Port city with character
Dive into Sète's sea life
Experience Sètewith its canalslined by colourful buildings and crossed by drawbridges and swing bridges. Watch the bustling trade port, old portand marina. Enjoy watching the trawlers and the colourful Catalan boats. Go as far as La Pointe Courte, the real fishermen's neighbourhood, then the Quartier Hautwhich feels like Southern Italy. Watch the legendary sailboats at the Escale à SèteFestival which has made Sète famous between the Mediterranean and Thau Lake.
ARTS, CULTURE AND FESTIVALS
Buzz off Sète's energy
Sète has a large artistic community with a vibrant cultural schedule. In terms of museums, there's the Paul Valéry Museum of Fine Arts, the MIAMfounded by the painter Hervé Di Rosa, CRACdevoted to contemporary art and Espace Georges Brassens. Let's not forget the outdoor street artMaCOand the summer festivals! Images Singulières, K Live, Voix Vives de Méditerranée, Jazz à Sète, Fiest’à Sète etc.: photography, electro, pop, jazz, world music, poetry...there's something for everyone!
Sète is the childhood home of 2 major 20th century Frenchmen: singer-songwriter Georges Brassensand author Paul Valérywho is laid to rest in the famous sea-facing Cimetière Marin in Sète
UP CLOSE AND HIGH UP
See the sea dance
12km of golden sand and a Pavillon Bleu awardfor the standard of the water! Sète's beaches unfurl along the lido, a dune belt that separates the sea from Thau Lake. It's a lovely nature site made up of salt marshes and vineyards that you can cycle around on the Sète/Marseillan Green Path. If you go up the Corniche promenadefrom the city centre, you'll find an unspoilt nature site overlooking the Mediterranean with fabulous views. And be sure to climb up Mont Saint-Clairfor exceptional views of the city and sea.
Saint-Pierre Fort is now an outdoor arena hosting international artists with the Mediterranean in the background: it's the Théâtre de la Mer.
Tantalise your tastebuds with fishermen's dishes
Mussels and stuffed squid, macaronade (meaty macaroni), cuttlefish in rouille and more: Sète's specialities come from local, Catalan, Italian and Spanish fishermen getting together at the port. The stalls at the Hallesare teeming with fishfrom the neighbouring fish market: this is a great opportunity to try a tielle(small spiced octopus pie) on the hop as you soak up the market's unique atmosphere. On the Quai de la Marine you'll find countless seafood restaurants where you can sample wonderful shellfish from Thau Lake.
Go on a trip around the fish marketoutside the old port. Fishermen returning to terra ferma is a fascinating show every afternoon. The fish are on the market stalls the next day!
A feast for the senses
A fabulous lake, the biggest in Occitania (7500 hectares)! Thau Lakeis packed with biodiversityand famous for its oyster farming. Shellfish producersserve their produce in lovely open-air cafés: try a few Bouzigues oysters washed down with some local wine (Muscats, Picpoul, Noilly-Prat etc.). Visit the Thau Lake Museum, nearby villages with character(Balaruc-le-Vieux, Poussan, Gigian etc.), the Loupian Gallo-Roman villaand beautifulValmagne Abbey.
Visit Sète in aboat with underwater views. See another side to the city as you sail the canals. Then head out to the sea or lake to explore the underwater world.
Sète is in the Hérault region 30 mins from Montpellier.
By car: on the A9 and A75 motorways.
By train: trains from Sète station to Toulouse and Marseille in 2 hrs and Paris in 3 hrs 40 mins.
By plane: from Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport (45 mins).