French Basque Coast & Biarritz Day Trip, San Sebastián

Discover the French side of the Basque Country with a guided day trip to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, and Bayonne.


Explore the French side of the Basque Country on this guided day trip to three of its historic towns. Start by discovering nautical history, sandy beaches, and ancient churches in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and then continue up the coast to glitzy Biarritz. Here, you'll explore royal history and Belle Époque architecture, pausing for lunch in a traditional restaurant. End in the Basque capital, Bayonne, where you'll wander medieval cobbled streets and covered markets before returning to San Sebastián.


  • Visit Saint-Jean-de-Luz for nautical history and architecture from King Louis XIV's era
  • Admire former royal summer houses by the sea in buzzing Biarritz
  • Relax on the pristine, sandy shores of Grande Plage in Saint-Jean-de-Luz
  • Enjoy a typical French lunch in a local restaurant
  • Explore the Basque capital, Bayonne, with its ramparts, cathedrals, and markets

Know before you go

8 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Small group, 8 people or less
Food & Drink
Lunch Included

What you'll do

Your day trip to the French Basque Country begins with a hotel pickup in San Sebastián. Enjoy a scenic 45-minute drive to the border while your guide introduces the region's rich history. You'll cross the Río Bidasoa, which separates the two countries, arriving at your first stop, the fishing town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Set by the sea and at the mouth of the Rivière Nivelle, the town has a rich nautical history and was once home to whale hunters and wealthy 17th-century ship owners.

Follow your guide on foot through the narrow streets to Place Louis XIV in the historic center. The square is surrounded by historic houses such as Maison Louis XIV, where the king lived before marrying. Continue to the 14th-century Roman Catholic church, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, where the king married Maria-Thérèse from Spain in 1660, and admire the Baroque architecture and striking altarpiece. Next, enjoy some free time on the Grande Plage, a vast, sandy beach lapped by calm waters thanks to three breakwaters.

Continue 30 minutes north up the coast to Biarritz, another former fishing village that became a summer vacation destination for royals in the 19th century. Wander the streets lined with fancy Belle Époque villas such as Hôtel du Palais, which Emperor Napoleon III originally built as a summer home in the mid-19th century. Your guide will highlight art Art Deco marvels like the Casino Barrière and Neo-Gothic Église Sainte Eugenie with ornate stained-glass windows.

End your time in Biarritz by enjoying sea views from Rocher de la Vierge (rock of the virgin), a craggy rock topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary, before enjoying a two-course lunch with dessert at a local eatery. Afterward, you'll drive 20 minutes inland to medieval Bayonne, the region's capital. Follow your guide through cobbled streets lined with half-timbered buildings, spotting the remains of 17th-century ramparts surrounding the old town.

Start by visiting a few iconic sites, such as the Gothic Cathédrale Sainte-Marie de Bayonne from the 16th century with its twin towers, the neoclassical city hall, and the old fort at the Rivière Adour and Rivière Nive. Finally, browse the buzzing Marché Carreau des Halles, with its heaving stalls of cheese, meat, fish, and produce, before making the 50-minute drive back to San Sebastián, where you'll be dropped off at your hotel around 5 pm.

Start times

  • Monday
    9:00 am
  • Tuesday
    9:00 am
  • Wednesday
    Not available
  • Thursday
    9:00 am
  • Friday
    9:00 am
  • Saturday
    Not available
  • Sunday
    9:00 am

What's included

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Transportation in a private vehicle with air-conditioning
  • Lunch in Biarritz (two courses with dessert)

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