Must see attractions in St-Jean de Luz

  • Top ChoiceSights in St-Jean de Luz

    Église St-Jean Baptiste

    The plain façade of France’s largest and finest Basque church conceals a splendid interior with a magnificent Baroque altarpiece. It was in front of this very altarpiece that Louis XIV and María Teresa, daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, were married in 1660. After exchanging rings, the couple walked down the aisle and out of the south door, which was then sealed to commemorate peace between the two nations after 24 years of hostilities.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Socoa

    The heart of the historic district of Socoa is about 2.5km west of Ciboure along the continuation of quai Maurice Ravel (named for the Boléro composer, who was born in Ciboure in 1875). Its prominent fort was built in 1627 and later improved by Vauban. You can walk out to the Digue de Socoa breakwater or climb to the lighthouse via rue du Phare, then out along rue du Sémaphore for fabulous coastal views.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Maison Louis XIV

    The grandest house in town was built in 1643 by a wealthy shipowner, but its main claim to fame is as the house where Louis XIV lived out his last days of bachelorhood before marrying María Teresa. It's awash with period detail and antiques. Half-hour guided tours (with English text) depart several times daily in July and August.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    L'Écomusée Basque Jean-Vier

    Basque traditions are brought to life at this illuminating multimedia museum, which explores everything from pelota and Basque architecture to the art of making Izarra (Basque for 'star'), a liqueur made from 20 different local plants. It's around 2km north of St-Jean de Luz.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Grande Plage

    St-Jean de Luz' beautiful arcing beach sprouts stripy bathing tents from June to September. It's protected from the wrath of the Atlantic by breakwaters and jetties, and is one of the more child-friendly beaches in the Basque Country.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Plage de Ciboure

    Ciboure has its own modest beach 2km west of Socoa on the corniche (the D912); it's served by Transports 64 buses en route to Hendaye and, in the high season, by boats.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Pointe de Ste-Barbe

    A superb panorama of St-Jean de Luz unfolds from this craggy promontory, at the northern end of the Baie de St-Jean de Luz and about 1km beyond the town beach. Go to the end of bd Thiers and keep walking.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Château d'Urtubie

    This small château was constructed in the 13th century and has been in the hands of the same family ever since. Rooms are decorated in period style and are stuffed full of antiques and other treasures. You can even stay overnight (rooms from €100). To get there, follow the D810 about 3km southwest of St-Jean de Luz, in the direction of Spain, and you'll find it sitting pretty just off the road.

  • Sights in St-Jean de Luz

    Maison de l'Infante

    In the days before her marriage to Louis XIV, María Teresa stayed in this brick-and-stone mansion (like the temporary home of her husband-to-be, it was owned by a shipowner) with fine architectural detail, just off place Louis XIV.