Enjoy a great overnight side trip from San Sebastian Spain to Biarritz France. After having lived like Spanish Royalty on summer vacation in San Sebastian Spain why not get even more noble, French style. One’s Dignity restored, stomach filled with delectable seafood Tapas it’s time to entertain a quick easy train ride. Riding the rails north through beautiful Basque country, cruising along the Northern Atlantic coast and crossing the open border into Southern France is a hoot.
I recommend leaving your bags at your Hotel in San Sebastian and packing superlight for an overnight stay in Biarritz. Be sure to include your best duds for a royal entrance into the world of French culture.
It’s an easy walk to the train station in San Sebastian. Below is the train info. Depending on your schedule and train connection in France you can always split a cab at the Spanish/French border (Hendaye) and enjoy a 15 minute drive into downtown Biarritz.
Arriving at the grand, opulent Hotel Du Palais one’s memories of railroad tracks, beautiful scenery, and common folk fade quickly. Entering the Lobby one’s quickly transported back in time to a different era. The lobby is grand. This large French Royalty summer home of Napoleon III in 1855 (Villa Eugenie) was converted into a modern Hotel (Hotel Du Palais) which is authentic and awe-inspiring.
One can’t help but walk more regally up the winding stair case to one’s room. Once inside one’s room it feels unique. Sipping a glass of red wine looking out over the Atlantic it’s easy to see why the French Royals picked this spot to relax from the grind of Nobility.
The service is over the top. The food exquisite. The ambiance screams you are special. A short walk to the beach, restaurants, café’s and shopping awaits. Perhaps a promenade along the cliffs to watch the surfers and boats. Maybe a visit to the saltwater spa or try one’s luck at the tables in the Casino next door is in order.
If you are feeling more adventorous and have time try the Oihana Eco Park for ziplines and paintball. Maybe the CablePark for wakeboarding or rent a surfboard and catch a wave or two. The caves at of Sare, the aquarium, and the Musuem (Musee Asiatica) are popular tourist attractions however the incredible Hotel and it’s central location lend itself to staying put.
With everything so central its easy to relax and enjoy a quick yet memorable stay. With a mini introduction to French culture it is fun to compare and contrast the Spanish Culture to the French Culture in real-time.
Granted Biarritz is a French surf town. Skateboards, surfboards, wetsuits, sun bleached hair are local sights too. The vibe is youthful and chic, yet the new is deeply embedded into old French culture.
As one rides the rails back into Spain it’s easy to see why the Royals of France and Spain both selected this unique Basque area to spend their summers. It’s easy to see why the locals feel such tremendous pride in their region of the world. It’s also easy to see why I fell in love with this part of the world. Natural beauty, style, and culture all blend together helping one to feel a bit different, perhaps Royal, even if only for a moment.
1. Arrive in Biarritz France. Take local train from San Sebastian Spain which leaves every 30 minutes; travel time approximately one hour to Spanish/French Border (Hendaye) take a 1 minute walk across border then take local French train into Biarritz, and take a taxi from train station to Hotel ( Hotel Du Palais)
2. Return to San Sebastian Spain. Take taxi to train station in Biarritz and board train to the border ( Hendaye) 1 minute walk across border back into Spain, board train leaves every 30 minutes, walk or taxi back to Hotel in San Sebastian Spain.
Hotel Du Palais – 800-223-6800