July 2015

To be honest, when I booked a flight from Paris to Biarritz so that we could visit a surf hostel in Bidart, I had no idea where we were going. I thought we would be near Nice – we were not. BUT, it was incredibly beautiful!

I traveled to Bidart after visiting Paris for 5 days with two friends from college, Haley and Cassidy. The location was suggested by Haley who had a friend that worked at a surf hostel in Biarritz that had a second location in Bidart.

Despite my initial confusion about the location, I was thrilled to visit the Atlantic coast of France. The cliffs down to the beaches were beautiful. It is in the Basque region, a people group that consider themselves neither French nor Spanish. It was quaint and quiet, just the opposite of Paris.

Red roofs and white buildings dot the countryside of Bidart with mountains in the distance.

Surf Hostel Bidart

Haley’s friend picked us up at the airport in Biarritz to drive us to our hostel in Bidart. The views on the drive were excellent and the hostel was so nice. It felt more like a home and our room had two sets of bunk beds. They gave us breakfast in the mornings and access to their collection of surf boards which we used later on in the week.

Grande Plage de Biarritz

Once we were able to drop off our things and see a bit of the hostel, Haley’s friend drove us back to Biarritz for lunch and some exploring.

We walked along the coastline starting at the aquarium and down to the Grande Plage to put our toes in the water.

Phare de Biarritz

We ended our walk at the lighthouse which had incredible views of the coast. It was quite a long walk and afterwards we were all exhausted. We took a bus back to Bidart for dinner and some rest.


For dinner we ate outside at the hotel Elissalidia. The restaurant was on top of a hill and we could see for miles. We sat outside under a tree and enjoyed a relaxing dinner not far from our hostel.

Plage du Centre

After a late breakfast at the hostel we ventured down the cliffs to the beach. It was a great day to rest our feet from all of the walking through Paris and Biarrtiz from the days before.

It was an overcast day and eventually it started storming, but that was the perfect excuse to take a long nap, so I really didn’t mind at all.

Park Bench off of Avenue de la Grande Plage

After the storm passed, we walked to a convenience store and picked up a random assortment of food and drinks for dinner. We continued up the street to a park bench overlooking the ocean for a cheap but perfect dinner with a view.

Surfing at Plage du Centre

Early on Wednesday morning, we woke up for “surfing lessons.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most beautiful of mornings to try out a new water sport. It was windy and overcast with an occasional misting. As it turns out, the wind that makes good surfing weather for other people, made bad learn-to-surf weather for me. While I am generally clumsy, I had done indoor surfing once and was able to stand there. I did not do so well with outdoor surfing. I spent more time under the water than anything else.

Despite my surfing challenges, it was still a fun day at the beach. And Cassidy and Haley did much better than I did and continued surfing while I took a seat on the beach with my book.