In the Hérault region at the foot of Mont Saint Clair, between the Etang de Thau and the Mediterranean, lies the pretty town of Sète.
The town is bathed in light, enjoys a high level of sunshine and can be visited at any time of the year. This exceptional destination for sun and sea lovers is a port city with a pleasant Mediterranean climate.
Between its beaches, its numerous canals and its colourful walls, you will undoubtedly be won over by Sète. Come and discover it during your next holiday.
VISIT TO THE CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE OF SÈTE
- The Marine Cemetery: a must for all visitors to Sète. Facing the Mediterranean, it contains the graves of the poet Paul Valéry and Jean Vilar. Originally called the “Saint Charles Cemetery”, it was renamed the “Marine Cemetery” after the death of Paul Valéry. A moment to spend meditating on the graves and then enjoying the superb view of the sea. It is accessible to pedestrians via the marine cemetery path close to the centre of Sète.
- A variety of museums not to be missed: after your visit to the graves, you can head for the Paul Valéry Museum, which stands above the cemetery and has a room dedicated to the late poet of the same name. This space is dedicated to the painters transported by the luminous beauty of the city of Sète. Open all year round, you can admire hundreds of paintings and over 1,000 drawings, as well as temporary exhibitions. Around the museum, discover gardens and a café-restaurant perfect for a drink in the shade.
After the poet Paul Valéry, continue the cultural visits with the singer Georges Brassens, a local child. Fans of the artist who sang “Suppliques pour être enterré à la plage de Sète” as a tribute to his native town, can go to the boulevard Camille Blanc to discover a beautiful exhibition in his honour at the Espace Georges Brassens.
Art lovers will be delighted to discover the Centre régional d’art contemporain (Crac) located near the Royal Canal, which offers a variety of local and international art exhibitions. Admission is free.
Also visit the Musée international des Arts Modestes (Miam), which houses diverse art collections and the works of artist and collector Bernard Belluc. It is open continuously from 11 am to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
Finally, it is impossible to pass through the city of Sète without taking a look at the Musée de la Mer. The museum recounts the history of the port city, the people who contributed to its construction, and traces its traditions. You will learn more about Sète’s heritage through ship models, instruments, drawings and other documents, as well as jousts.
- Notre-Dame de la Salette Chapel: At Mont Saint Clair, you can discover the Notre-Dame de la Salette Chapel, built in 1861. Inside, you can admire its beautiful frescoes and some ex-votos. With its 200 meters height, the panorama seen from the chapel is sublime.
- The Mont-Saint-Clair lighthouse: would you like a panoramic view of the port of Sète? Then don’t miss a visit to this splendid 23-metre high lighthouse, built at the beginning of the 20th century. Once you reach the top, you will have a magnificent 360° view of the city.
DISCOVERING THE DISTRICTS OF SÈTE
Stroll along the quays
Take a stroll along the quays, along the canals and enjoy the architecture of the colourful buildings: the city offers visitors a rich history.
Take a walk along the Jean-Baptiste Marty promenade, which overlooks the Quai de la Consigne, and then along the Quai Lemaresquier. After the foundation of the port in 1666, the Quai Lemaresquier was created.
It allows the Canal du Midi to pass through the Etang de Thau and flow into the Mediterranean Sea. This quay includes a very beautiful art deco style consular palace.
Street art in the streets of Sète
As you stroll through the streets of the city, you will see dozens of colourful works of art on the facades of buildings, doors and roofs.
It is a real open-air museum (Maco) of street art to be discovered urgently with the family, either freely by taking a brochure with a map at the tourist office, or by taking a guided tour.
Discovery of the Pointe Courte district
The Pointe Courte district is a secret enclave dotted with small fishermen’s houses where time seems to stand still. From the centre at the end of the Quai de Bosc towards the station, you can get there on foot.
Cross the bridge to the Quai Maréchal-Joffre, then walk to the Quai du Mistral. In the Pointe Courte district, you will find a single business: the bar Le Passage.
Why not sit on a terrace by the canal with a view of the pond? And at the end of the day, don’t miss the sunset over the Thau lagoon, which is quite simply splendid.
Take a walk around the marina or continue your tour of the fishermen’s quarter, admiring the charming, colourful houses huddled together.
The atmosphere of the place is good-natured and friendly and not so touristy, perfect for an enjoyable fairytale walk.
The Corniche promenade
Approximately 10 metres above the Mediterranean Sea, the Corniche promenade links the centre of Sète to the Corniche district.
It is a pleasant place to walk in a privileged natural environment between rocks and creeks.
You can also cycle along the cycle path and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea from the promenade.
