Town (pop., 2006 est.: 26,690), southwestern France. It lies on the Gulf of Gascogne (Bay of Biscay) near Bayonne, 11 mi (18 km) from Spain. Once a small fishing village, Biarritz became a fashionable summer resort after 1854 with the visits of Napoleon III; visited also by British royalty, it grew additionally as a winter residence. Its mild climate and variety of beaches, and the folklore and traditions of the local Basques, continue to draw an international clientele.
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