residence of the kings of Navarre in the 15th century impresses with the disproportionate size of its castle-palace!
LOCAL GUIDED WALKING TOURS
BIARRITZ famous for its rolling surf and scenery has a colorful history dating back many centuries. See the best of Biarritz, visit sites of interest like its ancient fishing port and whaling station, ‘Rocher de la Vierge’ (Rock of the Virgin), ‘Port des Pecheurs’ (Fisherman’s Port), Hotel du Palais, ‘Port Vieux’ (Old Port), ‘Grande Plage’ (The Great Beach), ‘Eglise Sainte Eugenie’ (Saint Eugenie Church), uninterrupted views over the coastal scenery, your guide brings Biarritz’s colorful past to life.
BAYONNE (walking Tour – 2 hours) travel through history from its beginning as a Roman military camp, through its importance as a commercial port during the middle ages and its geostrategic status during the wars between France and Spain. Visit its most important attractions, its magnificent system of defensive walls, including the Roman one, enjoy the picturesque architecture of its historical center, and see the stunning views of the ‘Nive’. Includes talk about the well-known features of Bayonne, the famous ‘Fetes de Bayonne’ and the delicious ‘Jambon de Bayonne’. Tour highlights: Bayonne’s Cathedral, The Old Castle (‘Chateaux Vieux’), The Roman defensive walls, Middle ages streets of Bayonne, the ‘Chocolate Street’ (‘Rue du Port Vieux’), ‘Nive’ Riverside, the square of the old medieval pillory (Place Pasteur), and much more.
The Quiksilver Pro France World Surfing Tour event in Hossegor takes place at the time of the Biarritz AA convention, and should be a tempting attraction to members visiting from surfing regions of the world. It is an opportunity to watch the planet’s top 32 surfers perform and compete at very close quarters.
Discount has been negotiated with John Larcher Surf School (Anglet) and Biarritz Surf Training for surf lessons for convention attendees. Check out Biarritz Surf Training website Book directly at convention discount price click here.
Biarritz is centrally located to several world-famous pilgrimage sites as follows. Lourdes only 90 kms inland (Virgin Mary appeared in front of local girl Bernadette) is now one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the world. Loyola 60 kms south of Biarritz is birth place of St Ignatius founder of the Jesuit Order. St Paul de Dax 80 kms to the northwest of Biarritz, ie where the St Vincent of Paul movement started.
One starting point from France to the El Camino pilgrimage route to Compostela in Galicia Spain is from St Jean Pied de Port only 50 kms inland from Biarritz.
With many uncrowded golf courses in the region, golf may be an additional attraction to visiting convention attendees. The convention committee may organize a golf championship if there is sufficient interest with attending convention members.
San Sebastien, Pamplona, and Bilbao are all close to Biarritz and within easy reach for a day tour. Visitors to the area should not deprive themselves of a visit to Spain if time permits. The architecture, culture, museum at Bilbao, and many galleries make a visit an enriching experience.
The area is famous for having Michelin Star restaurants throughout the territory. A visit to the Basque country is not complete without a visit to one of these, or one of the many local Basque restaurants.
…is available from the Biarritz Tourism Office tel: +33 (0)559 223 710 who partner with the convention to better serve visitors to the town and area. Check out the Biarritz Tourism Offices website.