Covering 7500 hectares, the Etang de Thau is primarily the largest lagoon in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
It has also been a breeding ground for oysters and shells since ancient times. Two thousand people work on shellfish farms, mainly family farms. Between Bouzigues, Mèze and Marseillan, the oyster beds stretch out as far as the eye can see, like small, neat gardens, at the water's edge. Mont St Clair, in Sète, watches over this vast lagoon.
TO DO, TO SEE:
- the Etang de Thau is an unique marine natural environment in Europe. To protect this sensitive area, leisure activities are regulated. Sailing, sea kayaking, windsurfing, kite-surfing and even diving are practiced in Sète, Marseillan, Mèze.
- In Bouzigues, capital of the oyster of the same name, visit the Museum of the Etang de Thau to understand everything about oyster farming. On site, producers will make you taste their shellfish. Colorful boats and nets drying in the sun are part of the decor.
- on the banks of the lagoon, both in Bouzigues and Marseillan, in the shade of the terraces of the restaurants or farmers'huts, to accompany these magnificent shellfish, do not forget to taste the Picpoul de Pinet. This white wine goes so well with the products of the sea!
- in Marseillan, take the opportunity to discover the last French vermouth by visiting the cellars of Noilly-Prat. The small port is also most welcoming.
NOT TO BE MISSED: Several companies offer boat trips on the lagoon, with comments on shellfish farms and tasting of oysters. The culture is unique in France; the visit is more interesting, especially as the panorama is beautiful.
- from Marseillan www.promenade-bateau-marseillan.com
- from Meze www.mansathau.com
- from Bouzigues www.promenade-bouzigues.fr