Biarritz by First Class Rail
Prices from £549 per person
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A true gem of France’s southwest coast, Biarritz has been a favourite with visitors ever since Napoleon III popularised it almost two centuries ago. Now with its array of glamorous art deco and belle époque architecture – along with its fantastic sweep of golden beaches – the town is just as delightful as ever. Discover its enduring appeal for yourself on this wonderful short break by rail.
Price from £549 per person based on two people travelling together, for a four-night holiday.
Day 1 – London to Biarritz
Begin your holiday in the heart of London at the beautifully restored St Pancras International station, where you join the Eurostar service to Paris. Sit back and relax as the train speeds across the south east of England then races through the Channel Tunnel, reaching speeds of up to 186 mph. Enjoy a light meal and drinks, served at your Standard Premier Class seat (Eurostar’s First Class for leisure travellers) as you emerge in France, and continue southwards. On arrival in Paris Gare du Nord, a private taxi is waiting to transfer you to the Gare Montparnasse from where you travel on the high-speed TGV service to Biarritz. The journey takes you across the diverse and ever-changing scenery of France, so sit back and enjoy the views as you travel southwards. Your train passes Bordeaux and Bayonne before you arrive in the coastal resort of Biarritz. Your hotel for the next four nights is the welcoming and highly-rated Radisson Blu Hotel (4 star), which enjoys a superb location overlooking the Côte des Basques beach.
Days 2-4 – Discovering beautiful Biarritz
Once a great favourite of Queen Victoria and Frank Sinatra amongst others, Biarritz is a striking seaside resort on the Atlantic coast with much to recommend it. You will want to make the most of your three full days here.
You might like to start on one of its famous beaches, including ‘La Grande Plage’, a long sandy beach with a lighthouse on a rocky outcrop, which is the main beach. For a quieter experience you may prefer to venture to the beaches at Port Vieux and Milady, which are less crowded. Take a stroll along the coast pass various little coves and walkways to some of the rocks including the Rocher de la Vierge, with the statue of the Virgin, which has become a symbol of Biarritz and is said to protect local fishermen from the perils of wild seas.
Then wander back into the town and discover some of the town’s architectural delights such as the Cathedral of St Eugenie and museums which are dedicated to subjects such as chocolate and Asian art. Also among the town’s highlights is the famous casino, where you may wish to try your luck, as well as the aquarium, which is home to a superb array of underwater creatures.
Alternatively, you may prefer to venture further afield. Perhaps take the train to St Jean de Luz, a charming fishing port with a beautifully preserved medieval centre which is a delight to stroll around. Bayonne a little further inland is also well worth a visit ; highlights here include the striking Gothic Cathedral and the half-timbered houses on the narrow streets surrounding it.
Day 5 – Return to London – homeward bound
This morning after breakfast make your way back to Biarritz station, where you join the TGV service to Paris. Watch the rolling hills flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. In Paris your private taxi transfers you to the Gare du Nord where you join the Eurostar for the last stage of your journey. Let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International and the final stage of your journey home.