Saint Emilion, located just half an hour from Bordeaux, is a must-see spot for anyone visiting the region. Bring your appetite! For wine and food lovers, this place is paradise on Earth.
Saint Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Town in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, southwestern France. It looks like something you would see on a postcard. This charming little town is my favorite!
Exploring Saint Emilion
Once you have arrived in the medieval center of town, you’ll want to grab your camera. After spending some time exploring the area, you can make your way to the Bell Tower for breathtaking views of the hills.
You can get a glimpse of history at the thirteenth-century King’s Tower. I also recommend taking the catacombs tour if time permits. It’s great fun to visit all the cultural sites, but Saint Emilion is about indulgence.
This little town is known for its Grand Cru wine. It is also one of Bordeaux’s largest wine producers. The best time to visit is late spring or the end of the summer.
It’s warm, the wine is flowing and most tourists are home. It’s easy to find wine tastings and chateaux in the area.
How to Get Around
You can easily explore the city by foot. It’s a good idea to see where your feet lead you once you arrive. You can also find a map on the town website. It is in French but it speaks for itself.
A car is essential for exploring the wine region. Renting a car is a great idea, especially if you plan to visit Bordeaux or the surrounding countryside.
You can take a taxi if you’re only here for a few minutes and don’t mind driving a car. For a reliable local taxi service, call (06 23 691 92 60).
My trip included a train ride from Paris to Saint Emilion. I took the train from Saint Emilion to Saint Emilion and hopped on a Tuk-Tuk for the ten minute trip to my hotel. It cost only EUR3 – that’s a great deal!
Day tours are also offered by the local tuk-tuk service to explore the city and visit local wineries. These tours cost between EUR12 and EUR25. Their website allows you to book ahead.
Where to Stay
There are many cute and affordable options. There are many B&Bs and hotels in Saint Emilion. Le Pavilion was a lovely place to stay. It is also walking distance from the town.
The ultra-luxe Hostellerie de Plaisance is a great option if you’re looking to pamper yourself. For a beautiful historical spot, Maison de la Commanderie is a top pick.
Logis de La Cadene is a boutique hotel that I love. They also have some of the best food around! ).
What to Eat in the Town
Saint Emilion is all for amazing food. You’ll find top-notch French restaurants in the area.
Logis de la Cadene – I had a wonderful dinner at this Michelin-starred restaurant. This is a beautiful spot for a romantic dinner with an extensive wine list.
Hostellerie De la Plaisance: This little town boasts more than one Michelin-starred restaurant! Make reservations for dinner.
L’Envers de Decors is a popular summer spot thanks to its beautiful courtyard. If you’re unable to go during these hours, you’ll be better off staying there. You can also enjoy a relaxing evening here on cool nights, if they have a fireplace.
Le Tertre: Enjoy classic French wines and exceptional local wines at Le Tertre
L’Huitrier pie: This is the perfect place for seafood lovers! The perfect spot to enjoy a sunny day is their terrace.
Amelia Canta: This restaurant has it all. Amelia Canta’s menu includes everything you need, including ice cream and pizza.
Take a taxi or car to get to the best places to eat
You’ll find amazing restaurants just outside the city!
Comptoir des Arts is a great place to have lunch. It’s a ten-minute drive from downtown. There was a wide selection of vegetarian options available, something that isn’t always true in France.
Auberge Saint Jean: Another Michelin-starred restaurant! Auberge Saint-Jean is a family-run restaurant that serves delicious food.
La Terrasse Rouge: The only vineyard in the area. They also offer exceptional food at very affordable prices.
Chateau Troplong Mot: You can walk for 20 minutes through the vineyards to reach this restaurant if you are feeling energetic. For a post-lunch tour of the vineyards, call ahead.
Café Cuisine, Branne – This spot is well-known for its cote d’oeuf and frites. It also has a wonderful terrace.
Le Clos Mirande (Monte St Emilion): This place is both a bistro and a cozy little restaurant. It’s a great choice for any occasion.
Comptoir de Genes – This grill restaurant offers a great selection of Castillon wines. It’s also an easy drive from Saint Emilion.
Bistro de Vignerons – Another great place to enjoy a great meal is Bistro de Vignerons, which also serves award-winning wines.
What to do
Tuk-Tuk Tours: A full-day tour is a great way to learn about the city.
Saint Emilion’s local markets: You must visit these markets. They are located all over the region. Here is the schedule:
- Central Square of Libourne: Tuesday through Saturday mornings
- Branne: Thursday mornings
- St Emilion: Sunday mornings
- Quay in Bordeaux: Sunday mornings
Wine tasting: Visit Est. Ask for Benoit at the Martin wine shop in central town. They can ship stunning local wines to any part of the world.
Tourism Office: They can also recommend local wineries. There are many options, from family-owned wineries to luxurious chateaus and wineries within caves. The tourism office can help you choose the right one for you.
Macarons are a must-eat! Saint-Emilion actually made the first macaron. You can get some at Mrs. Nadia Fermigier’s famous patisserie.
Picnic + Sparkling Wine at Les Cordeliers – Underground French Cellar? Yes, please! You can plan your trip right there.
Day Trip to Bordeaux Underground Tour – This is a must-see for anyone visiting Saint Emilion. English tours are offered at 2 and 4 PM.
Saint Emilion is a charming little French town. With all the gorgeous architecture, delicious food and sweet aromas of wine, your senses will be on alert. It is worth visiting on your journey through France.