Hendaye (Biarritz), France

Smaller than its neighbors St-Jean-de-Luz or Biarritz, Hendaye forms the political border between France and Spain on the Cote Basque, where the Pyrenees come down to meet the Atlantic. Politics aside, the whole area is culturally Basque, and the Basque language and flag are frequently heard and seen. Biarritz benefitted from the presence of the Empress Eugenie of France, who built a palace on the beach there in 1854 that survives as the Hotel du Palais. That attracted Europe’s crowned heads and secured its reputation as a seaside resort.