Where the experts holiday: Isabelle Eyherabide, Biarritz Tourisme

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Isabelle Eyherabide of Biarritz Tourism on why French the seaside resort is an ideal destination at any time of year

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Isabelle Eyherabide

What do you like to do on holiday?
I like to go swimming and surfing – and also to eat well and have fun with friends.

Where did you last go?
I enjoyed a staycation in Biarritz. I have everything I need and desire right here so why put up with the hassle of airport security and head elsewhere?!

Biarritz boasts six, stunning sandy beaches

Biarritz boasts six, stunning sandy beaches


Do you know where you’re going this year?
There are so many events happening this year and next in Biarritz, that I have decided to stay put as we will be very busy.  2017 marks the 60th anniversary of surfing in Biarritz – scriptwriter, Peter Viertel, travelled to Biarritz from the States with his wife Deborah Kerr in 1957 to shoot the film The Sun Also Rises. Viertel brought his surf boards with him and promptly introduced surfing to France. Biarritz has been the surfing capital of Europe ever since.

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
That would be Bilbao in Spain. Bilbao is home to one of the world’s most incredible museums – The Guggenheim Foundation – in addition to boasting buildings by some of the best architects in the world. Think Gelny, Moneo, Siza, Isozaki, Pelli, Calatrava… And I love Bilbao’s art district which is chock full of  galleries, museums, booksellers, and open-air sculptures by acclaimed artists like Dali, Chillida, M Luperts…

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
skiing
I am dying to go skiing in Switzerland. Here you are used to go to the Pyrenees, where you can find famous ski resorts at only 150km of Biarritz.

How do you plan your holiday?
Typically I read reviews online and also consult guidebooks for ideas and insider tips.

How often do you go away?
Not that often if I am honest. Biarritz is the queen of the Basque country! Our gorgeous golf courses, glorious beaches and beautiful belle époque villas ensure that I am never in a hurry to head elsewhere.

Biarritz's beautiful Hotel du Palais which Napoleon 111 built for his wife, in the shape of a giant E

Biarritz’s beautiful Hotel du Palais which Napoleon 111 built for his wife, in the shape of a giant E

Who do you travel with?
Usually family or friends.

Where do you see tourism in Biarritz, in 10 years?
I think that Biarritz will become known for golf tourism – after all, we have more than 16 golf courses all within an hour’s drive of down-town. I also think that Biarritz will see an in-flux of  tourists from the UK now thatBritish Airways has re-started flights from Heathrow. And to our mild climate combined with a calendar that’s creaking with events and festivals, I reckon they will come all year round and not just in July and August.

 

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