Discover the Thau lagoon
The Thau lagoon or Bassin de Thau is the largest of a series of lagoons that stretch along the Languedoc-Roussillon region, from the coast of the Rhône river to the foothills of the Pyrenees, which form the border with Spain. It is the second-largest lagoon in France.
It is approximately 21 km long and 8 km wide, with an area of 7,012 hectares. The average depth of the pond is 4.5 m, but in the central navigation channel, it can be 10 metres deep. Near Bouzigues there is a depression with a diameter of 100 to 30 metres. This Fosse de la Vise has a hot spring that supplies hot water to the thermal baths in Balaruc.
Let’s take a quick trip around the lagoon and visit its towns.
Sète, the Venice of Languedoc
Birthplace of George Brassens, Sète charms with its many canals, its picturesque fishing port and its 12 km of protected beaches. To enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the town, I recommend two viewpoints: Mont Saint Clair, which overlooks the town at an altitude of 183 meters and the Domaine des Pierres Blanches, from where you can see, weather permitting, the Pyrenees and Mont Canigou. Other unmissable places in Sète: the Georges Brassens museum and the Saint-Louis festivals, typical nautical games that take place at the end of August.
Balaruc-les-Bains, leading thermal spa in France
Balaruc-les-Bains with it pretty side walk, piers and beaches, specialises in rheumatology and phlebology and welcomes more than 46,000 spa visitors per year. A new establishment, les Thermes de Balaruc-les-Bains, opened its doors on 2 March 2015. It covers 16,000 m², 5 collective care pools and 7 independent hydrotherapy care sectors, 4 of which are dedicated to the application of thermal mud, a renowned treatment of the resort, with the use of a new application bed specially developed and patented for the thermal baths.
Bouzigues and its oyster and mussel farms
The charming fishing village of Bouzigues is a hotspot for shellfish farming. Visit the Thau Lagoon Museum and learn more about the trades of the “peasants of the sea” and the activities of the Thau lagoon where the original staging of the objects recreates a fishing atmosphere: aquariums, videos, models…
Mèze for ecology
Mèze is the oldest town in the Thau lagoon with a handsome port brimming with seafood restaurants and a cobble-stoned old town. The Pays de Thau ecosite, a research centre dedicated to the protection of the environment and aquaculture, explains to visitors how “nature cleans the water” with microscopic plants and animals.
Marseillan and its wine heritage viticole
The listed port of Marseillan proudly bears witness to its past linked to viticulture. Ancient wine-growers’ buildings and other majestic cellars frame the port. A short distance away, the Pointe des Onglous and its lighthouse mark the mouth of the Canal du Midi in the Thau lagoon where you can enjoy a sublime view over Sète and the entire lagoon. Visit of the Noilly Prat cellars and discover the techniques of the elaboration of Vermouth, an aperitif made from white wine.