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St Jean de Luz

7 replies

hatter · 28/06/2004 01:55

Anyone been to St Jean de Luz/Ascain near Biarritz? What's it like? Any tips? decent restaurants? Good beaches? Days out?

OP posts:
thirtysomething · 01/07/2004 23:55

We went 6 years ago when ds1 was 3 months old - It was very nice but not very French, more Spanish somehow, so it depends how into France you are IYKWIM! It's pretty small but there are lots of nice restaurants (as long as you're not vegetarian, toherwise it's just omelettes or pizzas!) and Biarritz is very nice too - like Brighton French-style! There's some lovely trips you can do into the Pyrenees too.

Frenchgirl · 02/07/2004 00:53

hatter this is my home from home!!!! Have spent all my summer holidays there, Easter as well, got married there and my parents live there!!! It is very french, but more 'basque' than french IFSWIM. Do go there, but try to avoid July and August if you can. It is beautiful, fabulous market on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Eat at the Petit Grill Basque (they've known me since I was 4!!), or at Chez Kako (trendy but excellent food). There are lots of walks to do going to Ste Barbe or to Ciboure and Socoa (along the bay). The beach and water are very safe and ideal for children. Visit the church where Louis XIV (and later on, me!) got married. Go on the 'Navette' (little boat that takes you across the bay to Socoa, or just for a spin admiring the bay. Have some 'macarons' from Patisserie Adam. Buy yourself a T-shirt from '64' (they're brilliant). Go and visit Biarritz and Bayonne for the day. Go to La Rhune and take the little train to the top of the mountain. It's my favourite place on earth, I hope you go!!!
Will check this thread again later!

Frenchgirl · 03/07/2004 20:14

bump hatter!

hatter · 04/07/2004 13:10

Thanks French girl. Sounds great. We're booked to go in September, staying in a villa in Ascain. Do you know it? What about beaches? We're going with another family and between us we have a 2 year old, 3 year old and 4 year old, so I think the beach will definitely be required. We also (in our pre-children days) used to surf a bit (mainly in Wales) anywhere good for that?

OP posts:
CountessDracula · 04/07/2004 13:15

hatter, we went to St Jean de Luz in about 97 when we were travelling around Northern Spain - we thought it was really lovely and said that we would definitely come back when we had kids as there seemed to be so much for them there. Lots of kids clubs etc on the beaches and the restaurants were fab

fionagib · 04/07/2004 15:56

we had a totally disasterous hol in the langue d'oc region of france - appartment filthy, owned by mad drunk englishman, dh was so sleep deprived that he crshed and wrote off our car - and the only thing that salvaged the whole thing was abandoning our hol accomodation and driving (in replacement hire car) to st jean de luz on recommendation of a friend whose mother comes from there.

Agree about spanish feel - lovely place, very laid back. But we really fell in love with St Sebastian which i think is only an hour or two south of st jean de luz and is so worth a visit or short stay - lovely beach right on the town called 'La Concha'. Fab tapas bars. One of our very fave places.

Frenchgirl · 04/07/2004 22:45

Ascain is a very pretty village, you will need to take the car to go to the beach in St Jean de Luz (best beach for the kids, although the clubs will be closed then). September should be lovely, french kids will be back at school so it won't be too crazy but there still will be a few tourists around. For surfing go to Biarritz (and also posing on the beach!!). As you will be 'inland', go and visit some of the best basque villages such as Sare, Espelette (buy some 'piment d'espelette' in powder form and jelly, to go with cold meat, and some 'chocolat au piment d'espelette', delicious!), St Jean Pied de Port (a bit further). San Sebastian on the spanish side is beautiful and well worth a visit too. The beach is lovely (aahhh, we had our wedding reception at the 'Hotel de Londres e Inglaterra', on the beach!!!), and yes, fabulous tapas. Also go to Fontarrabie (Fuenterrabia), on the other side if Hendaye (give Hendaye a miss though), as it has more excellent tapas bars.
Have to go now!
xxx Frenchgirl

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