In historic Languedoc-Roussillon, Sète is the Mediterranean's largest fishing port and a bustling harbour town. Sète is bordered by the Étang de Thau, a biodiverse saltwater lagoon in the southeast French region of Occitanie.
The authentic mood of the colourful Vieux Port, normally reserved for fishing boats, complements the town's mellow facades, pedestrian streets and shaded squares – all of which offer options for a delightful stroll. The quality of its light has attracted many artists, and the Paul Valery Gallery houses many interesting works.
Across a narrow isthmus, Sète’s Mediterranean coast is lined with sandy beaches. The top of Mont St Clair offers fabulous views of the city, known as “Venice of the Languedoc” given its network of canals, bridges and quays. Many flock to the main canal in the summer for a number of jousting events.
Sète is France’s largest fishing port and has 18 tuna boats, 14 trawlers and 28 smaller vessels. The day’s catch is sold at auction, including hake, squid, octopus, eels, tuna, green crabs, anchovies, monkfish, sardines, rockfish, sea bream and sea bass – depending on the season. The port is unique in that it incorporates sea and lagoon.
Sète is just a short distance from Montpellier so it’s a great opportunity to visit this medieval city.
Sète is an artistic place and has several art galleries including the Regional Centre for Contemporary Art, the International Museum of Modest Art and the Paul Valery Museum. The Paul Valery Museum has a room dedicated to the Sète-born artist, as well as 18th and 19th century works and works by well-known contemporary artists, including Henri Matisse. This museum is on the top of Mont St. Clair, which provides amazing views. Also worth a visit is the Regional Centre for Contemporary Art which has a digital
space dedicated to George Brassens – the singer-songwriter and poet born in Sète. You can also experience his work at the Espace Brassens.