Sete France is an unpretentious, but important seaport that is almost an island on the Mediterranean coast. The town surrounds a hill called Mont St-Clair with the sea in front and the Thau Lagoon behind. The only thing connecting it to the mainland is a long corniche drive. The lagoon is a treasure trove of oyster and mussel beds, and there is a network of canals that provide superb fishing. More fish comes into port from the sea.
The beaches in Sete help to make this city and its surrounding region one of the best kept secrets of the French Mediterranean. It isn't as glittery as the French Riviera or as historic as the Atlantic coast, but there are more than eight miles of beaches in Sete to choose from and a wonderful seaside promenade.
The beaches in Sete closest to the city are Lazaret and Corniche. Lazaret is completely protected by sea walls, making it an excellent beach for families with children. On the beach is a "Fantasy Park," an enclosed playground for children with wading and paddling pools and a number of pieces of playground equipment. Corniche Beach runs along the long isthmus that borders the lagoon. The main part of the beach is within walking distance the city, and both Corniche and Lazaret are to the south of town. North of the city are more miles of beaches, also backed by lagoons. These beaches stretch almost as far as the city of Marseille.
There are Sete France hotels along the full sweep of this coastline that amounts to a large curved bay. You have many choices, from exclusive beach resorts to historic city center Sete France hotels and just about everything in between. For a great view of the city, the lagoon, and the sea, try Le Grand Hotel 17 Quai Tassignay right on the main canal that runs from the sea to the lagoon. This is one of the finest hotels in the city, with elegant airy rooms decorated with a Mediterranean and North African flair. It boasts a fine gourmet restaurant. There are also a number of budget hotels and bed and breakfast inns, and plenty of vacation rentals. You can find luxurious villas as well as small city apartments available for rent.
Some visitors to Sete France come here only because they are in transit to North Africa. There are ferries from here to Tangier and Nador on the coast of Morocco. These are not cheap crossings, but they allow you to bring your vehicle, which many intrepid travelers do in order to drive the length of the continent. The once-weekly crossing to Nador takes about 28 hours, and the six weekly crossing to Tangier take about 13 hours. People doing these crossings are apt to spend a few days at Sete France hotels while they purchase supplies and have their vehicles seen to before getting to Africa.
While most all the things to do in Sete France concern the sea in one form or another, the city itself is quite charming. Because it is not one of the more famous Mediterranean resorts, you will find that almost everything is less expensive than in other more famous places like Cannes, Nice, or Monaco.