Sète: Venice of the Languedoc

ByAndrea Thompson

April 16, 2024

Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Étang Thau Lagoon, this port town is a picturesque blend of waterways and golden sands.  A vibrant community with a rich maritime heritage and a growing cultural scene.

Sète’s history is a fishing port and evident by its bustling quayside, where the catch of the day is still sold straight from the boats. The town’s canals are lined with colourful houses and seafood restaurants, offering a taste of the local way of life. Mont St Clair, is a hill that provides breath-taking panoramic view of the town and beyond, making it a must-visit for any traveller.

Foodies will rejoice in Sète, where the seafood is as fresh as it gets. The town is famous for its oysters from the nearby lagoon and the local dish “tielle,” a spicy octopus pie is often enjoyed with a glass of Picpoul, a local dry white wine making it a ritual that’s not to be missed. Given that the city is within reach of the vineyards of Languedoc, there are plenty of “affordable and easy-drinking wines” in the region. Many of these wines are well paired with seafood, and given Sète’s location, there are plenty of fresh seafood options to choose from.  The weekly markets are a feast for the senses, with stalls piled high with regional produce.

The Paul Valéry Museum showcases both modern art and exhibitions on the town’s history. With the Théâtre de la Mer, an open-air theatre set against the backdrop of the sea, hosts a variety of performances throughout the summer months.

What sets Sète apart is its authenticity. It’s a working town with a heart and soul, where the pace of life is dictated by the tides rather than the tourist season. Whether you’re exploring the canals by boat, lounging on the expansive beaches, or enjoying the local cuisine, Sète offers a slice of Mediterranean life that is both relaxing and invigorating.

Why visit?

Sète is a destination that truly has it all—a rich history, a thriving food scene, and a commitment to culture. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and leave feeling refreshed and inspired.