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Saint Jean-de-Luz

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St Jean de Luz
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.


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Things to do in Saint Jean-de-Luz

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
Marina Marinas and Sailing clubs

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Things to see in Saint Jean-de-Luz

Large Basque-style church, Saint Jean-Baptiste Churches
2 week-long annual festival Festivals and Fetes
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
Pelote Basque European and World championships Pelote Basque

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Transport

Trains
TGV service

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