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The Route of the Thalassoterapia for the Basque-French coast


The sunny afternoon invites us to return to the beach and to continue the journey that will take us to the following thermal village, the imperial Biarritz. The sand now hot, is burning our feet that we refresh walking in the water during some kilometers.

The solar rays also begin to leave burns in the arms in spite of the high protection to avoid burns. A pretty seafaring cap, that a fhiserman from Hendaya, has viven us a a present, protecs the hair and the face. We appreciate the breeze of the sea. 

For those following the route by motorway, to six kilometers of San Juan of Luz, in the interior, we found two beautiful villages, typically basque and worthy of visit: Ascain and San Pée sur Nivelle, to 13 km of the previous one, both in the banks of River Nivelle show theirs houses and rural houses with roofs of two slopes, church and fronton. An entire patrimony of customs and manners. 

The aquitanians are faithful to their traditions and the people basque-french, cultivate their legendary lyking for the coexistence, inviting all their visitors to the local festivities of the good humor that make happy the smallest villages.

The festivities of the Euskera, in Saint-Pée-south-Nivelle are a sample of participation. It take place along the month of May. They are meetings of the Basque schools around the traditions, the folk, the song and the dances. It is another form of discovering the cultural patrimony of the -Atlantic Pyrenees. 

In the way to Biarritz it is more interesting to go through N-10 that use the motorway(free cost). We pass Guéthary and Bidart, two places of vacations that have lived from fishing, with a charming old city centre of population and beautiful panoramic views.

We continue walking by the seaside and in this tract of the coast we find remains of algae, surely crawled by the tide and that have been spread along the beach.


The mysterious algae, unknown many of them, give substances very appreciated by the alimentary industry, the pharmacological laboratories and, mainly, the cosmetics. The algae that now we are touching, are dead algae although their tact doesn't produce such a sensation. Used as treatment in the Thalassoterapy Centers, in bath s and mires applied on the skin they exercise a sedative action that mitigates the pain and it alleviates the fatigue. 

The sun timidly begins the stting. We have the last sea bath, the one that will refresh our skin punished by the solar rays in spite of the high protection. Our particular "remise in it form" is giving excellent results since we scarcely notice fatigue. I play in the water with the small waves that break in the sea side producing a conch noise. In the distance we see several swimmers that enjoy the sea at this pleasant hour of the afternoon. 

We are not be very far from Biarritz. The watchtowers that go into in the coast remind us that scarcely some more kilometers and we will have arrived to the paradise of the golf. Touching the border of the cliff, these watchtowers are the best platforms in the most select green. Golf fields where the most important championships of Europe are disputed.

Biarritz is considered to be a leader as the place to celebrate events related to this sport since golf began to be practiced in 1888. More than a century of legend golfer's. In the golf´s fields of Aquitania, take place the most famous international competitions, such as the Grand Prix des Landes de Golf, in Hossegor, in July; The Golf Biarritz Cup, in july; The Golf Makilas Pro AM, in Biarritz, in October. 

The sea breeze is part of the golf aesthetic just the same as the beaches of the French Basque coast where there are some waves adapted by their height and speed for the practice of the surfing. Biarritz and their Grand Plage concentrate every year on the month of July to the most select elite in the worldwide surf. 

The surfist passion is to go ahead with the the practice of his entire culture of the surf. We have checked it along the itinerary. Surfing schools train every time an increasing number of enthusiastic youths in this sport where the dexterity and skill are part of the challenge: to achieve a balance among the mind and the body to dominate something as aparently so simple as a board runing over the waves with an astonishing speed. 

We are near Biarritz, the thermal station, where the european royalty of the XIX century were having theirs summer holidays. The stage star of the route of the thalassotherapy. 

Initially Biarritz was a small fishing port of whalers before being discovered by the Empress Eugenia de Montijo that ordered the construction of a great mansion here, the current Hotel du Palais and put this place in fashion. 

We are in fact in front of this magnificent Hotel located at the end of the Great Beach of Biarritz. At the beginning of 1800, the english trops carried out an incursion in the area. Later it was protected by Napoleón III that ordered to build for their Spanish wife the Villa Eugenia in 1855.

This magnificent palace, of XIII Louis style, became the classic Hotel du Palais from 1905, with a wide terrace toward the sea and the living room replete of hanging spiders, chandeliers in the tables and enormous windows, characteristic of the imperial style of those times. 

The empress Eugenia of Montijo passed her summery vacations here, and from that time the city acquired fame of aristrocrátic spa, endowed with summer villages, therapeutic Baths for the excellent water properties, and the casino Bellevue of medieval style, inaugurated in 1858.

After the imperial decadence, Biarritz succumbed in the time until the peak arrived with the tailors that transformed it into the city of the fashion: Cocó Chanel, Laurent, Poiret, Molineux and others had its branches here. Today is the sanctuary of the more important centres of Thalassotherapy of the French Basque coast. 

From the abrupt and rocky maritime riverside the narrow streets run up toward the centre, in the famous Clemençeau square. We sit down in one of the terraces. And we observe shops, bars, restaurants, coffees and event the casino maintain their luxurious aspect of old times. The village adapts itself to the carefree and modern dress every summer duplicated, looking for rest and sport.

To alternate the cares of the body and that of the spirit with cultural visits is part of the philosophy of the wellnnes. We opt for a relaxing bath in one of these sanctuaries of the thalasso. We walk to Rue of Madrid where are located Thermes Marins Biarritz, operating from 1970. With magnificient facilities and a beautiful view of sea, it has a personnel qualified to assist the visitor that looks for restoring their health and well-being. 

Offers specific treatments post-childbirth, slimming cures and against the rheumatism. Spaces of sea water, jacuzzi, cervical showers, baths of bubbles, water curtains, massages and all the imaginable one to put on in form or to make a relaxing cure . In the the suite of bath we get an authentic top form condition. 

Before leaving Biarritz we take one petit tourist train, ideal to visit every typical curiosity of the city. A trayect to know and to discover the places, the history of the Virgin's Rock in the Basque coast, the old port, the fishing port, the biggest square and a short stop in the esplanade of the lighthouse.


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