Mèze and its history

An important port since Phoenician times, Mèze has always primarily been a fishing town. During the Roman Empire, the town lay on the main Southern route from Italy to Spain - the 'Via Domitia`. The Romans brought wine to the area and left a legacy of architecture including two of the town's churches. The production of shellfish, especially oysters, has been the mainstay of the Mèze economy for almost a century and the whole BaSsin de Thau area has built an international reputation for the quality of its seafood.

Today, Mèze is a lively small town with around 11.000 inhabitants. Its market square attracts many visitors on market days (Wednesdays and Sundays) and the town offers a wide choice of small authentic local shops. Stroll through the  narrow streets to explore in the old town (especially the attractive vaulted passageways). Part of the ancient ramparts can also be seen along the etang. Other points of interest in Meze include:

- the 17th century Château de Girard, rather stark in appearance, surrounded by a lovely park, the castle plays host to various art exhibitions;

- the Chapel of Penitents (see photo);

- the churches of Saint Hilaire (15th century) and Saint-Martin-de-Caux (a quaint roman style church constructed in the 12th century for the pilgrims that passed through the town).

The harbour

The traditional rectangularly shaped  harbour is lined with palm trees. With its many cafés and restaurants you will find it just around the corner from Fisherman’s house.  Small yachts and fishing boats are moored side by side and during the summer the harbour hosts the ancient nautical Jousts, where opposing teams of 8 or 10 oarsmen (the Red and the Blue teams) row their boats towards each other; each boat`s jouster, with his wooden lance, will then try to destablise his opponent. These very popular jousts, are a feature of all Languedoc harbours and they are a tradition dating back to medieval times.

 Tours of the Oyster banks can be made from the harbour and if you are sailing in from another harbour, there are visitors` moorings.  In summer, local artists sell their treasures every Thursday evening.

The beaches

Very few mediterranean villages offer the choice of two great child-friendly sandy beaches, within 5 minutes walking from your home base.  The water remains shallow for quite a distance, making it ideal for children. More information on the choice of beaches on the 'Things to do'  page.

 

The restaurants

The following restaurants are all within easy walking distance of `Fisherman's house`and offer a variety of local cuisine, from simple bistrôt to haute cuisine. Have a stroll around the harbour and you will spot them easily. In high summer, make a reservation to be sure that you get a table.

Les Saveurs de Thau - Quai Baptiste Guitard- tel  04 67 43 53 73

Le Sanboulou - 22 Quai Augustin Descournut - tel 04 67 43 89 20

L'Eau Sel  - 13 Chemin de l`Etang - tel 04 67 74 63 81 

Le Coquillou - 14 Bis Quai Augustin Descournut -  tel 04 67 18 87 50

Le Neptune - 10 Quai Descornut - tel 09 64 08 31 37

Le Res`Thau - 28 Quai Augustin Descournut - tel 04 67 51 20 71

Lou Labech -  26 Quai Augustin Descournut - tel 049 90 40 354

Claire & Patrick - 36 Bld du port - tel 04 67 25 18 29

La Marmitière - 38 Rue du Port - tel 04 67 43 84 99

L'Ambre Marine - 18 Quai Augustin Descournut - tel  04 67 18 86 06

Emergency Numbers in France

The number 112 can be dialled to reach emergency services - medical, fire and police - from anywhere in Europe. This Pan-European emergency number 112 can be called from any telephone (landline, pay phone or mobile cellular phone). Calls are free.

For all Emergency Numbers in France, consult this site.

Mèze harbour
Château Girard
Via Domitia
Traditions
Au marché
Port
Entrée Port
Coucher du soleil
Jousts
The beach
La plage et la vue de Sète
Gastronomic delights / Gastronomie