Stroll Along the Canals of this Colorful Port
A trip to Sète is the perfect opportunity to embrace the concept of far niente (or to “do sweet nothing”) that’s practiced in sunny southern France. A day spent doing nothing—and yet, everything—may be just what le docteur ordered.
Take a walk along the canals of “the Venice of Languedoc” to see fishermen and townsfolk on their homemade boats going to and from the market. From late spring to early autumn, the canals turn into friendly battlegrounds for water jousting competitions, a very passionate tradition in Sète’s culture that date back to 1666.
Here, rival teams row towards one another and attempt to knock each other into the canal using a long wooden lance, while hundreds of spectators cheer them on. In fact, our very own Captain Carl has participated in one of these competitions much to the delight of our guests…and to the dismay of Captain Carl when he fell in the water!
Naturally after all that cheering, sustenance is needed. Settle in at one of the restaurants along the Quai de le Résistance or Quai Général Durand for a meal of the freshest seafood of oysters, clams, and mussels you can possibly imagine plus a front row seat to the full spectacle of Sète life. How’s that for dinner and a show?
Head to the top of Sete, to the summit of Mont St-Clair, either on foot or on a local bus or taxi. Explore the charming chapel with beautiful art and enjoy panoramic views of Sete and its canals, which are the link between Étang de Thau and the Mediterranean.
More than a sport, more than a tradition, water jousting in the city dates back to the 1600’s and reflects the passion and pride of Sete.
The walled, medieval city of Carcassonne is truly a marvel. Cross the Auld River on the Pont Vieux to explore the fortified city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and be sure to discover the Basilica of St. Nazaire and the Carcassonne Cathedral.
Featured Sete, France Shore Excursions
Sete, France At a glance