Biarritz is an elegant town. The Hotel du Palais tells the tale of a prestigious past that began under Napoleon III. You can even tour the town on a little train, a replica of an 1850s locomotive. This charming guided tour will take you through all of Biarritz’s neighbourhoods, from the Lighthouse esplanade and the Les Halles district to the Chapelle impériale, the aquarium and museum of the sea, and the Asiatica museum.
Biarritz is fond of legends, and the Virgin Mary at Rocher de la Vierge has become a symbol of the town. Legend has it that in 1864, a whaling ship was caught in a storm at sea. The sailors thought they’d met their doom when, suddenly, a light helped them to find their way safely back to the harbour. On order by Napoleon III, a bridge was built to the Rocher and a Virgin Mary statue was erected for protection.
In 1887, Gustave Eiffel built a new bridge, which still stands today. From the rock, you can admire the coast from the Bayonne harbour all the way to Spain, with Anglet’s beaches and the Casino de Biarritz in between. The casino’s gaming tables host gamblers from the whole world, and its slot machines are a favourite with beginners!