Website Editor, Beverley Watts, visited Saint-Jean-de-Luz, on the Côte Basque in France


Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a picturesque harbour

Nestled very close to the Spanish border, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is the perfect location to try thalassotherapy.

Loved by the Romans, this ancient marine therapy soothes tired muscles and joints.

At the beachside Hôtel Hélianthal, the large seawater thermal pool is heated to 33°C and, after popping on the funny little rubber hat provided, I was soon enjoying being massaged by mineral-rich underwater jets.

You can also get smothered in algae paste and marine mud but I opted to head out to the beach and try paddle boarding.

I’m not a great swimmer but the instructor patiently guided me over the breaking waves and out to sea.

Seawalls protect the tranquil bay from Atlantic squalls so it’s a popular family resort.


The Fête de la Saint-Jean takes place annually

This pretty town boasts the 13th-century church of St John the Baptist, where Louis XIV married hot-chocolate addict Marie-Thérèse of Spain in 1660.

Take a boat trip to Fort Socoa or a Segway tour along the coast and  enjoy the exquisite food and wine.

The food was outrageously good, so I just kept on eating. It was a tough job but somebody had to do it!

The Hôtel Hélianthal (+33 05 59 51 51 51), Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Rooms start from £54 in low season, with free access to the pool spa, sauna and fitness room.

Biarritz airport is 20 minutes away, direct flights with from Stansted.


Take a dip in the pool after a spot of sightseeing