I met a group of locals the other day; they were from a town called Sète and they did a great job at persuading me it might be a good place to check out one weekend during my French language stay in Montpellier. So, I have embarked on a research mission to find out more about this little town on the Mediterranean coast and I thought I would share with you what I have found. It’s March right now and the temperatures are just starting to creep up and so these beach side destinations are starting to come out into their own as truly gorgeous locations with the power to attract people from all over the world.
Sète is town situated a little over half an hour’s drive south-west of Montpellier where you may be doing your French immersion course. As I said above it is right on the coast and actually rests on one of the protruding limbs of land that poke out like a pier into the Mediterranean. It’s hard to get more of that luscious coastal living feeling than in Sète as it has water on both sides; the vast sea on one side and the Thau Lagoon on the other. This lagoon was the main attraction in centuries past as fisherman came to make the most of the agreeable geography. Apparently, sailors used to use the mountain as a reference point for their journeys along the coast and pirates and outlaws made it their hideaway too so you can imagine honest sailors looking up to it with unease and trading legends about the sinister characters that roamed the land.
Eventually a port was built and commerce and trade came to the area and Sète became a prime place for the Languedoc to export its products. Slowly the town was built around it and then eventually the world realised what a great tourist destination it would be.
What You and Your Friends from Easy French Can Do
In particular the seafood. There are many brilliant restaurants of different types but as you expect from a seaside town the seafood is the speciality. You can sit down to a huge platter of different things from the sea safe in the knowledge that it either came from the sea that day or even from the lagoon just a few hundred metres away. It’s safe to bet it’s fresh. They have a wide variety of price ranges too so if you want to get something cheap and cheerful for lunch you can but if you want to experience these marine delicacies in all their glory you can splash out on a gorgeous dinner.
I got talking to one of my teachers at the EasyFrench Immersion School about Sète and she told me that the town is really renowned for water sports which isn’t hard to imagine as it’s surrounded by water and surfer friendly beaches. You can certainly come across good conditions here for surfing and in the meantime diving is a popular thing here and if you have a mind too you can do all levels of diver training in the pearly blue lagoon. The activity that particularly took my eye though is the kayaking. Exploring the tropic like conditions of the Mediterranean coast like this just sounds wonderful to me and there are plenty of package deals you can do. This makes it a great and cheap group activity so if you can get a group of friends from your French language courses or maybe your host families involved you will save yourself a lot of money and have more fun as well obviously.
This really is a great place to visit during your time learning French in Montpellier, it’s cheap to get there by train and there is plenty to do to keep you entertained and well fed. Give it a go and discover more of the south of France.