1. Tuesday July 14 (National holiday or "Bastille Day"): visit to Biarritz to see the nightime fireworks display.
  2. Wednesday July 15: bus excursion to nearby San Sebastian, a spectacular coastal town in Spain 45 mn away (pictured below left).
  3. Thursday July 16, 6PM: a public debate at the school venue with the four instructors. They will each bring their own perspective to the question  "Is a Better World Possible?" - a theme that runs through the four courses.
    The debate will be followed by a paella dinner (included in the fee) at the nearby Anglet-Biarritz-Parme Hotel where the instructors and some students will be staying. (Paella is a Spanish specialty cooked in a giant frying pan by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, saffron and other seasonings).


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There is plenty to see and do in the French Basque Country, from beautiful beaches to quaint seaside resorts and picturesque villages at the foot of the Pyrenées mountains.

We highlight below the attractive seaside towns of Bayonne (north) and Biarritz (south) which are a 10 mn drive way.



Bayonne's history goes back to the 3rd century A.D. and there is still a picturesque old town well worth a visit.  For many centuries Bayonne was a strategically located harbour. The vagaries of history saw Bayonne welcome Jews persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition and Wellington's army bomb the town during the Napoleonic wars. (The Jewish immigrants imported cocoa from faraway lands and started a chocolate industry which thrives to this day).


Biarritz is a fashionable resort that attracts surfers from around the world but also the rich and famous. They have been coming since the 19th century when Emperor Napoleon III built the Eugénie Palace for his eponymous wife. The palace has become the luxury "Hotel du Palais" appearing in the logo. Vladimir Putin is even rumored to have once bought a summer residence in Biarritz!


According to European Best Destinations® the Biarritz Grande Plage (logo at top) is the sixth best beach in Europe and the best in France. It is known as one of the best beaches in the world for surfers.  (The Summer School can organize an introductory surf lesson for interested students).

After a day at the beach (or a morning at the Basque Coast Summer School) a visitor can stroll through the narrow streets of Biarritz, enjoy a meal at the casual restaurants by the harbour or shop in upmarket boutiques selling brand jewelry and clothes.


The Biarritz International Groove Festival, better known locally as the "Big Festival", is a popular musical event that will take place in Biarritz from July 15 to July 19. The legendary French singer Johnny Hallyday is scheduled to perform on Friday July 17, the last day of the school.

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