Visiting Biarritz for one day can be a great experience. You'll find that there are plenty of things to do. There's the aquarium, beaches, and the Rock of the Virgin. You can even learn about the history of whaling in this city.
During the Middle Ages, whale hunting was practiced in the English Channel and the North Sea. In 1324, Edward II of England imposed a tax on every whale captured in British waters. This was an early example of a taxation policy that favored the wealthy.
However, the Basques of Spain were not only the first western people to take advantage of a whale resource, they were also the pioneers of a whale fishing industry that would last for hundreds of years. The Basques used on-board trv-works to process whales at sea instead of winching the carcasses to shore for rendering. This innovative system allowed for efficient whale processing and avoided the need to bring the carcasses ashore.
In addition, whalers had a number of uses for the baleen of the whales. They fashioned lantern handles and puppet strings from the baleen, and the membranes were used to make drum heads. They even used the baleen for fishing rods.
The fattier parts of the whale, such as craspois, were cured like bacon. This part was considered a particularly delicacy. It was often demanded by local church officials. It was also boiled into soup and dried and pulverized to make a tonic.
The Basques expanded the whale fishery to the Grand Banks. This area is reputed to be one of the richest cod-fishing grounds in the world. The Basques were the first Europeans to visit Greenland, and may have sailed as far north as Spitsbergen.
It is unknown exactly when the Basques first began hunting large whales, but they are said to have started around 1000 AD. By the sixteenth century, they were establishing a pattern for the right whale fishery.
The Basques were also the first western people to hunt the gray whale. They may have even been the first Europeans to fish the coast of Greenland. It is not known how many gray whales were killed during their whaling operation, but there is evidence that the species was present in the Atlantic during this period.
The Basques had a number of notable accomplishments, including the invention of on-board trv-works, the formation of hereditary "corporations" for whalers, and the development of a protocol for the right whale fishery.
Located on the French coast, Biarritz has many beaches. Each has its own unique character. They are ideal for swimming, surfing, sunbathing and watersports. They also offer excellent views. There are a number of restaurants and cafes. You can also find spas, golf courses and traditional bodegas.
There are a number of excellent surf breaks in Biarritz, including La Grande Plage. This beach is surrounded by manicured gardens and bounded by a historic lighthouse. It is one of the largest beaches in Biarritz and is considered a world-class surfing spot. It is backed by the elegant Hotel du Palais and is located within a short walk from the city center.
Cote de Basques is the birthplace of surfing in Biarritz and is a popular beachbreak. The wide, open beach and rugged cliffs provide great viewing opportunities. It is the site of the annual Cote des Basques surf festival. There is a lifeguard during the summer. The beach is accessible by foot or by a staircase.
Miramar beach is located just to the north of Biarritz. It is a popular destination for locals, with wild Atlantic breakers. Dogs are allowed on the beach, but they need to be kept on leashes. The beach is not recommended for beginners due to the strong currents. It can be dangerous to get in the water during a high tide.
The main beach of Biarritz is known for its exceptional views. You can watch the waves from the promenade. You can also take a tram bus to the beach from the city center. There are also several bus lines serving the beach.
The city has a number of museums. There is the Musee de la Mer, which displays 150 varieties of native marine life. There is also the Museum of the Sea. There are also a number of good restaurants and cafes in Biarritz. You can also visit the Orthodox Church and Biarritz Lighthouse.
The beach is framed by rocky promontories and is perfect for scuba diving and kayaking. During the summer season, there is a free shuttle to the beach from the Vieux Port.
Aquarium de Biarritz
Located in the heart of Biarritz, the Aquarium de Biarritz is one of the most beautiful aquatic venues in France. It features 50 aquaria showcasing over 500 different forms of sea life. It also includes an 11-meter-long Caribbean lagoon.
The aquarium is a great attraction for families and children. There are seal feedings twice a day.
In addition to its shark tank, the aquarium has several star fish. These include loggerhead turtles, leopard rays, napoleon fish, and round-nosed guitar rays.
The aquarium is open daily from 9am to 7pm. There is a 3D movie which takes visitors to 3,500 meters underwater. Besides, it offers a Virtual Surf feature that recreates the sensation of sliding.
The aquarium has a gallery of cetaceans and species from the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. In addition, it has a special "Turtle Cave" where you can find a 100-kg loggerhead turtle named Alice. This shell is 120 cm high and she is just waiting for you to slow down and swim with her.
Moreover, the museum has a shark cave that you can visit. It also has whale history displays. The aquarium is home to 30 sharks. The sharks include hammerhead sharks, which are only found in France.
The Aqaurium de Biarritz has a large staff of marine biologists who ensure that all the species are well taken care of. The shark tank is the largest in Europe. It is surrounded by four levels of fish.
The aquarium also features an outdoor terrace with a seal pool. This is a great way to get up close with the sharks. In addition, you can participate in a guided tour of the shark tank. It is also possible to enjoy a picnic dinner with the sharks.
Moreover, the aquarium offers joint tickets with the Cite de l'Ocean. These tickets are available for a discounted rate. The ticket offers priority in the queue at the Cite de l'Ocean. Additionally, you can purchase a Biarritz Ocean Pass.
The Aquarium of Biarritz is located near the Rocher de la Vierge. Its beautiful structure has an art deco design.
Rock of the Virgin
Among the many things to do in Biarritz, France, the Rock of the Virgin offers a great panoramic view of the French coast. Visitors can take a stroll across the footbridge to observe the beautiful scenery. The view of the Pyrenees Mountains is also quite impressive.
Another interesting place to visit is the Museum of the Sea, which was opened in 1933. This museum is located on the shore of Biarritz, and shows the local flora and fauna. It features an art deco style aquarium. It contains a shark tank as well as other exhibits. The museum also has a magnificent collection of oriental art.
The 74 metre tall Eiffel Bridge provides access to the city, and is named after Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower. It is a popular attraction. It is a 250 step climb to the top. You can also enjoy the views of the city from the observation deck.
Biarritz's history dates back to the 16th century, when women swam in the sea with fisherman. During this time, the city was known as a whaling port. Families would travel to the town for summer holidays. The town was a hot spot for royals and glitzy Hollywood stars of the day. In 1843, Victor Hugo visited the town. He said that the city was magical. Afterwards, he wrote a number of short stories about the town.
Another interesting place to see in Biarritz is the 12th century Church of Saint Martin. It is located on Avenue de L'Imperatrice, and is reminiscent of the churches of Saint Petersburg. The town also has an Orthodox Church near Grande Plage. You can also visit the Planete Musee du Chocolat, which displays the history of chocolate and its origins. It is located near the Rocher de la Vierge.
The end of the war marked a time of renewal for the city of Biarritz. The Rock of the Virgin, the old port, and the Museum of the Sea were just a few of the sites that caught the attention of visitors. The city is a great place to spend one day, and you will not regret it.