By guest contributor Nancy McGhee, a Canadian living in Sete and owner of Absolutely Southern France
Travelers seeking a truly authentic taste of France at its most scenic need look no further than Sète. Charming colorful houses line the canals, lights reflecting in the moonlit water and of course the glorious beaches of the Mediterranean add to this unique town’s charm. According to The Daily Telegraph UK, “Sète is the most fascinating small town on the French Mediterranean coast.” In France, it is referred to as the “Ile Singulière” (the Singular Island).
Situated in the island’s center, scenic Mont Saint-Clair presides over the town and provides an excellent showcase for the island. From its summit one can see how the Mediterranean and the Thau Lagoon are linked. Sète has been likened to an unspoilt and largely undiscovered Venice, with its own network of intertwining canals.
Because of its geographic location Sète offers an ideal vacation spot. The Languedoc Roussillon area is flat. In Sète, however, you will find one of the region’s most beautiful hills, Mount St. Clair, which makes the island stand out as unique and awe-inspiring.
The city is small and hospitable yet with an extensive menu of cultural and outdoor activities: hiking up Mount St Clair, swimming, sunbathing, watersports and even fine dining along 13 kilometers of what some say are the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Visitors come from far and wide for the world-class jazz festival, the world’s largest poetry festival, a superb documentary photography festival and the highly entertaining water jousting festival or “joutes.”
Importantly, in Sète one is never far away from the aromas, tastes and textures that help classify Mediterranean cuisine as one of the most celebrated in the world. And here one can sample delights from the neighboring lagoon including the much sought-after oysters from Bouzigues, oysters with white wine and buttered bread, fresh mussels, and a wide array of delectable seafood served with Mediterranean delicacies, will bring you straight to a food-lover’s paradise.
Barge with me for 9-nights/10-days in the south of France beginning June 17, 2015. Enjoy all-inclusive barging, luxury hotels, top-rated tours, plus me to guide you along the way. Only $3,990 per person. All-Travel is handling bookings. Call 1-866-347-3033 or click here. I also have photos and videos and many more details about the trip posted here. – Ralph Grizzle