Biarritz or Bayonne are two of the most famous cities that exist in the so-called French Basque Country, but to them we must add another one that has become, little by little, one of the most touristic villages of this place. We are referring to San Juan de la Luz.
It is a seafaring village, belonging to the region of New Aquitaine, which was formerly a land of pirates and privateers. It is known, in addition to all this, for the colorful houses and for the architectural constructions that it possesses and that have behind them a very relevant historical past. Thus, for example, it should be noted that in 1660 the Spanish Infanta Maria Teresa, daughter of Philip IV and Isabella of Bourbon, married King Louis XIV of France.
Here are all the things to see in St. Jean de Luz and the things you can’t miss.
What to see in San Juan de la Luz
Whoever chooses San Juan de la Luz to spend a stay must dedicate time to stroll through its streets and visit its most emblematic corners, among which we can highlight the following:
One of the first places worth visiting in this population is its promenade, known as Promenade Jacques Tibaud. And is that this way you can know one of the main arteries of the place as well as enjoy beautiful views of the coast.
In addition, we must take into account that in it are two of the most important buildings that San Juan de la Luz has. We are referring to the Grand Hotel, a five-star hotel dating from the early twentieth century and is neo-romantic style, and the Casino La Pergola. This, which is also a hotel, is identified by its marked art deco style.
In the same way, you will be able to discover different attractive examples of the local architecture.
2. Church of San Juan Bautista
Undoubtedly, in this town it is also necessary to see this temple, which is the most important of the place. It dates from the fifteenth century and is well known for having been the scene of the wedding of Louis XIV and the Infanta Maria Theresa. A marriage that put an end to a great war between France and Spain.
Of this religious building is worth noting, above all, its oak galleries, its amazing baroque altar of the seventeenth century and its vault also made of wood.
It is a must visit because it must be stressed that it is also considered one of the most beautiful churches in southern France.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, this town has a marked seafaring past, present and future. For this reason, nothing better than taking a walk to discover its port, where you can see fishermen and colorful boats that are usually engaged in fishing for species such as sardines, for example.
It should be noted that it was one of the most important ports in France and there are many restaurants where you can enjoy delicious seafood and fish dishes.
4. Louis XIV’s house
In this list of places to see in San Juan de la Luz we could not fail to include this building, located in the Plaza de Luis XIV. It was built in the first half of the seventeenth century and in it stayed for more than a month the monarch who lends its name. He did so while awaiting the arrival of his future wife for the wedding.
Currently there are guided tours of its interior thanks to which you can admire and discover rooms as impressive as the royal bedroom, living room and dining room, among others.
5. House of the Infanta
Of course, you must also know in situ this other building, which is named after the aforementioned wife of Louis XIV. And it was where she stayed in San Juan de la Luz on the occasion of his stay to marry the French king.
Specifically, when she stayed there it was the home of Joannot de Hareneder, an important corsair, but her presence in it made it be known by the name it is given today.
It should be noted that it is striking not only for its pink color but also because it was built with an aesthetic similar to that of the palaces of Venice.
There are several streets that are worth walking and admire in situ in this population and among them is this one, which is pedestrian, and is full of stores selling local products and souvenirs of all kinds. Here you can admire the traditional colorful houses that identify the village.
7.Rue 14 Juillet
Similarly, do not forget this other small street that pays tribute to the National Day of France. It is very unique for the colorful buildings and the number of interesting stores it has.
What to do in San Juan de la Luz
In the same way, in this town you can also do more things in addition to stroll through its emblematic corners and know its most significant monuments. Specifically, you can carry out activities as special as these:
1. Knowing and enjoying its beach
Undoubtedly, one of the most special ‘tasks’ that can be performed during a stay in San Juan de la Luz is to discover and enjoy its beach, the so-called Grande Plage. It is crescent-shaped, has a great length and stands out for its calm waters, making it ideal to be with children.
Of course, lovers of water sports and surfing have the opportunity to go to another of the beaches of the town, as would be the case of Lafiténia.
2. Visit the Les Halles Market
To get to know the daily life of this city and also to be able to find the best food is a must visit this market. It is open every day of the year and stands out for the uniqueness of seeing the farmers and farmers themselves sell their products directly in it. In addition, in its surroundings you can find bars and restaurants where you can have a drink.
3. Having a picnic in Ducontenia Park
This park is one of the green lungs of the city and is an ideal place to disconnect and relax. But also to enjoy the good weather and the outdoors while enjoying a picnic. And it has tables prepared for this purpose.
4. Discover and savor the local gastronomy
Of course, always when visiting a place it is advisable to discover its gastronomy and this is something you should not miss in San Juan de la Luz. It offers a great variety of fish and seafood dishes while standing out for other exquisite products. We are referring to macarons, croissants and its famous cheeses.
Who can not enjoy a stay in such a magical place with such a wide range of leisure options as San Juan de la Luz?