Most of the pleasure of being in Sète comes from strolling along the canals, where smaller boats vie for space with the huge fishing trawlers that supply the town's restaurants with plentiful seafood. The Canal Royal is the setting for the wonderfully zany Sétoise tradition of water jousting tournaments, les joutes nautiques, which take place all summer long. Two opposing teams ride in gondola-style boats, with members taking turns to try to knock their opponents off one by one using long lances. There are night-time versions, too, and even one for children.
Two of Sète's most famous sons have museums devoted to them. The Espace Georges Brassens, at 67 bd. Camille Blanc (tel. 04-99-04-76-26), sits on a hill overlooking the evocative mariners' cemetery where the great singer rests. Inside the modern glass gallery are multimedia exhibitions recalling the life and career of the influential singer-songwriter who was a great friend of Jacques Brel; admission is 5€ for adults, and 2€ for students and children over 10. The Musée Paul Valéry is also near the top of Mont St-Clair, at 148 rue François Desnoyer (tel. 04-99-04-76-16). Along with exhibitions celebrating the poet, it contains a sizeable collection of art as well as displays chronicling the history of life in Sète; admission for the permanent collection is 7€ adults, 2€ children ages 10 to 18, and children 9 and under are free.
One of the most dramatic sights in Sète is the Théâtre de la Mer, route de al Corniche (tel. 04-67-74-98-86), an 18th-century citadel that has been converted to an open-air amphitheater. Concerts, plays, and recitals are performed throughout the summer, with the Mediterranean as its enchanting backdrop.
Sète's nearest beach is less than 2km (1 mile) east of the Vieux Port (old port) at La Corniche. Its 1960s architecture leaves much to be desired, but it doesn't detract from the large expanse of beach that eventually stretches all the way to Cap d'Agde.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.