Sète is in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Sete, France, is the charming port which leads you to Carcassone, a walled city which dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Explore the town’s boutiques and cafes. Be sure to sample “cassoulet”, a delightful combination of meats cooked with beans. It’s the specialty of the city.
The town is compact, with small parks and cafes. Place A. Briand is a nice setting to relax, surrounded by busy shopping streets.
Center Regional d’Art Contemporary showcases new and interesting contemporary art.
La Decanale Saint-Louis is the main church in the town and was built in 1702.
Parc du Chateau d’Eau has a playground and a war memorial, dedicated to those who died for France.
Sete’s highest and best view is climbing up Mont Saint-Clair’s 400 or so steps.
Notre-Dame de la Salette, is a small chapel that contains some interesting frescoes.
The downtown canals are all fronted with pedestrian friendly walkways and bridges. Boat rides through the canals are also available.
Mole Saint Louis (jetty) offers a panoramic view of the port and the town.
The disabled cruiser visiting Sete will find that the city is built on Mont St Clair and there could be mobility issues with steps and steep streets. If you are only going to the beach, the beaches are to the west of town, there should be no mobility issues.
While Sete, France presents evident challenges for disabled visitors, particularly those with mobility issues, cobblestones, cafe-lined streets that are a nightmare to navigate in a wheelchair, a lack of curb ramps, older public facilities and many budget hotels without lifts, don’t let that stop you from visiting. Efforts are being made to improve the situation and with a little careful planning, a hassle-free accessible stay is possible.
Carcassonne Medieval City is more-or-less flat inside the gates, but it’s cobblestones and there are some inclines. Dedicated disabled facilities are indeed thin on the ground but then no different than many places in Europe. Walking is hard on the cobbled streets even with 2 sticks and a helping arm to grab, but not all streets are cobbled. Within France we have always found that how helpful people are depends on how your behavior is with them, manners are important. A few words of french goes a very long way and most will give all the help you need.
In Pezenas some of the streets in the old town are narrow and made with cobbles but the main street Cours Jean Joures is wide and smooth. The most important thing is making sure your accommodation is suitable. There are plenty of restaurants and bars that have large outside seating areas where a wheelchair would be fine.
Where You’re Docked
Ships dock a couple of short blocks and across a small canal from downtown. The entire city is within easy walk of the pier.
Sete is a great opportunity to people-watch. The town is compact, filled with small parks and sidewalk cafes, and the natives usually far outnumber the tourists. Place A Briand is a nice setting to relax, surrounded as it is by busy shopping streets. For a less crowded venue, try the Parc du Chateau d’Eau, with its playground and war memorial. And for relaxing with a view, try hiking up to the top of Mont Saint-Clair.
Good to Know
The French have not gotten into the habit of picking up after their dogs. Particularly on side streets, watch your step.
The entire town radiates from the old port dock, and except for a couple of spots up the rather steep hill, everything is an easy walk.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The official currency is the euro. There are a few ATM’s along the Quai de la Resistance and the nearby side streets. Shops outside of the main shopping areas often do not take credit cards.
The official language in Sete is French. The city does not get many cruise ships, so while workers in the main shopping areas speak a bit of English, owners of the offbeat, and off-the-beaten track shops often do not.
The main streets of Sete around the canals are filled with shops, The Quai de la Resistance and the Grand’rue Mario Roustan are lined with food and specialty shops.
Souvenirs include a bottle of the regional dessert wine, Muscat de Frontignan, or a box of macaroons or madeleines.
La Corniche North and South beaches in Sete are popular with tourists.
Seafood features heavily on menus, try the famous ‘moules frites’ (mussels and fries).
Points of Interest
- Carcassonne – Featuring a magnificent citadel, stout remparts and pennant-capped towers with beautifully preserved walled fortress dates back to the Middle Ages and is a UNESCO World heritage site. It is the largest and best preserved fortress in Europe. Carcassonne Medieval City is more-or-less flat inside the gates, but it’s cobblestones and there are some inclines. Dedicated disabled facilities are indeed thin on the ground.
- Abbey of Valmagne – Founded in 1138 , this former Benedictine monastery was converted to a wine cellar after the French Revolution and features an atmospheric wine tasting room and reconstructed medieval gardens.
- Pezenas – Once the summer home of the 17th century Prince de Conti and his entourage, it has been the seat of the Governors of Languedoc and home to artists and playwrights (including French dramatist Molière). This picturesque town remains a center of art and culture.
- Montpellier – Rich with over a thousand years of history, former center of Protestantism during France’s War of Religion, this teeming, energetic fastest growing city in France is lined with boutiques and sidewalk cafes, dotted with magnificent squares and filled with stunning architecture.
- Aigues-Mortes – Built during the 13th century by St Louis King of France, it is an iconic model of military fortification from the Middle Ages. This walled town sits against an unsoiled landscape inhabited by bulls, horses and bird species including the famous pink flamingos.
- Fontfroide Cistercian Abbey – Founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093, this magnificent sandstone monastery features 12th century Romanesque cloisters and a chapter house as well as a garden of over 3000 rosebushes.
- Villerouge Termenes Castle – Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, this well-preserved rectangular castle features ramparts which offer stunning views, historical exhibits and a restaurant that serves authentic medieval cuisine.
- Lagrasse – Considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, it is famed for its Abbey, Medieval houses and streets, book and pottery fairs and a 12th century hump-backed bridge.
Sete Accessible Excursions
There are currently no organized accessible shore excursions in Sete.