|Guide to Sète, France
|Seaside resort, artists' refuge, active port: Sète is perfect for a getaway from nearby Montpellier.
Washed by the salt water waves of the Mediterranean to the southeast and by the Étang de Thau to the northwest (map), the quasi-island village of Sète (population 45,000) is one of those places with a unique character.
Only 35 km (22 miles) southwest of Montpellier, Sète is known as a historic port, the eastern terminus of the Canal du Midi, a modern seaside resort, and a haven for artists and musicians including poet Paul Valéry, singer Georges Brassens, and guitarist Manitas de Plata.
The town's topographic situation is certainly unusual: perched on Mont Saint-Clair at the end of a peninsula with a 13-km (8-mile) long Lido beach extending all the way to the mainland at Marseillan and Agde.
Because of the canals running through the town joining the Étang de Thau with the Mediterranean, Sète is nicknamed "the Venice of Languedoc."
Come to Sète for its seaside resort ambiance and its history of art.
What to See & Do
The beach! There's so much of it that you'll always find some space for sea, sand and sun.
The Musée Paul Valéry preserves manuscripts and sketches by the famous poet born here in 1871. He was buried in Sète's Cimetière Marin after his death in Paris in 1945.
The Espace Georges Brassens is a museum dedicated to the life and work of the singer-songwriter-poet born here in 1921.
Hérault-Transport - liO operates public-transport buses in the département of Hérault, including Montpellier and Sète.
Bus 602 (Montpellier - Frontignan - Sète) connects Montpellier's Gare Routière (Station Sabines) with Sète, with 11 daily buses on weekdays, three on Sundays and holidays. The trip takes about an hour.
Where to Stay
You can stay in Montpellier and come to Sète for the day (16 minutes on the train), or you can stay right in Sète. Here's how and where: