Kitesurfing in Sète and the Etang de Thau
Set alongside the the saltwater lagoon of the Étang de Thau, Sète is the largest French fishing port on the Mediterranean. With its choice of lagoon and beach, Sète is kiteable in both northerly Tramontana and southerly winds, making it a top spot for a kitesurfing holiday.
Kitesurfing - Sète and the Etang de Thau
Busy in August.
|SE,S,SW (Beach), NE,N,NW (Lagoon)|
|Beginner - Advanced|
Best Time of Year
|September - June|
Summer Water Temp
|18°C > 22°C|
Winter Water Temp
|9°C > 11°C|
Sea urchins in the lagoon.
6 day wind forecast for Sète and the Etang de Thau
|Montpellier (38 min)|
From the A9 motorway, take exit 33 towards Sète. Follow the signs to Sète and once in town look for signs to Marseillan.
For the Etang de Thau, leave Sète on the N112 towards 'Marseillan Le Cap d’Agde'. At the big roundabout, follow signs for 'Pont-Levis ULM' and continue straight on for 60 m, passing a level crossing, look for signs for 'ULM'. You can park at the first car park you see after the bridge.
For the beach, take the D2 beach road out of Sète towards Marseillan.
Sète-Etang de Thau Kitesurfing Gallery
Sète – Pont Levis
Pont Levis at the Sète end of the Etang de Thau is regarded as one of the top spots around Montpellier.
The spot works in multiple wind directions and apart from the centre of the lagoon where there’s some chop, the water’s perfectly flat.
You can kite safely if every wind direction except easterly when the Mont St Clair becomes a hazard. In a north-westerly, it’s directly on-shore, so you need to be confident as there numerous hazards into the wind, which is generally pretty strong.
A westerly generates the best waves and the middle of the lagoon, just beyond the sandbank, becomes a playground for freestyle riders.
The only downside is the launch site which is restricted to a safe-zone on a sandbank accessible via the weir. Strict rules apply in that only one kite can launch or land at a time, and priority is given to kitesurfers coming in. As soon as you’re up and riding, you need to clear the safe-zone.
Once, you’re out of the safe zone, the kiting on the Etang de Thau is straightforward due to the shallow water and generally onshore wind.
A word of advice – take your booties as in summer there’s loads of sea urchins!
Be aware that the Sète hospital heliport is also located at Pont Levis and an area around this is off limits to kitesurfers. Watch out for the signs.
Sète – Les 3 Digues
Even though Sète is surrounded by huge saltwater lagoons, one of the official kitesurfing spots in the area is a Mediterranean beach spot called ‘Les 3 Digues’. It’s one of the few beach spots around Montpellier where kitesurfing is permitted in summer.
Les 3 Digues works in a good few wind directions, but in summer it’s the thermal on-shore southerlies that dominate. The huge beach means there’s plenty of space and freeride kitesurfers out for a cruise will be stoked. Freestylers will get their kicks too though as the water is often choppy.
Northerlies bring gusty, off-shore winds, so unless you’re super confident, it’s best not to head out in these conditions.
The huge beach at Les 3 Digues means there’s plenty of room to launch and land. Having said that, you still need to watch out for swimmers and sunbathers in the summer months.
Mèze and the northern side of the Etang de Thau
The attractive fishing port of Mèze is located on the northern shores of the Etang de Thau, a huge saltwater lagoon that has the massive advantage of being kiteable in every wind direction. The lagoon averages between 4 and 5 metres deep which means the water’s a good bit warmer than the sea.
The Etang de Thau is ideal for learning to kitesurf as there’s loads of space, no currents and there’s conveniently placed sandbanks that allow you to get familiar with your kit and get up and riding in waist deep water.
If there’s no wind, you can go and check out the Kithau waterski cable at Marseillan, or enjoy the amazing seafood in Bouzigues.
Here’s a few recommendations for places to stay near the kitesurfing in Sète and the Etang de Thau. Stay in Sète itself for access to the beach and the southern side of the lagoon, or head over to the small fishing port of Mèze for a quieter stay and to kite the northern side of the Etang de Thau.
Hotel de la Pyramide – Mèze
From 75 € per night
3 star Hotel de la Pyramide is located right on the Etang de Thau along the shore from the attractive fishing village of Mèze and just 200 m from a kitesurf school. Rooms are air-conditioned and there’s a buffet breakfast served on the terrace each morning. After a day’s kiting you can relax by the pool.Check availability | Go >
Appart’ Hôtel Terra Gaia – Sète
From 75 € per night
Situated on Boulevard Cerf Lurie between the Etang de Thau and Plage des Quilles, Appart’ Hôtel Terra Gaia is in a great location for kiting on either the lagoon or the sea. Enjoy the freedom of self-catering accommodation in bright, spacious rooms and there’s a fitness centre and hammam spa.Check availability | Go >