Atlantic sunset from La Reserve in St. Jean de Luz
I’ve been to many places in France, from north to south, mountains, beaches, rivers, and most places in between, but the southwestern corner of the country, the Basque country as it called, in the western Pyrenees bordering Spain, has eluded me until this summer. It was worth the wait.
St Jean de Luz and port
St Jean de Luz itself is a pretty little port town known for its macarons, the church where Louis XIV married Maria-Thérèse of Spain, and welcoming narrow lanes bustling with tourist shops and restaurants serving Basque specialties. The beaches are wide, sandy, and accessible. And surf schools and paddle boarding hawkers lap at your adventurous side. And all this was only a 10 minute walk from La Reserve, my home for three nights, a comfortable red-tiled hotel owned by Groupe Floirat, tucked into a chic residential neighborhood perched on a cliff above the Atlantic. By the end of my stay, I felt as if I had finally found the edge of France.