Your home by the water
Fully booked for the past several summers, and an out of season favourite for couples and families alike, this absolute gem - a cosy cottage alongside Le Patio and La Pergola, but with its direct views across the quaint Port Tabarka, where "les chaluts", the traditional fishing boats, are moored overnight before heading across the silver sunrise waters to the oysterbeds in the lagoon.
And the house is just across the way from the bustling boatyard where the hulls of voiliers are painted in the summer sunshine.
Now newly redecorated and restyled since 2017.
SUMMER 2018 : Book NOW for June July and August! This year's dates now released. Les Chaluts always books fast.
Les Chaluts - dans le petit Port Tabarka. Au premier rang avec une vue imprenable sur l'Etang de Thau et du Mont St Clair de Sète.
Terrasse et salon-sejour avec coin kitchenette au rdc et deux chambres à l'etage. sde/wc. Wifi. Parking privatif.
Pour nos tarifs, voir dessous...
It will be the trusty craft your neighbour used to harvest his crop of oysters in the mornning or to take herself out to check her nets after the afternoon siesta.
Boats have been part of the art of living well and none too quickly in the Port Tabarka since the ancient greeks first discovered the place and worked out that nothing went better with fresh fish, olives and a good local wine, then a lazy evening by the waterside.
This is a genuine working port with the sleepy backdrop of fishermen and sailors preparing their boats and nets. Beyond them the distinctive outline of the the mount of Sete looming across the bay.
The "front" door is in a quiet courtyard behind the house, where the guaranteed reserved parking space is a couple of yards from home.
Walk straight in to the welcoming ground floor salon-sejour open plan living area, freshly refurbished with light bright fabrics and with its smart modern corner kitchenette.
This is now complete with microwave, 2 ring ceramic hob, under-counter fridge and a worktop level oven. A mobile "butchers block" marble topped chopping table gives a versatility to the foorpreperation and serving area, and the sideboard is stacked with enough plates, bowls, glasses, jugs and more to make this the perfect venue for entertaining friends or hosting and early evening aperitif before setting out for the quayside restaurant du soir.
Out of sight, but no less important for that, the washing machine is tucked away in the pantry, with the iron, ironing board and extra appliances.
Flop in the comfy lounge area, with its TV & DVD player and sofa, that cannily converts into an extra guest bed.
A pair of comfy armchairs and a stack of popular paperbacks, a pile of DVDs and a side table for another glass of that rather special pale local rose that goes so well with a Kate Mosse or an Ian Rankin or when catching up on the kindle.
Choose to eat outside on the lovely little terrace and watch the daily life of the port.
Look to your left and you can see the boats bobbing in the water against the undulating silhouttes of the lagoon ports of Sete, Balaruc and Bouzigues.
Face eastwards and watch other people painting the hulls of their boats in the yard by the waterfront.
During regatta days, head upstairs for a grandstand view of the boats skimming the waters of the lagoon - as seen from the front bedroom.
Or any night, keep an eye on the great outdoors through the french windos, and lay the table for dinner under the whisper of a gently spinning ceiling fan...
Oysters from la famille Azaïs just alongthe Tabarka park road and beyond the little plagette beach, freshest home made savouries from Genevieve's counter on Tuesday's market and a bottle of something memorable from La Taverne du Port or the nearest cellars to the house, the always imaginative Madeleine St Jean, whose red-walled warehouse is just behind the house.
|July - Aug
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Discover unexpected and memorable local wines as you watch the Atouvents sailing boats glide away from the moorings by the terrace of the Taverne du
Port or head into the village for flame grilled steaks and gambas at the Boulevard or fine dining under the brick vaulted ceiling of the gastronomic Table d'Emilie.
As the sun sets over the rigging treat yourself to a crêpe or two chez Camille or simply sip away the hours at a cafe or brasserie table in peak summer as the locals indulge in water jousting or the eccentric Marseillanais sport of Lou Capelet.
You could even take the car or rent a bicycle for a spin around the Etang. Moules-Frites at Cap d'Agde, platters of seafood at Bouzigues or a canalside feast in Sète. Head further afield and discover the summer gastro-beaches outside Montpellier or a winegrower's feast in a domaine up in the hills.
Then again you could take a slow stroll past the little boatyard and around the corner to the pleasure port or up to the village streets and squares.
The walk itself is a fabulous prelude to an aperitif. The new pavement linking Tabarka to the main quaysides passes the iconic Jusqu'au Bout ever moored off-shore and perhaps Rick Stein's Canal du Midi craft Anjodi or her sister barge, the Athos, tied up midweek by the little jetty.
Dine along the harbour at Entre Ciel et Mer or mingle with the well-heeled across the port at the foodie-fave Château du Port where a new regime in 2014 has taken over the legendary dining room and waterside terrace.
The 400 page book is available from all good bookshops in the UK and from shops in France and the USA.
The life of a fishing port continues all year round, so Les Chaluts welcomes guests whatever the season.
When the swallows return to Marseillan in Spring, they celebrate with an exhilarating swirling display of aerobatics around the rooftops of the port, flitting from rue des Chantiers to rue des Pecheurs.
In autumn, the harvest moon rises, a rich plump apricot globe hovering above the lagoon, spilling a golden trail across the water in front of the house - unforgettable.
And Christmas sees the centre of the village transformed: a skating rink, chalets selling mulled wine from the local growers and the fabulous nativity scene under the covered market, lambs, donkeys, ducks and chickens grazing or pecking contentedly amongst the lifestyle figures of wise men, shepherds and townsfolk.
Now that the airport shuttle bus drops off in Marseillan - at only 1€60 each way, Les Chaluts must be the bargain break of the year!
A reserved parking space awaits our guests at Les Chaluts.
Click HERE to check out the best deals on car hire - with no nasty surcharges.
For more information:
Call (UK) 0844 284 4430 (May-Oct) or 07522 507 915 (Nov-April) or (France) 04 67 21 75 66