Sete (Photo:PHB.cz (Richard Semik)/Shutterstock)
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Sete

If you had never been to the Mediterranean coast, and had to create the ideal small seaport town from scratch, Sete would be it. The town is almost like a movie set, with its small pristine harbor, sidewalk cafes, lighthouse, canals and hilltop church. One would almost expect to see Cary Grant wandering among the art deco buildings or seated in a canal-side cafe sipping an aperitif.

About Sete


Pro

Sete is easy to explore on foot and features a network of pretty canals

Con

Many villagers do not speak English

Bottom Line

A pretty and quiet village that sees fewer tourists than other Mediterranean ports, Sete is endlessly charming


Find a Cruise to the Western Mediterranean



Sete is a small port on the southern coast of France that time seems to have passed by. Its size prevents the larger cruise ships from stopping there, and as a result, it retains a charm and an unspoiled quality (only the small ships of Windstar, Silversea and Radisson currently call here as part of seven-day western Mediterranean itineraries). It is a real working port, or actually ports, with the old port area in the southern end filled with pleasure boats and the small cruise ship dock, while the commercial port is out of sight on the other side of town.

The Canal Royal is the focal point, as all major attractions and shopping areas are along (or within easy walking distance) of this central waterway. While Sete has some interesting attractions, the real pleasure comes in just being there, enjoying this relatively unspoiled French coastal village.

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.

Good to Know

Alas, the French have not gotten into the habit of picking up after their dogs. Particularly on side streets, watch your step!

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

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.

Language

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.

Shopping

Food! Specifically, either a bottle of the regional dessert wine, Muscat de Frontignan, or a box of macaroons or madeleines. These make nice gifts for the folks back home, too, as they are often boxed nicely and they travel well. A local specialty is an interesting biscuit created out of aniseed essence and thin slices of green olives -- ask for a sample before committing to a box, as they are unusual and may not be to everyone's taste.