During the 17th-century, this city was one of the most important fishing ports of France. As trivial as it is, this was also the time where the Treaty of Pyrenees was signed and ended the long battle of France and Spain resulting in a historical royal wedding that took place in the city between King Louis XIV of France and the King of Spain’s daughter, Maria Theresa, that residents of Saint-Jean-de-Luz are still proud of today, but that’s not the only thing they should be proud of.
When researching about this city, you will feel like you are also researching about Biarritz, France, both having common activities and popular destinations like beaches, these cities are much alike. But what differs one from the other is that Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a much more calm and relaxed go-to destination. If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy and unwind at the same time, with a busy crowd but not too overwhelming, then I would say, here it is! Check out these fun activities you can do while having a vacation in Saint-Jean-de-Luz!
1. Shop in Rue Gambetta
Before tiring yourself exploring the city, one of the gleeful things to do (at least for most of the women out there!) is to go shopping! Shop till you drop in the main pedestrian street of the city where stores and boutiques flock together, from clothes and shoes, to chocolates and even local products. Time to go, shoppers!
Address: Rue Léon Gambetta, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
2. Buy products at the local market
If you are curious about the good food in this Basque country, try visiting the local market. This is where most of the freshest ingredients are bought making the food in the city tasty and superb. One of these ingredients is cheese, also known as “Cheese of sheep”. It may seem typical, but this product goes through a different process, because it is uncooked, pressed and matured for about 6 months before being sold. This market is open every day of the week but make sure to set your visit on a Tuesday or a Friday because that is the day you will score more local products!
Address: Boulevard Victor Hugo, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
3. Place a bet at Casino La Pergola
Still have money left? This casino offers different kinds of betting games from slot machines to table games. Take a risk and try playing in this beautiful hotel casino located in the Atlantic Pyrenees and if you are tired of playing, just sit back and relax in their bar and restaurant that has a terrace, which offers you a panoramic view of the bay in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
Casino La Pergola
Address: Place Maurice Ravel, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Website: Casino La Pergola (in French)
4. Experience Loreamar Thalasso Spa at Grand Hôtel
One of the truly relaxing things to do after all the exploration is to head to a spa. Just a stone’s throw away from Casino La Pergola is this 5 star hotel that offers a unique spa experience. It may be pricey, but it’s worth trying if you won at the Casino La Pergola!
Grand Hôtel Thalasso & Spa
Address: 43 Boulevard Thiers, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Website: Grand Hôtel Thalasso & Spa
5. Eat seafood at the Port
This may be a bit surprising but this Port is actually one of the biggest fishing ports in France. During the fifteenth century, this is where fishermen used to catch tons of fish of different species, to be sold in the market. Nowadays, the streets surrounding the Port offer an array of seafood restaurant like La Boete, which serves good food quality at a very reasonable price. If you are craving for fish and seafood, head on to this place!
Address: 3 Rue Jean Bague, Saint Jean de Luz, France
Website: La Boete (in French)
6. Give thanks at the Church of Saint John the Baptist of Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Situated in the street of Rue Gambetta, this church is a historical monument. This place shares a big role in ending the conflict between France and Spain through the union of Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Spain, that took place in the church.
Church of Saint John the Baptist
Address: Rue Gambetta, 64500 St-Jean-de-Luz, France
7. Go nature tripping at Nature Quad
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Another tiring but definitely one of the most unforgettable things to do in this city is to go for a trek. Feel relaxed and adventurous as you leave the busy city for a bit, to experience activities like hiking or quad biking, be it for an hour or two, a half day or even a full day!
Quad é Nature
Address: 161 Rue Belharra, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Website: Quad é Nature
8. Take a dip at the beach
Because why not? Remember, this is one of the most popular go-to destinations in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, be it for tourists or for natives. Like the city of Biarritz, this place also has a wide range of fine sandy beaches to choose from, for surfers or even just swimmers. La Grande Plage Beach is recommended if you are traveling with the family, most especially with children, because of the activities and games happening along the shore.
La Grande Plage
Address: 5 Place Maurice Ravel, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Exploring the city
It is so nice to be in a city where you can find many different things to do, if it’s for the first time or not. Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a lot of fun past times that are worth your energy and worth adding to your beautiful travel memories. With its uncommon activities, this place will surely not waste a penny you spend during your vacation. Have a blast while exploring the unique city of Saint-Jean-de-Luz!
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