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779km (483 miles) SW of Paris; 193km (120 miles) SW of Bordeaux

One of the world’s most famous seaside resorts, Biarritz was once a fishing village. Empress Eugénie and her husband, Napoleon III, put it on the map and started a constant stream of royal visitors. In the 1930s, the Prince of Wales (before and after his brief reign as Edward VIII) and Wallis Simpson did much to make Biarritz more fashionable as they headed south with these instructions: “Chill the champagne, pack the pearls, and tune up the Bugatti.” Although those legendary days are long gone, the resort is still fashionable and has become France’s surf capital, so expect rows of surf shops and snack bars along the beach front.