Centuries ago St Jean-de-Luz was more important than Biarritz, a fishing port grown rich on whales, whose sailors were feared by the English - they referred to it as a viper's nest. It was here that Louis XIV chose to marry Marie-Thérèse in sumptuous style following the contract signed at nearby Hendaye - though the marriage was delayed by his passion for his mistress.
Much of the very old town was destroyed by fire set by the Spanish in 1558, but by 1660 - the year of the marriage - much had been rebuilt, and the old town still today bears testament to the wealth at that time. But then fishing went into a decline, until the last century when tuna, anchovies and sardines became the main catches.
Today St-Jean-de-Luz, with its long beach and old port, is one of the busiest coastal resorts in France, a lively and cosmopolitan town. Around the main square you can find some of the best sea-food restaurants on the Basque Coast, as well as other bars and terraces from which to see and enjoy the regular musical events in the main square - including a Basque Choir every Sunday morning.
|Large, sheltered bay very popular ||Beaches|
|Golf 18 hole (2 on map) and another 18 hole in Ciboure (1 on map) ||Golf|
|GOLF DE LA NIVELLE, Ciboure|
18 holes 70 par 5587m WOODED. Green fees: 220F - 320F
GOLF DE CHANTACO, St Jean de Luz
18 holes 70 par 5722m WOODED. Green fees: 260F - 340F
|Large Basque-style church, Saint Jean-Baptiste ||Churches|
|Maison Louis XIV and Maison de l'Infante (17th Century residences of French King Louis XIV and Spanish Princess Marie-Teresa before their marriage in the church of Saint Jean-Baptiste) ||Historic remains|
|Grevin Museum ||Museums|
|Local history including a wax-works exhibition. Open all the year round: every day from April to October, the afternoons of weekends and school holidays outside this period.|
|Urrugne: Florenia botanical gardens ||Natural History|
|18 hectares in a hidden valley organised into seven worlds of flowers: Open Easter to All Saints, closed Mondays except July/August|
© 123Voyage, 1997 - 2014
Site v 2.1