Anglet, part of the urban area of Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz (B.A.B.) is 10% forested with pine forests, namely Pignada, Lazaretto, and Chiberta. It is punctuated by numerous seawalls on the shore. Anglet has a dedicated coastal reserve of forty metres. With its many bays and inlets, it is a laboratory for monitoring techniques for studying coastal erosion.
The Anglet coast is about 4.5 km long and has 11 beaches from north to south. The Cote Basque designates that part of the Aquitaine coastline between the Chambre d’Amour cave at Anglet and the Spanish border. Anglet is served by the Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne airport.
Access by vehicle is via the A63 autoroute, the D810 road from Bayonne to Anglet town, and the D260 road from Bayonne to the northern part of the commune and continuing south-west towards Biarritz. Chronoplus bus service serves the Anglet beaches, and connects Anglet to other communes in the metropolitan area: Bayonne, Biarritz, Bidart, Boucau, Saint-Pierre-d’Irube, and Tarnos with regular/frequent schedules, The Chronoplus terminus is a short walk from the convention venue.
The Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne district was formerly known as ‘the Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz agglomeration community’ or BAB. It changed its name in 2011 to become the ‘Basque-Adour agglomeration community’ (CABAB) to include the adjoining communities of Boucou and Bidart. Whilst ‘Biarritz, Anglet, Bayonne, Boucou and Bidart’ all comprise the agglomeration community, each is an individually managed municipality.
The oldest human occupation in Anglet dates back to prehistory (mid-Paleolithic) and the Mousterian culture (from 100,000 to 35,000 BC). During the Roman era (towards 400 AD), Bayonne served as a Roman castrum (in Novempopulania). Ramparts (still visible in some places) were built. At that time, the regional Roman capital was “Aquae Augustae” (Dax). People living in the geographical area between Dax and Oiartzun (which included the commune of Anglet) called themselves Tarbelli.
In the middle Ages the core of the oldest Anglet settlement was located at “Berindos”. Brindos (name today) contains some remains of a mill, dating to the 12th century. Two grindstones for wheat and the mule barn are still present. Berindos was a parish and also included a church from the 12th century. In the middle Ages, nearby Bayonne was a fortified city under English administration from the 12th to the 15th centuries. By the end of the 16th century, Bayonne was taken from the English by the Kingdom of France. France was wary of Spain who tried to capture Bayonne (1523 and 1552).
In 1870 a racetrack was built on the sands of Chiberta. This racecourse was supported by an Englishman, Lord Howden, a former Spanish ambassador. The racecourse and shopping places became the most fashionable distraction on the Basque coast. This was the rendezvous of all the “elite” of the time. In 1877 the BAB (Bayonne Anglet Biarritz) “American railway” (steam tram) was inaugurated. It served Anglet and linked Bayonne to Biarritz. In 1924 Anglet was hit by a “tsunami” which destroyed the racetrack (it never recovered from this disaster).
The early 1920s saw the biggest names in high society of the time (the Baroness de Rothschild, the Maharajah of Jasdan, the Grand Duke Dimitri, the King and Queen of Spain, the Prince of Wales, Buster Keaton etc.) visited Anglet (and Biarritz) and caused a real buzz for performances, sporting events, galas and world exhibitions.
Anglet and neighbouring Biarritz and Bayonne have been at different times as either Gascoyne or Basque. The majority of people in this area spoke Gascoyne. At the same time some areas could be described as Basque (the result of Basque campaigns in surrounding areas). Since the 20th century the French language has been the majority language. Sports and recreation in Anglet include; basketball, riding, football, golf, ice-hockey, figure-skating, Basque pelota, hockey, rugby, skateboarding, and surfing.
Chambre d’Amour surf spot
Surfing is widely practiced here due to the protection of the cliff against the southerly wind. It also acts as a natural breakwater with the waves often being smaller than in the north of Anglet.
International surfers find ideal conditions at the iconic Chambre d’Amour beach breaks. This little Basque town not only hosts a QS1 Qualifying Circuit event but also an exciting specialty event called Surf de Nuit (literally, “night surf”), where teams of three surfers (two men, one woman) fight it out. The LED-lit boards and massive light balloons in the lineup give this event a very special vibe.
It is not by chance that this mysterious cave has given its name to a whole district of Anglet. Around it hangs a legend oh so romantic… the legend of the House of Love featuring a Basque Romeo and Juliet. At the beginning of the 19th century, a poor young man and orphan – Laorens – and Saubade the daughter of a rich farmer, loved each other passionately.
Their forbidden love (by their parents) found refuge in this cave, in front of the immense power of the waves nearby. They saw each other secretly at this stone shelter, taking the oath to love each other forever. One day, a storm rose, and the sea rushed into the cave. The water level rose rapidly and carried the lovers off. Since that day, the cave has been named ‘La Chambre d’Amour’
Anglet-Biarritz’s surf culture is largely responsible for the trendy and relaxed atmosphere in Anglet. Its 11 surf spots enjoy international fame. Surf competitions take place throughout the summer and autumn. Nearby to Chambre d’Amour, you’ll find surfing schools, bars, and other hangouts. Webcams are trained on the best surf spots. | Surf/Budget accommodation info