Grand Hôtel Thalasso & Spa

Crédits : Rédaction  : Charlène Campos, Julie Lagrot, photos : Teddy Bear, Claude Médale, DR

TOP 10 Saint-Jean-de-Luz

On the Spanish border, the town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is full of charm. Here are ten essential things to do. 
1 Shellfish and seafood 

Saint-Jean-de-Luz has six beaches. Whether for lounging, bathing, sunbathing or surfing, there is something for everyone. With its fine sand and sea walls protecting it from waves, the Grande Plage is ideal for family activities and for beginners to learn water sports.

2 Shopping spree in rue Gambetta 

The numerous stores on rue Gambetta are open every day, including Sundays. From fashion to interior design and delicious pastry shops, shopping becomes a pure pleasure. It is also the ideal place to find souvenirs, emblematic of the region. 

3 Sipping a cocktail on Place Louis XIV 

Place Louis XIV is the nerve centre of the town. Bordered by superb houses, it is home to a multitude of bars, and the ideal place to have a drink. In summer, don’t miss the Toro de Fuego evenings, a very festive parody of a corrida.

4 A stop at the fishing harbour

In bygone days one of the most important harbours in France, it remains enchantingly colourful. Still very active, take time to enjoy watching the continual ballet between the fishing boats and taste the delicious freshly caught fish and seafood.

5 Visit the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church 

This architectural gem and listed historical monument is famous for having been the place where the mariage was solemnised between Louis XIV and the Infanta Maria-Theresa of Spain in 1660. It also houses a 17th century Baroque-style gilt-wood  altarpiece.

6 Discovering the Maison Lohobiague

Built in 1643 by Joannis de Lohobiague, a rich shipowner from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and still lived in today, it was the residence of Louis XIV in 1660. Over 3 centuries of furniture, paintings, crockery and other objects are on view. 

7 Admire the Maison de l’Infante

Overlooking the harbour, the Maison de l’Infante called Joanoenia is a historical residence, distinctive for its Italianate arcades and facade of ochre coloured stone and red bricks. As its name implies, the Infanta Maria-Theresa resided here at the time of her mariage to Louis XIV in 1660. 

8 Visit the Halles

Open daily from 7 am to 1 pm, the Halles market is an essential visit when staying in Saint-Jean-de-Luz to discover regional produce such as ewes cheese or Kintoa ham. Make sure you stop for a drink accompanied with some pintxos.

9 A breath of air on Pointe de Sainte-Barbe

The Pointe de Sainte-Barbe offers one of the finest views over Saint-Jean-de-Luz and its bay. It is located on the coastal path, the starting point of many walks since there are over fifty kilometres of superb views along the Basque coastline, from Bidart to San Sebastian.

10 A green break in the Botanical garden

Overlooking the ocean, the Saint-Jean-de-Luz botanical garden is a wonderful invitation to wander through the natural environment of the Basque coast. Guided tours, workshops and other exhibitions for children and adults are organised throughout the year.

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