Sète is situated in the heart of the Languedoc region, not too far away from Montpellier. If you are wondering why Sète is known as “the French Venice”, it is easily said: the city is characterized by its canals that resemble those of the Venetian city. Sète is also renowned for its beautiful beaches and oysters that are very cheap here. This French city, with its commercial harbor, it’s an important reference for the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Sète is located on the side of Saint Clair’s mountain, which overlooks the city. The thing you will surely notice coming here is the unique view. On one side is the blue of the open sea and on the other is the lagoon with an infinity of canals in between.

What to do in Sète, the French Venice

harbour of Sète
Photo via Canva PRO

My trip starts from the fisherman’s quarter of Pointe Courte, which is a true spectacle for all the senses with its bright colors and strong scents. Walking, without noticing, I arrive at the Quai du Mistral, where you can stop by any of the many restaurants to try some local specialties close to the sea. What more could you ask for in life?

Sète, the "French Venice"
Photo via Canva PRO

Canal Royals divides Sète in two parts and this canal is overlooked by wonderful houses in classic Mediterranean style.

The Paul Valery Museum (local poet and writer) hosts a rich art collection and traces of the history of the French city and its inhabitants. There is also a graveyard dedicated to him (renamed “Marine Cemetery“, in honor of one of his poems), which is the ultimate for the lovers of the genre.

Marine Cemetery
Photo via Canva PRO

The Saint Louis’ Cathedral dates back to the seventeenth century, in baroque style. The church is situated on the top of a hill.

Sète, French Venice
Photo via Canva PRO

And why not end this trip with a nice swim? The beaches here are numerous and the water is crystal clear with golden sand… a real charm!

The best time to go to Sète

Sète mediterranean Sea
Photo via Canva PRO

Given that it is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the best time to visit Sète is in the summer, but if you want to avoid the crowd and mass tourism it is best to opt for the end of May/ start of June or the first half of September.

How to arrive in Sète from Italy

It’s pretty easy to arrive in Sète from Italy: let’s look at the various options.

By train

The train station is not too far away from the historical center. However, there are no direct trains from Italy to Sète and you will definitely have to change train. This way the trip will take about 13 hours.

By car

If you opt for the car you will have to take the Geneve/ Ventimiglia up to the French border, then take the A9 highway for Montpellier, then take the exit for Agde and in a few kilometers you will be in Sète.


Let’s not forget that Sète is one of the most important harbors of the Mediterranean, so why not go there by boat? Every day boats for Spain, and Morocco leave and arrive. There are also many passenger terminals for the call of cruise ships or ferries from Italy.


The closest airport is Montpellier’s airport which is about 20 kilometres far away from Sète. Once you arrive at Montpellier’s airport I suggest taking the train that takes less than twenty minutes with departures every thirty minutes and daily operations.

How to visit Sète

The ideal way to visit Sète is by bike, in fact, this town has an excellent network of bike paths and there is also public bike rental. For more information click here: Bike Rental.

A good alternative to the bike is to get around on foot as the major places of interest are all within easy walking distance.