29 mar. 2015

Les Cent Marches

Maybe because of the heavy winter storms in 2014, but Les Cent Marches, not far from Biarritz, is currently not the best beach in the area. It is a beautiful sandy beach, but at high tide it is only a dangerous narrow strip of sand at the foot of the cliffs with frequent rock slides.

Last visited: april 2014

How to get there

Les Cent Marches is located north of Bidart, not far from Biarritz, whose famous Rocher de la Vierge can be seen from the beach.
From Bidart, take the coastal to the north and then take road D-911 until you see a group of small houses on your left. Park there, where the paths to the beach start.
Perhaps the easiest to find is the last one. At the beginning it is a wide unpaved road between trees that allow cars reaching a few houses. In spite of the name of the beach ("Les Cent Marches" = "The hundred steps"), you won't find many steps here. At a given point, you have to take a narrower path on the left and climb a few steps before you keep going down through a steep slope, now without any tree. The path is now very narrow but not very complicated until the last section, where you have to use the rocks to cross a small watercourse.



The beach

At the end of the path there is a little cove, some 20 m wide. On both sides the cliffs the water almost reaches the cliffs at high tide, so be careful if you move from here.

The main risk, according to a large sign on the left, are the continuous rock slides. The huge rocks in the sand confirm it. Access is forbidden from that point.
However, I could carefully walk round this area and reach a new cove, longer but narrower than the other. Then a new outcrop didn't allow me to continue my walk.
To the right, cliffs are lower and the sandy area wider. Only the fear of being trapped by the rising tide prevented me to reach the next beaches. At low tide, you can walk until Biarritz.
Except for some boulders, the beach is made of fine golden sand. Only small waves when I was there, but since the whole area is a paradise for surfers, I asume this is not the norm.

Facilities

Nothing at all in this area. If you dont mind a logn walk along the beach you can get to the tourist facilities in Erretegia or Ilbaritz.

Nudism

I have only been here once during spring, so maybe my experience is not really representative. However, this is what I found in april. In the central cove, 4 nudists out of the dozen people there. In the left cove, only another man, also naked. Walking to the right I came across a couple in their bathing suits who didn't seem to care about me being naked. I would say nudity is acceptable here.
In the distance I could see some people on the south end of Pavillon Royal beach, where nudism is also tolerated.

Links

Other nude beaches in the area


I like:
  • Unspoilt beach in the middle of a busy tourist area
I don't like:
  • Dangerous, risk of rock slides
  • Difficult access
  • Almost disappears at high tide

About the Author

Nat Biss

Author & Editor

I have dedicated most of my free time in the last years to discover the world, and beaches offer some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. The next step was to enjoy them as naturally as possible, which obviously mean without clothes. Now I think it is time for me to share this liberating experience and try to help others to discover it.

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