Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks: Sail the Bay of Biscay

Jul 29, 2017 BY AWE365 Team

While Biarritz sailing breaks are not what this attractive Napoleonic town is famous for, it is a great base to sail the Bay of Biscay. Various nearby harbours offer easy access to the ocean, from which you can explore the beautiful Basque coastline of France and Spain.

Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks Sail the Bay of Biscay Image courtesy of Spi en Tete sailing school

Sail the Bay of Biscay

Sunset sailing trips are very popular in Biarritz. You head out to sea within sight of coast and enjoy some wine and dinner as the sun sets over the ocean all within view of the city.

If you time it right, evening Biarritz sailing trips can coincide with the firework festivals that occur along the Basque coast. Watching the fireworks over Biarritz is a great experience, only surpassed by heading south to watch the fireworks over San Sebastian in Spain.

spi-en-tete logo

Those looking for a longer time at sea during their Biarritz sailing break can sail north past the Gascogne National Park to Royan. It’s located at the mouth of the Gironde River that leads to Bordeaux. Further north you can visit the historic maritime cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle.

If you head south during your Biarritz sailing break you soon cross over into Spain. Along the Spanish coast you can explore famous destinations such as San Sebastian, Bilbao and Santander. Portugalete near Bilbao is well worth a visit.

Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks Sail the Bay of Biscay Image courtesy of Spi en Tete sailing school

Biarritz sailing

Although views of Biarritz town from the ocean are particularly nice, there are no harbours to sail from in the City. The closest harbour is about 20 minutes north of the city centre on the Adour river, here you’ll find Anglet Harbour.

At Anglet you’ll find small boats suitable for up to four people, but nothing large enough to sail the bay of Biscay. Prices are reasonable, but you’ll need two sailors to operate and as far as we can tell there is no sailing school.

Alternatively to the south, Ciboure is 30 minutes away and Hendaye 40 minutes from Biarritz city centre. Both are larger harbours with boats available for sunset sailing, half and full day, or multi day Biarritz sailing breaks.

Ciboure sailing

The closest harbour where you can charter a yacht is Ciboure. The Spi en Tete sailing school picks up from here so it makes a good starting point for day trips, or a liveaboard journey to sail the Bay of Biscay.

Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks Sail the Bay of Biscay Image courtesy of Spi en Tete sailing school

We recommend choosing Spi en Tete as the crew offer sailing tuition. So you can learn the ropes while enjoying the view towards Biarritz. For longer journeys they’ll help to plan the perfect itinerary for you to explore the Basque coast based on your interests.

Hendaye sailing

spi-en-tete logoHowever, those seeking a bit more adventure should head to the sailing school in Hendaye. It is only 10 minutes further south than Ciboure and has a lot more boat options, a better beginner area, and it is right on the Spanish border.

Here you’ll find the base of the Spi en Tete sailing school. Since 2007 they have been providing lessons and Biarritz sailing breaks exploring the Basque coastline. They have a range of yachts suitable for five to ten passengers.

Spi en Tete sailing school are very flexible. You can sail for an hour, a day, or a week. If you are on your own or part of a big group they can accommodate you. And if you wish to do a course they offer tuition for all levels – from beginner to those looking to become a skipper.

Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks fireworks Image courtesy of Spi en Tete sailing school

Along with standard trips to sail the Bay of Biscay, Spi en Tete also offer special interest day trips. You can take a gourmet sailing trip, or join them for tapas while you watch the famous firework festival at San Sebastian.

Although a Biarritz sailing break won’t be from the city itself, it is easy do sailing day trips from there. Alternatively visit Biarritz whilst you sail the Bay of Biscay, it is a beautiful town, with great food and drink and a banging nightlife. Plus of course there is world class surfing.

We hope you found this guide to sailing in Biarritz and the Bay of Biscay useful. For more information, or to make a booking, head to the Spi en Tete website:


2 responses to “Guide to Biarritz sailing breaks: Sail the Bay of Biscay”

  1. We will be staying in Biarritz from September 21 to 25 and want to take one day for some sailing with a small group and a skipper, plus a 2 to 4 hour sail on our own.

    • Great, please follow the links in the article to the Spi en Tete sailing school to get something booked.

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