ORIGINAL VISIT TO SÈTE: WHAT ABOUT A NICE BOAT TRIP?
Did you know that you can visit Sète by boat? Also known as the “Venice of Languedoc”, Sète is above all a port town where many fishermen arrive and depart.
It has several canals linking the Etang de Thau to the sea, which give the town its unique appearance and atmosphere.
To visit Sète in a unique way, you will find different maritime tours to do by boat on the quai Général Durand, in the heart of the city.
Companies such as Sète Croisières offer guided excursions of about one hour on the water.
Enjoy a beautiful walk on the calm waters along the canals. You will pass under 9 bridges, some of which are bascule or revolving. You arrive at the Pointe Courte district, as far as the lagoon of the Etang de Thau.
You can admire the Gyss, a boat that belonged to Georges Brassens, and the architecture of the city’s facades that make it so beautiful.
Other tours allow you to discover the Thau lagoon and shellfish farming or to explore the different ports of the coast with a view of the town’s monuments.
GASTRONOMY: MARKETS AND RESTAURANTS
It is impossible to go on holiday to Sète without tasting its culinary specialities! Tielle sétoise, macaronade, mussels from the Thau lagoon, stuffed squid, monkfish stew, cuttlefish in rouille, fish soup… You will be spoilt for choice.
The must-see markets of Sète
Are you looking for something to prepare your lunch menu or a snack to enjoy on the beach? Then go to the market!
Sète has a covered market at Les Halles and open-air markets. Les Halles is located in the city centre, boulevard Gambetta. There are 75 exhibitors waiting for you every morning until 1pm.
The open-air market takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays, mainly in Rue Gambetta and Rue Alsace-Lorraine. Take a stroll through the stalls and you’re sure to find something to fill your stomach.
Fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, but above all: seafood and local products. You will also find an open-air market. The Sète market smells of Mediterranean cuisine with its delicious fish caught in the morning.
The market is a good opportunity to get to know the locals and to talk to the shopkeepers and, why not, taste a tielle while strolling through the marquees. You will find regional products to bring back in your luggage after your holidays under the Sète sun.
And if you prefer to go to a restaurant, Sète has several establishments to satisfy your taste buds and your appetite!
The Quai Général Durand, also known as the “Quai de la Marine”, is dotted with restaurants where you can enjoy a succulent local gastronomy between fish and shellfish from Thau.
Tasting of seafood, speciality of Sète such as tielle, bourride, various seafood including oysters harvested in the Etang de Thau.
SÈTE’S NATURAL SPACES ARE IDEAL FOR RELAXATION
The beach of the Corniche, a beautiful beach with fine sand. Near Mont Saint Clair, there is a coastal strip made up of several beaches, including the Corniche beach, which stretches over a good ten kilometres.
On the opposite side are the salt pans and the Thau lake. A lazy afternoon at the Corniche beach with swimming sessions or a more sporty one with paddle or windsurfing.
Other beaches such as the coves of Anau and Vigie, Lazaret and the beach of Les Quilles.
The Pierres Blanches forest
The Pierres Blanches forest is a 2,000-hectare pine forest with hiking trails and sublime views of the sea, the Etang de Thau and the coastal strip between the Etang and the Mediterranean (lido).
The Etang de Thau and its shellfish culture
Visit the shellfish producers on the Thau archipelago to taste oysters and take a walk around the Thau lagoon.
EVENTS IN SÈTE NOT TO BE MISSED
Temporary exhibitions, music concerts, various shows… Sète has no shortage of events. The town hosts, among others, the Fiest’A Sète, a “world music festival”.
Your visit to Sète is also an opportunity to participate in the popular Mèze oyster festival, where several hundred kilos of seafood and cuttlefish cooked in rust are served to visitors.
HOW TO GET TO SÈTE?
Sète is easily accessible, with regular trains from Paris and a journey time of 3 hours 40 minutes.
From the provinces, Sète is easily reached by TER. By bus, the journey is longer and more expensive.
You can also opt for the car, with or without carpooling, which is by far the most practical way to go on a trip whenever you want.
HOW TO GET AROUND THE CITY?
As the city centre of Sète is not very large, you can easily get around on foot, even with your children. In any case, buses are available, as the car is not the most convenient means of transport.
WHAT IS THE BUDGET?
For transport, expect to pay an average of €5 per day per person, and about €25 per day per head for the various tours of the city.
If you are looking for accommodation during your visit to Sète, the campsite Paradis Le Cayola is only about 35km from Sète by the shortest route, via the Bagnas nature reserve and then along the Etang de Thau.