The nautical games of Sète

The nautical jousts of Sète are the unmissable event for locals and the curious every year. For 6 days, around August 25 when Saint Louis is celebrated, tens of thousands of enthusiasts come to Sète for this traditional festival to the glory of King Louis XIV, founder of the city of Sète and the jousting Languedoc watersports. On the program: jousting tournaments at the Cadre Royal, concerts, shows, exhibitions, parades, swimming across Sète and many other activities. The festivities end with a grand fireworks display fired from the breakwater. This great event takes place in Sète, just 40 minutes from Les Mimosas. For 2018, it will take place from August 23 to 28.

The nautical jousts of Sète are a traditional festival during which the inhabitants pay homage to La Saint Louis, the patron saint of the city. This is the flagship event not to be missed in Hérault. They are the perfect opportunity to discover its culture and traditions. Visitors never tire of street entertainment and numerous bodegas, but above all of the great water jousting competition in the “Venice of Languedoc”, an atypical sport practiced mainly in this region. What does it consist of? On a wooden boat, piloted by several rowers, the jouster climbs on the "tintaine", a floor perched 2 m above the water. He will be holding a five-pound shield in one hand, a three-pound spear in the other. His challenge: to stay balanced on this wooden tackle and resist his opponent so as not to fall into the salty waters of the canal. Dressed in traditional white pants and shirts, the required attire, dozens of them compete for a single winner, a whole number. A physical and technical sport that we take pleasure in seeing. It is said that this discipline originated during the Crusades, when the knights trained before their embarkation to the East without their mounts. It is the pride of the people of Sétois. This spectacular competition brings together thousands of spectators. For the occasion, the Royal Framework is also transformed into stands.

Other activities such as swimming across Sète also delight spectators. There is a festive, friendly and warm atmosphere. In addition, the party and nautical games in Sète will also allow you to discover other facets of Languedoc culture such as gastronomy. Take the time to savor the local culinary specialties and taste the wines of the Pays d'Oc during your visit. The famous "tielle" of Sète, a pie garnished with octopus is a must-try, accompanied by a terret, a typical wine from the Thau lagoon.