With its fine sandy bay – the most protected of the Basque beaches – and magnificent old quarter speckled with half-timbered mansions, St-Jean-de-Luz (Donibane Lohitzun) remains the most attractive resort on the Basque coast, despite being fairly overrun by holidaying families in peak season. As the only natural harbour between Arcachon and Spain, it has long been a major port, with whaling and cod-fishing the traditional occupations of its fleets. Even now, St-Jean remains one of France’s busiest fisheries, and the principal one for landing anchovy and tuna.

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