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Saint-Jean-de-LuzFrance

With its lively fishing port and traditional half-timbered houses, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a beautiful place to stop on the French Basque coast.

A trip to pretty Saint-Jean-de-Luz can combine a swim in the calm ocean waters, cultural visits to the homes of former kings and meals of traditional Basque food with local cider.

Located at the mouth of the River Nivelle and set beneath the green Pyrenean foothills, Saint-Jean-de-Luz has the beaches, restaurants and charming authenticity expected from all towns on this coast. It somehow avoided the heavy tourism of other resorts farther north.

The town is one of France’s busiest fisheries. Look for colorful boats coming into the large natural harbor every morning and evening. Get up early and watch fishermen bring their catch ashore or join one of the crews on a deep-sea fishing trip. These run throughout the summer and leave from the port.

On shore, relax on the golden sands of St.-Jean-de-Luz Beach. It is the most protected bay on the coast, making it a great spot for a gentle swim.

The town is small enough that it can easily be covered on foot in an hour or 2. Walk along the charming streets and you’ll see why King Louis XIV decided to make Saint-Jean-de-Luz his temporary home before his marriage to Maria Teresa of Spain. Find out more about his stay with a visit to Maison Louis XIV near the port. Inside, examine the fine 17th-century artwork and antique furniture in many of the rooms. Nearby is the Maison de l’Infante, the former temporary home of Louis’s future wife. Admire the building’s brick and stone exterior and step inside to view oil paintings and rare jewelry.

Just east of the two mansions is France’s largest Basque church, the Church of St. John the Baptist. The façade is fairly simple but the interior features exquisite Baroque design. Marvel at the grand altar where Louis and Teresa married in 1660.

Stroll along the seafront to find the best of the town’s restaurants. Unsurprisingly, the menus are heavily seafood oriented. You’ll find other Basque specialties, such as stewed lamb, too.

The proximity of the snow-covered Pyrenees means that winters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz can be wet. Expect warm, sunny days from March until October.

Top hotels in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Grand Hôtel Thalasso et Spa
Grand Hôtel Thalasso et Spa
5 out of 5
43 Boulevard Thiers, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrenees-Atlantiques
£145
per night
16 Apr-17 Apr

Located in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 10-minute walk of St-Jean-de-Luz Beach, Church of St-Jean-Baptiste and ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (217 reviews)
Great

"fantastic"…"

Reviewed on 23 Dec 2019

Grand Hôtel Thalasso et Spa
Campanile Saint Jean De Luz
Campanile Saint Jean De Luz
109 Chemin de Chibau, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrenees-Atlantiques
£60
per night
3 Apr-4 Apr

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lafitenia Beach and Erromardie Beach. Littoral Paul Jovet Botanical Garden and Bidart Beaches ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (167 reviews)

"It was more than we expected! It's a new hotel, the staff was great and we had a good experience."…"

Reviewed on 6 Oct 2019

Campanile Saint Jean De Luz
Hôtel Arena Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Hôtel Arena Saint-Jean-de-Luz
2 out of 5
109 Chemin De Chibau, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Pyrenees-Atlantiques
£53
per night
1 Apr-2 Apr

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Lafitenia Beach, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Maison Louis XIV and Maison de l'Infante. Nivelle Golf Course ...

4.3/5Excellent! (437 reviews)
Simple, convenient and good location

"A very nicely located hotel between Biarritz and saint Jean de Luz. You can access both easily with this hotel. It’s very basic but clean and comfortable. Not Bellamy sans whistles but offers a safe environment. Has free parking."…"

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2019

Hôtel Arena Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Popular things to do in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Port de Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Image for Port de Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Port de Saint-Jean-de-Luz

4/5(4 reviews)

Explore the waterfront in Saint-Jean-de-Luz City Center with a trip to Port de Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Wander the beautiful beaches in this quaint area.

Concha Beach
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Concha Beach

4.5/5(56 reviews)

Enjoy one of the best city beaches in Europe. This fantastic spot in San Sebastián has an extensive sandy area and clear waters. 

Hossegor Beach
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Hossegor Beach

4.5/5(4 reviews)

Nothing says holiday like spending a lazy day at Hossegor Beach, a popular beach in Soorts-Hossegor. While you're in the area, stroll along the lakeside.

Monte Igueldo
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Monte Igueldo

4.5/5(33 reviews)

Go to the top of this great mountain in San Sebastián and visit a traditional amusement park with spectacular views as a backdrop.

Ondarreta Beach
Image for Ondarreta Beach

Ondarreta Beach

4.5/5(34 reviews)

Bring your kids to this family-friendly beach and admire the vista of the outcrops, islands and verdant hills that sprout from beautiful Concha Bay.

Basque Culinary Center
Image for Basque Culinary Center

Basque Culinary Center

4.5/5(15 reviews)

Explore the campus of Basque Culinary Center, a top university in San Sebastian. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.

Top activities in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Charms of San Sebastián Day Trip
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Charms of San Sebastián Day Trip

76% of travellers recommend
£66
Per adult
Pintxos Bar Crawl
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Pintxos Bar Crawl

80% of travellers recommend
£113
Per adult
Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups
Image for Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups

Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour in small groups

£95
Per adult

Reviews of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

5

Top Destination

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4 - Good
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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Sep 2019

Very smart and chic town with lovely sandy beach and many many little shops, but mostly expensive

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 May 2019

Great little and safe town which is a lovely place to relax in.