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Learn French in Biarritz: Location

CESA Languages students love the chance to combine French language study with a beach lifestyle in Biarritz. It is a peaceful haven set between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, originally a quaint fishing village, until the end of the 19 th century. Since then Biarritz has rapidly become a fashionable, refined seaside resort (with designer shops enough to meet the needs of the most demanding fashionista) and at the same time a first class surfing community (Quicksilver shops and the like plus surf instruction schools abound) and of course it is also the French heartland of the Basque culture and lives and breathes rugby (Serge Blanco is a demi-god in these parts) and supporting Biarritz Olympique (the local rugby team) is all but mandatory.

The 19 th century brought a prestigious clientèle to the town and consequently some beautiful architecture, with elegant buildings along the sea front, casinos and impressive palaces that define the centre of town to this day. The area is smart, clean and the people are friendly.  As with many seaside resorts it is very quiet in the winter, but once the weather warms up, the visitors and language students appear in numbers, reaching a crescendo in July – when finding a Hotel room or space with a local French host at the last minute is nigh on impossible.  We’ll try for you, but if you want to be sure of a course place and a bed for the night, early bookings are strongly recommended!

Biarritz has so much to offer. It’s a vibrant summer town with magnificent beaches, golf courses and numerous sporting facilities, including the local surfing that draws people time and again. French surfing started in Biarritz and surfers come from all over the world to ride the waves. CESA Languages students particularly enjoy the French Language and Surfing courses offered (which inevitably sell out in the height of the summer season!). Above all and before anything though it is the French heartland of Basque culture and it is wonderful to see the strong sense of regional pride that abounds.

We at CESA love Biarritz and the local region for it’s beautiful landscapes, mountain-scapes, fabulous beaches, summer sunshine, the excellence of the rolling Atlantic waves and the local passion for rugby.  All in all it’s a fantastic place to learn French!

Local Specialities

The town of Biarritz offers a good mix of brassieres, bistros and more formal dining. There is also a good blend of French, South western and the more local Basque cuisine though seafood is the real speciality of this seaside town. Basque cuisine favours goose products such as “foie gras” and “commit doe”, as well as salty ham from Bayonne, known as jambon de Bayonne, which resembles Parma ham. Two typical Basque dishes include an omelette with tomatoes, chillies and Bayonne ham that resembles scrambled eggs and sweet red peppers with eel or cod. For dessert, try a rich gateau Basque, a cake filled with black cherry preserves.

 

Biarritz: Basque village