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Biarritz is a former Victorian resort that boasts 3.7 miles (6 kilometres) of beaches and a wonderful sweeping promenade. It has been an incredibly popular destination for over a century, whose former regular visitors included Queen Victoria, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway. Biarritz came to fame in the mid-19th Century, when Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) fell in love with this part of the Basque country and built a Palace on the beach at Biarritz (which is now the world-class Hotel du Palais).

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Eugenie invited foreign royalty to stay with their entourages and courtiers; including Queen Victoria, who came regularly over a period of 30 years, and members of the Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, German and Russian nobility. The Russians built their own magnificent Orthodox Church next to the Palace. The principle architecture in Biarritz was not typically Basque, but rather a blend of 19th century city residences, large and expansive, made of local stone bricks. If you bought one of these houses now, you would be likely to find titles such as Prince, Duke, Baron and Marquee on the title deeds.