In our experience, Sete, an old fashioned colorful harbor town laced with canals with lots of great seafood restaurants lining the docks either enchants or appalls—we suspect it depends on the time of year and the crowds. Described as “gritty, salty, workaday,” Sete is France’s biggest Mediterranean port (after Marseilles). We enjoyed our lunch there on a spring weekend. Visit the Musee Paul Valery (open daily ex Tuesday, 10 to 12, 2 to 6) It’s also worth going to the top of the Mont. St. Clair as there is a beautiful picnic area and great views of the coast.
Just a little story: on our last Sunday, we had decided to go explore Sete. From the moment we entered Sete, we knew we'd not get any further that day, we loved the town and the "scene" (as I call it) so much that we wanted to immerse ourselves in it (a port town always presents us midwesterners an exotic quality which maybe New Yorkers wouldn't feel) for the entire day. Just before coming home we went up to the cemetery, since the Green Guide had mentioned Paul Valery's being buried there and wondered what it looked like. Well, we'd forgotten it was Toussaint, and we landed in the middle of an amazing grouping of people--some there as curious tourists, some as families come to tend family graves. It was very moving, and a very appropriate toussaint activity, totally unplanned.