St Jean de Luz

Photo of St Jean de Luz

About St Jean de Luz

The restful port town of St-Jean-de-Luz is just down from Biarritz, very close to the Spanish border - so close you can nip over for lunch. So it's got a sort of Gallic-Basque-ness about it. Stylish Biarritz caught St-Jean-de-Luz up in the society whirlwind of the mid 19th Century. And along the promenade, beside the wooden Basque houses, are faded mansions, which have a chic charm, like stately retirees retaining their impeccable standards. Here are some good reasons to visit, and some of the best places to stay in St-Jean-de-Luz to enjoy them from.

St-Jean-de-Luz is a popular spot for French families during July and August, so there are plenty of kids on the beach. This is still a working fishing port - tuna mainly - so there's also a lot of activity and action around the centre of town. And the Basque traditions, from singing and dancing to the food, make for plenty of colour. There are also numerous festivals.

What Not To Miss

  • Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the largest Basque church in France, and one of the most impressive buildings in town.
  • Smell and taste the Spanish/Basque influences at the busy food market on Boulevard Victor Hugo.
  • The town's main beach looks like a painting depicting the perfect sandy harbour. Lighthouse at one end, headland at the other. Striped deck chairs, umbrellas and little tents give it some colour.
  • If quaint seaside charm isn't your thing, St-Jean-de-Luz is good for surfing year round. There are plenty of surf shops in town most of which offer rentals and lessons.
  • The town is also a centre of Thalassotherapy - a selection of salt water treatments.

As you would expect it's a very busy town in the peak summer months, so the best places to stay in St Jean de Luz get booked up early. Plan ahead and you should still be able to bag a decent bed, or alternatively go in the quieter months, when you'll get more beach for your buck!

The best places to stay in St Jean de Luz

For a central location

  • If you want to stay in the pretty heart of town, one of the best options is La Diviniere It's full of character and colour, the fantasy of the owner, who's chosen the eclectic decor all himself, from wallpaper to objets d'art. If you want warm and welcoming this is a definite winner.

For pampering

  • If you're looking for somewhere to pamper yourself, book the Chateau d'Urtubie. Turreted and sumptuous, this beautiful chateau has been tastefully renovated. Its private gardens and few rooms add to its exclusive feel. And the Michelin starred restaurant round the corner makes it one of the best places to stay in St-Jean-de-Luz for foodies.

For families

  • La Reserve is the perfect family property. It's in a marvellous location with stunning sea views and surrounded by extensive grounds with tennis courts. There's children's menus and you're just a short walk from the beach and centre of town.

For an apartment or holiday villa

  • Think that a self catering villa or apartment would suit you better? Check out the wide range with our online booking partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Nearest airport - San Sebastian (about 12km over the border in Spain) or Biarritz (13.6km to the north).
  • Best time to visit - St Jean de Luz is popular year round but the best weather can be had during the peak summer months. In August the average high is around the mid twenties celcius.
  • Want to hire a car? Visit our online partner, Rentalcars for the best prices.

Still not sure which is the property for you?

Best Hotels in St Jean de Luz

  • Chateau d'Urtubie St Jean de Luz 8 rooms from £74

    Value chic  -  Beautifully restored rooms start from just €85 per night.
    Foodies  -  Michelin recommended gourmet restaurant very close by.
    Great walks  -  There's a good range for all abilities from walking the coastal paths to hiking in the nearby mountains.
    Local markets  -  Visit one of many traditional local markets in the surrounding towns and villages.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Elegant family-run chateau. Sympathetically restored bedrooms and suites crammed with antiques and artworks, and seriously impressive public spaces. Beautiful grounds and lovely swimming pool. Within walking distance of a gourmet restaurant. Ideal for foodies, couples, and local explorers. See More

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  • La Reserve, Saint-Jean-de-Luz St Jean de Luz 41 rooms from £100

    Families  -  Tennis courts, gardens, children's menus and plenty of activities - plus dogs are allowed
    Eco break  -  An eco friendly escape
    Great walks  -  Walk the coastal pathway which you can pick up right in front of the hotel
    Views  -  Its spectacular clifftop setting ensures great views out over the Atlantic

    Beautiful hotel with stunning vistas of the Atlantic ocean. Its contemporary rooms are light and spacious with balconies that boast views out to the sea. Have a game of tennis or amble down the coastal path to the charming town of St Jean de Luz. The perfect place for exploring the Basque coastline. See More

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  • La Devinière St Jean de Luz 6 rooms from £104

    Beach Life  -  A gorgeous french house on a quiet pedestrian street leading to the main beach, in the heart of the old city.
    Full of character  -  La Deviniere oozes character and is filled with period objets and antiques plus a vast library to lose yourself in!
    Sights nearby  -  Located in St Jean de Luz's old town
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Utterly charming and individual B&B in the heart of the old town. An eclectic mix of decorations - china, rugs, objets d'art, paintings, and a wonderful library. Minutes from the beach. A really characterful spot. See More

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