Little Hotels

in South West France

Les Hortensias du Lac

, Hossegor

While the Atlantic rollers pound the nearby beach, the hotel faces a tranquil lake under the shelter of pine trees.

Guest rating 9.2

La Châtaigneraie

, Ondres

A comfortable Pays Basque Bed and Breakfast set in a garden of green lawns and mature trees, complete with swimming pool.

Guest rating 9.6

La Caravelle

, Biscarrosse

A lakeside hotel and restaurant backed by pine forests sitting on the edge of Landes and Gironde.

Guest rating 9.0

Maison Aguerria


A boutique B&B in an amazingly privileged position on the edge of the Pyrenees.

Guest rating 9.6

Hôtel Briketenia

, Guéthary

A four star hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a contemporary bistro, all just a ten minute walk from the beach.

Guest rating 9.1


, Pyrénées-Atlantiques

A charming little French farmhouse B&B in the foothills of the Pyrenees between Lourdes and Pau.

Guest rating 9.7

Numero Dix, Bearn B&B

, Saint Goin

A newly-restored village house B&B with warm, welcoming hosts, surrounded by the green fields and woods of the Béarn.

Guest rating 9.8
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Reasons to visit South West France

Reputedly, surfing in Europe began in Biarritz in 1957. Today it remains a mecca for those that love to ride the waves but there is so much more to Biarritz and the whole region than this. True, the blue Atlantic and long sandy beaches backed by dunes and pine woods are not something to be dismissed lightly. But to never move off the beaches would be to miss a great part of what south-west France has to offer.

The southern half of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region is the French Basque Country, or Pays Basque. The similarity to the Spanish Basque Country is readily visible in the vernacular architecture, words and place names, and the dedication to seafood and the produce of the countryside.

Biarritz was famous long before surfing arrived, having been a favourite haunt of European royalty and aristocracy in the 19th century. Much of that glamour is retained in the architecture of the town and its famous casino. Other towns nearby are Bayonne and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, both also worth a visit.

At the southern extreme, the genrally flat country gives way to hills and then to the Pyrenees as they climb up to meet the Spanish border.