St. Jean De Luz
St. Jean de Luz is French Basque perfection!
- More about your oliver guide: Cynthia Pillsbury
- Trip type: Adult, Family, Beach, City
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: 2 days
to & from
St. Jean de Luz is located in the central Basque region (French side). Fly or train from Biarritz (1 hour at most) or San Sebastian (1 hour at most).
Where to Stay
There are not a lot of big hotels (which is nice) – we stayed (with Backroads) at Grand Hôtel which is lovely. The hotel is right on the beach and has a nice restaurant, bar and spa.
Where to Eat and Drink
The charming town of St. Jean de Luz has a lot of fun little restaurants; we ate our hotel one night, which was lovely and the second night we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Kako Etxea. The restaurant was full of locals, which is always a good sign.
We also stopped by Le Garage– Really fun, youthful vibe where buy tickets and sample a variety of food vendors, very casual.
Other places Backroads recommended…
Les Sables de Luz– French cuisine
Bellini– Italian, reasonably priced, fresh ingredients for pizza and pasta
3 Cosy West– Chic small bistro with a modern twist, burgers, poke bowls, etc.
Le Xaya– Cozy, shared plate menu, better for smaller groups
Zoko Moko– Tasting menu, adult only, fancy and big food experience
What to Do
If weather cooperates (don’t look at the weather report) – rent bikes and bike around the surrounding area. Really amazing bike paths that take you from village to village.
Also worth hiking around the town, a short 10 minute cab ride will take you to the valley of the Pyrenees. Beautiful views from mountain to beach abound.
Shop, shop and shop some more. This was my favorite town for it’s charm and shopping in the Basque region. Do not miss…
Magasin Central – Really, really cool shop that has something for everyone… dresses to wear from the beach to dinner… home decor, jewelry,art — I could have spent ½ the day in this shop!
ttilika– Surf vibe with really cool shirts and sweatshirts, great gifts for your favorite teenager!
La Petite Tribu– Charming, little jewelry shop, great gifts for your friends at home who did’t get to go to France!
Don’t miss popping your head into the beautiful ancient church, Église Saint-Jean Baptiste where King Louis XIV married the King of Spain’s daughter, Maria Theresa in 1660. The church is very ornate.
After you stop by the church find a Maison Adam Bakery who created a unique macaron cookie to honor the marriage of the King and Princess. Buy a few tins of this delicious cookie to take home to friends!
St. Jean de Luz is a special spot. Two days would suffice, you can spend one day hiking or biking and then one day shopping and beaching. The views are stunning.
What to Pack
Dress up for dinner… the French part of the Basque Country seems to be a little dressier than it’s southern, Spanish counterpart.