Saint Louis Festival, Sete, France
Sète, seafood and jousting on the water
There is a hidden gem on the coast of France’s South East Occitanie region called Sète. Well off the International tourist radar, this colourful Mediterranean fishing port is also known as the “Venice of the Languedoc” due to its canal network extending into a saltwater lagoon.
Foodies flock here from all over the country just to dine here; all along the canal side wharves you will find lines and lines of well-priced fish restaurants with ice cabinet displays bursting with mussels, crabs and seafood of every kind. Its oysters are famous. A dizzying choice! So if the French pilgrimage there to eat, you know it will be good!
Any visit there is well worth storing up a big appetite, but go there in August and you in for something really special. That’s when you can join in the lively Saint Louis festival and watch the spectacular (and fun) ‘boat jousting’ that takes place. Contestants dress in white with red, or blue. Each boat holds oarsmen and a small noisy, brass and drum band. Sitting high on a step ladder are the teams of White Knights, waiting their turn. Perched high behind the heavy boat on a ‘Tintane’ (tiny wooden platform), lance and shield poised, are the Knightly jousters. Furiously rowed, but gaining little speed, the combatants clash. One will get very wet! Hilarious, colourful, historical, traditional. This is a wonderful way to pass an evening amongst the noisy, festive crowds.
Albatross Tours have 2 special group departures that are specially timed to visit Sète and to take in the event. Their Small Group, 15 Day ‘La Grande France’ tour enjoys 3 night stays in the Loire Valley, the Dordogne and the Cote d’Azur. The highlight stay of course is their 5 night stay in the heart of Montpelier, and a magical afternoon and evening watching the jousting in Sète! To find out more about this tour, speak to the friendly team of experts at Albatross Tours.