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By Marie-José O’Sullivan
One of my favourite places in France is Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where I used to spend magical holidays with my family when I was a little girl.
I loved the long summer days on the stretch of the Atlantic close to the Spanish border. The beautiful sandy beach is on a sheltered bay protected by dikes and very safe for children and bathers.
The town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a very charming and relaxed Basque resort which marries Spanish and French influence and in the old quarter features a large number of beautiful Basque mansions built in the 17th and 18th centuries when the town became a base for Basque Corsairs, who were bringing back riches plundered from the English and Spanish vessels.
The biggest event in the small town history was the marriage in 1660 of the Sun King Louis XIV to the Infanta of Spain Maria Theresa in the beautiful Basque church Saint-Jean Baptiste you can visit.
The resort is appreciated for its architecture, the quality of the light and its wonderful Basque cuisine – a truly great combination !
[Also read] My Favourite Corner of France – Ile de Ré
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[Also read] My Favourite Corner of France – Soulac-sur-Mer
[Also read] My Favourite Corner of France – Nantes
Born and educated in Bordeaux, Marie José taught French in London, Madrid and Bilbao at the Berlitz school, then worked as a temporary secondary-school teacher in Cork. She is the second most senior teacher of the Alliance Française de Cork, having joined the team in 1988. As a certified examiner of DELF & DALF, she enjoys teaching adults from beginners to higher advanced as well as secondary-level students.