The south of France is largely known as a summer tourist hotspot. It encourages and caters to tourism; the restaurants are bigger, the food is faster and the signs more tacky. Guéthary, however, seems to have ignored this catering to tourism and stayed loyal to its French roots. If you want the sun of the south and the authenticity, look no further than Guéthary.
San Sebastián, Spain, is a 25 minute drive away. We arrived as the sun was setting in between the two cliffs that envelop the bay. The orange sun reflected off the yellow buildings, making them look even more beautiful in the golden hue. The air was salty but the breeze was a light relief from the pulsing Spanish sun. We strolled down the cobbled streets of the old town and had the most common discussion of any family holiday: “Where should we eat?” Phrases like “Let’s keep looking” and “Let’s come back here if we don’t find anything else” were our bartering chips as we tried to gently suggest that every restaurant on the strip was not our cup of tea and the ones that were, were full. San Sebastián has an array of delicious tapas restaurants that should be delved in to. Lesson learned: book in advance.
Guéthary is a surfing town. As very inexperienced surfers, we were slightly apprehensive to try it out in front of the long-haired and trendy stallions that were gracing the waves. As much as I would like to pull a Shawn Mendes, unfortunately, our budget was holding us back, with board rental being around $100 per day. We politely declined and went for the free option of swimming and sunbathing. No regrets, but another lesson learned: you can burn through cloud cover.
Overall, Guéthary is a fantastic and super-chilled getaway. The flights are cheap from London airports and the atmosphere is slightly different from what you will find on the well-trodden European trip path.
Return flights to Biarritz: $105
India Clare chronicles her overseas adventures this summer. Contact India Clare at [email protected].