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In the 18th century, Biarritz took its first steps toward becoming a tourist destination, when Comtesse de Montijo spent two lazy family holidays here. During the following century, the town’s popularity grew, as kings and queens of nations and the silver screen started and kept up visiting. Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth also came here to explore the Monte Carlo of the Atlantic.
Today, the city is primarily a tourist destination but it still manages to maintain its character and steer clear of tackiness. This is mainly because most visitors come from nearby Spain and the rest of France.
Biarritz is also a famous spot in the world of surfing. Grand Plage and Place du Port Vieux is where surf shops such as O’Neill and Quiksilver are located: Grand Plage is a classic beach and Miramar Beach the most fashionable among those of the entire Atlantic coast. Surfers congregate at several beaches, from Biarritz all the way up to Hossegor.