Saint Jean de Luz, a french basque village
Saint Jean de Luz is one of the first french basque village where you can go when you cross the spanish frontier. Located in the west south of France in the Aquitaine area (the French Basque Country), the village is an important fishing harbour which is connected to the Atlantic ocean but above all a splendid tourist centre.
It was there during the summer day of june, 9th 1660 that Louis XIV got married with Maria Teresa de Austria (daughter of the spanish king Felipe IV).
You can visit the famous Saint Jean Baptiste church built in the 15th century in which it conserves a magnificent altarpiece of 17th century, the Louis XIV house and the prince house.
Its other attractive part, except its very nice beach and botanic garden, is the spa side which uses talasoterapy techniques. When the weather is very sunny, it is very hard to find a place to park and the best chance to find one is the parking of the train station. Moreover to be big, it is free and very close to the downtown.
If you don’t have intention to visit the village but more to take advantage of its beach, the best will be to park in the small parking close to it but take note that the zone is not free. It will worth to let your car in the train station parking and walk more or less 20 minutes to reach the beach.
Of course, if you don’t plan to rent a car and to go there by train, you won’t have this problem. The most animated and attractive zone is the pedestrian street (rue gambetta) near the market.
All along this street, you will find shops, bars and restaurants but not only that. It starts near the harbour and the first thing you can visit, it is its church. At the middle, there is a little place where you will find the flower stand and at the end, another place where you can lunch or dine meanwhile enjoying to view how the life of its citizens is passing.
And from this last place, you are just at 6 minutes to go to the beach. Not all the time, there are some shows in some spots of the street and one time, I was able to enjoy one of them. It was 2 people performing indian songs with the corresponding music instruments and costumes.
The beach is very nice and clean with a clear water and big enough for every people to have spaces and not to feel squeeze. Before or after enjoying swimming, you can walk until the little hill located at the entrance of the bay. In fact it is not a simpler hill but the botanic garden of the village.
It is very a peaceful place where you can easily enjoy a nice walk and there are enough seats spread around the garden to rest either sitting on it or on the grass. Like any botanic garden, the best thing is to discover the different plants but on this one, you will have the opportunity to enjoy also the nice view over the city or over the sea until to be lost in the horizon.
If you like ice cream like me and before to leave the village, I will counsel you to go to the ice creamer near the flower stand in the pedestrian street. Everything you will find inside is home made and very delicious.