St.-Jean-de-Luz has been an important fishing port
since the middle ages and is located on the Cote des Basques (Basque Coast),
which stretches from San Sebastian in Spain to Bayonne, the chief town of
the French Basque country. In the 13th and 14th century ships sailed from
the coast to points as far afield as Newfoundland, Greenland and Spitzbergen.
The coast was also well–known for piracy—the Basque corsairs sailed under
the authority of the French king. Today, the town of St.-Jean-de-Luz is one
of the two principal bathing resorts of the region.