As you already know, I absolutely love France. Last summer, I got to visit Bordeaux which is somewhere that I have not previously explored, and it lead me to Saint-Émilion.
Saint-Émilion is a village in South Western France and a world heritage site which is rich with history. Just like Bordeaux, it is renowned for its’ wine but, unlike Bordeaux, it has not become as touristy and has kept a real feel for traditional French culture.
As you can see from the photos, exploring the town on foot is a challenge due to the rolling hills. To make sure that we saw and learnt everything that we could in one day, we went on the tuk-tuk tour. This was a fun way of visiting such a history-rich location and is especially useful in the hot weather during the summer.
Our tour guide was a local French man, meaning that he knew all the secrets of the town and gave us lots of interesting facts that we would otherwise never have known. We chose to go on the town tour, but there are also options where you can visit nearby vineyards if you would rather. It is reasonably priced at 12 euros per adult and 8 euros per child for the tuk-tuk tour alone. If you would like to include a tasting or cellar tour with this, it costs either 20 or 25 euros per adult and 12 or 15 euros per child. My advice would be to book ahead as these tours are popular and you may struggle to just jump on one on the day, especially during peak season!
Saint-Émilion is known for its wine; you can even go to shops and buy bottles from the year you were born, if you’re willing to pay a good price as some cost thousands of euros. Of course, we couldn’t leave the area without visiting a local vineyard. There are vineyards in the town as well as for miles and miles surrounding it, making it difficult to choose where to visit.
To help with this difficult decision, the tourist office in Saint-Émilion has its vineyards of the day which is a selection of their favourite vineyards every day. With help from this list, we chose a family wine producer called Château Haut-Jamard. The wine was lovely and I even liked one of the red wines, which is rare for me! As I said in my previous blog post, I really enjoy visiting smaller, independent wine producers as it feels so much more personal and this was especially the case with Chateâu Haut-Jamard as they only have 3 employees and has been passed down in the family.
Having large meals in the town can be expensive, and it was so hot when we were there that we just wanted something small. Down one of the beautiful cobbled streets, we found Ô Trois Fontaines where we had a cheese and meats board with french bread. If you fancy something bigger, though, the main courses also looked delicious. However, what’s more impressive than the food is the wine list! There were lots of different types of white, rosé and red wines to choose from many different producers. You could spend hours and hours there just trying all the different types of wines.
Saint-Émilion is a beautiful French town and if you ever find yourself in Bordeaux or the surrounding areas, I would definitely recommend a visit. There is really something for everyone, from those interested in history to those more interested in the wine. My final two tips are that you have to try the Macarons Des Anciennes Religieuses which are so good the recipe is trademarked, and they have a great history (everything in Saint-Émilion does). Finally, Le Cordeliers are beautiful to visit but they also sell picnics which looked lovely and a really nice way to eat lunch. They also produce sparkling wine, if you needed any more places to find wine!
Thank you for reading, let me know what you think or if you have any questions!