By Genevieve Roberts
La Plage du Pavillon Royal
There is something magical about being able to see mountains from the beach, and the view of the Pyrenees, bordering France and Spain, is one of my favourite things about Le Pavillon Royal beach. That, and the wild breakers of the Atlantic crashing onto the yellow sand. Swimmers play in the swirling waves while surfers head out beyond the whitewater - or mousse as the French say – to ride their boards.
The sunsets on this Basque west coast beach, 10 minutes south of the town of Biarritz and half an hour north of the Spanish coast, are unrivalled. Or if you want the beach to yourself, go for a dawn stroll and lay the first footprints in the sand.
Photo: Edward Carpenter
Where to stay:
Up the steps from this sandy beach, on the south side of the village of Bidart, is Le Pavillon Royal campsite. Surfers from across Europe pitch up for a 'room' with a view, be it tent or campervan. Ask for a spot near the ocean and you'll be able to hear the Atlantic waves pounding the beach as you wake in the morning.
You can hire surfboards on the beach, and the campsite itself has a pool, supermarket and restaurant. Just one bay along is La Plancha ((+33 5 59 24 22 15), a delicious restaurant serving Basque style fish, cooked with roasted garlic.
With the beautiful city of Biarritz 10 minutes away, and Biarritz airport 20 minutes up the road, this is a very easy spot to fall in love with camping.
Le Pavillon Royal, Avenue Prince de Galles, 64210 Bidart, France, +33 5 59 23 00 54. Pitches from around £15 per night for tents, £24 per night for vans