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Biarritz

Being set closer to Bordeaux than to Paris, this world-famous resort is a great departure from the demanding lifestyle of the French capital. Having started off as a tiny traditional village, it soon became a regular retreat for various royals and members of the gentry, both French and English. The site still retains vestiges of its bygone charms, and continues to attract various crowds of the international super-rich. However, it's now more laid-back than ever, allowing for some freestyle partying rather than sticking to rigid etiquette. It's still a site for showing off the latest fashions, with the exception that now the boutiques rub shoulders with surf shops and unpretentious cafes. Surprisingly, one can even find a handful of reasonably priced hotels. Moreover, the beaches remain flawless, with well-tended lounge chair areas as well as more secluded sunbathing options away from the major beach spots.

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