At the beginning, the harbour of Saint-Jean-de-Luz was naturally protected by cliffs as well as by a sand dune which was located in the middle of the bay.
At the end of the 17th century, the storms were growing stronger, and were slowly eating away the protections and Saint Jean-de-Luz was regularly flooded.
In order to protect the city from the ocean's tides, the decision to construct a wall was accepted. Unfortunately,this was not enough because the wall collapsed many times, as in 1782 and in 1823.
For several centuries, the area named "la barre" suffered from the onslaught of the sea.
We must await Napoleon III's arrival in the Basque country, in the middle of the 19th century, to improve the situation. Indeed, he ordered the construction of dykes in Socoa, Sainte Barbe et Artha, that have been part of the landscape since the 20th century. The previous wall has become a coastal walk.
The main beach of fine sand and the beautiful body of water of Saint-Jean-de-Luz's bay invites you to sunbathe and to swim.