You know the expression, it’s the journey not the destination. It definitely rang true during our road trip to Biarritz, a luxe seaside town on the French side of the Basque country. Like it’s Spanish counterpart, Biarritz is a surfer’s haven but visually, it looks very French. The drive from San Sebastian to Biarritz is about an hour and it’s the best way to stop by all the quaint towns along the way. I love how when you take a road trip in France, you can stop by a castle on the way to your destination. You don’t get to visit many castles in the US. We stopped at Château d’Abbadia, a stunning castle overlooking the ocean. We didn’t get to go inside but the setting alone was worth the trip. We might’ve frolicked on the grassy knoll and had a photo shoot but then again wouldn’t you?
We stopped by so many picturesque towns that looked like they were straight out of a postcard but for the life of me, I can’t remember their names. I don’t even regret not documenting everything because I was too busy soaking it all in. For lunch, we stopped in this cute boho town called Guéthary and there were signs everywhere that said guethappy and honestly, it was hard not to be on cloud 9. It doesn’t take much to please me though; sunshine and beach is all it takes. We had lunch at Kostaldea; if there was such a thing as a French hippie that was the vibe of this place. It’s located right on the ocean with turquoise blue picnic tables that matched the ocean. We knew we were in France when our waiter asked us if we wanted rosé. He didn’t have to twist our arms. We were a little bit tongue-tied or at least I was. I didn’t know whether I should try to speak Spanish, French or Euskara which is the Basque language. Since I don’t know any Euskara, I went between Spanish and the few French words I know: bonjour, merci, and oui. We ordered everything that we happened to be craving including: razor clams, burrata, fresh fish, and watermelon salad. It was the perfect birthday lunch for our Francophile Betty.
After lunch, we drove the last stretch to Biarritz. Visually, it’s stunning. It’s everything you would picture a posh French seaside town to look like. The token castle perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean, handmade espadrilles shops lining the perfectly manicured streets, and beautiful surfers waiting for the perfect wave. We ended the day by going for a dip in the ocean and by dip, I mean jumping into the freezing water from a jetty holding the hands of my two friends like teenage girls. The thing I love about road trips is that you can go off course and discover spots that you probably wouldn’t be able to see without a car. It’s also the car ride that usually makes a trip more fun like the sing-a-longs and the funny stories that are exchanged. Road trips are even better when the destination is as gorgeous as Biarritz and when the ride back is only an hour. These were some of the highlights…
Remembering an inside joke.
We stopped at Château d’Abbadia.
There’s no better feeling than running wild.
Lunch at Kostaldea in Guéthary – the French side of the Basque Country.
Betty making her birthday wish on a potato.
Rosé toast with a turquoise back drop.
The beach at Guéthary.
Seaside walk after a shopping excursion.
Mama taking it all in.
Walking down towards the beach.