Luxury holidays in Aquitaine
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When to go
The landscape doesn’t go green on its own: Atlantic fronts bring wind and drizzle throughout the year. July and August are driest, hottest and busiest, so aim for May, June or September – but still make sure you pack a waterproof.
PlanesBiarritz airport has connections to London Gatwick and other UK cities. In Spain Bilbao’s architecturally impressive Sondika airport is the largest in the region with direct flights to a number of European hubs including London Stansted via EasyJet.
BoatsP&O operates a leisurely paced car ferry between Portsmouth and Bilbao and Brittany Ferries pootle between Plymouth, Portsmouth and Santander.
TrainsFrom Gare Montparnasse in Paris, direct trains to Biarritz take just over five hours (www.seat61.com). Once you’re down there, there are rail services across the border between Biarritz and San Sebastián via Irun (www.tgv.com).
AutomobilesChoose from five car-hire desks at Biarritz Airport including Avis (www.avis.com). It’s an easy area to drive around; the E70 coast road caters for most needs. Inland routes around Ahetze can be more twisty-turny and Guéthary and Bidart are hilly.
TaxisIn Biarritz and other biggish towns, there are taxi stands. Out in the sticks, you’re best off booking ahead. Around Biarritz, try Atlantic (+33 (0)5 59 03 18 18). Agur (+33 (0)5 59 47 38 38) is good for Saint-Jean-de-Luz.