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Glories of Antiquity


Ports and Excursions of Mediterranean

Biarritz (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), France-port

Tucked in France’s Côte Basque, Biarritz first came to prominence in the mid-19th century when Napoleon III built a summer palace here for his wife, Empress Eugenie. The oceanside palace is now the esteemed Hotel du Palais, a landmark for the dynamic, beach-rimmed Biarritz. Surfing in France originated here in the late 1950s, and the sport has become synonymous with the city. You might watch surfers riding the waves that funnel into the Bay of Biscay, or simply comb the lovely beaches. Biarritz also has an urbane personality and museums dedicated to everything from Asian art to chocolate. Don’t miss the blue-domed Russian Orthodox Church, built for visiting Russian aristocrats in the 19th century. Pedestrian-friendly Biarritz is lined with fashion boutiques and shops selling French cheeses, wine, porcelain dolls, and Basque tablecloths. Enjoy Basque-influenced cuisine such as veal stew, cured ham dishes, tapas and foie gras.

View Cruises that visit this port

Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Gourmet Explorer Gourmet Explorer
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • A Taste of the Basque Country
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Biarritz & the Basque Coast
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Cristobal Balenciaga Museum
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Discover Medieval Bayonne
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • San Sebastian
    Light Activity /Walking
  • The Guggenheim Museum
    Light Activity /Walking

A Taste of the Basque Country

Light Activity /Walking

Duration: 3 hours

Tour Code: SJL-004

Enjoy discovering the charm of some typical Basque villages on this delightful half-day excursion into the countryside surrounding Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Starting off from the pier, you will travel for approximately 30-minutes into the beautiful landscape of the famous Basque area of France. Your first stop will be at the village of Ainhoa, which was nearly totally destroyed by the Spanish in 1629. The houses you see here today were rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries. Your guided tour down the town's main street showcases some of the finest homes built in the Labourd style, with the dates of construction and owner's name engraved on the lintels above the doorways. An interesting feature of the homes found on the main street is that those on one side of the street appear to be less decorative than those on the other side. The reason being, it is local tradition to build homes with their backs to the sea, in order to protect them from the wind and rain.

From here, you will next travel to the lovely hilltop village of Sare. Surrounded by superb Basque farmhouses, this pastoral and peaceful setting rests in the shadow of the Rhune Mountain and in the heart of what was once known as the old smuggling region. A stop here at Sare's preserved, typical Basque House, gives an opportunity to view the interior of a traditional Basque home as well as enjoy a tasting of local treats that have been produced from the surrounding farms. This may include cheeses, apple marmalade, cider and wine.

Leaving Sare behind, you will transfer back to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and have a brief orientation drive of the historic town before being returned to the pier.

Please note: This tour includes limited walking. As the sites are not wheelchair accessible, it is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Flat, comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses are recommended. The order of the sites visited may vary.