Directions: From Bordeaux – about 40 km on the N89 direction Libourne-Perigueux, exit Saint-Emilion.
St. Emilion’s origin began with an 8th century hermit digging a cave for himself in the rocks. Could he ever have imagined his small cave becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, the world’s most famous wine region and referred to as "the hill with a 1000 chateaux"!
The town of Saint-Emilion is at the centre of the Saint-Emilion wine area and a favored stop on the Santiago de Compestelo Walk. Travelers and pilgrims from all over the world come to St. Emilion to wander the narrow steep lanes lined with pale pink stone houses. It is hard not to marvel at this fortified medieval town and its superbly preserved buildings and monuments perched into the rock. It is clear why Saint-Emilion, is the centre of the area’s most stunning chateaux as well.
In the Saint Emilion wine area it is the wines with the "Grand Cru Classé" description on the label that are seriously coveted. At one of the numerous wine shops in the town, proprietors will be more than delighted to give you a lesson on the area and point you to a great wine to suit your budget. The discovery of some lesser known labels may well end up as the highlight of your trip. In general, Saint- Emilion wines are typically full bodied and will benefit from several years of aging.
You’ll be happy to hear some of those fabulous starred Michelin restaurants are in or near St. Emilion. Check out the Hostellerie Plaisance.* We can also recommend several other charming restaurants in St. Emilion and close by*. There are very comfortable smaller hotels, châteaux and Bed and Breakfasts to suit all budgets*. This medieval town is the best possible place to start a wine tour of the "1000 chateaux".
Suggested destinations in Saint Emilion: Monuments – Chapelle de la Trinité, the catacombs, the Monolithic Church; Pottery Musem – Musée souterrain de la poterie for an exhibition featuring 20 centuries of Aquitaine pottery; Lles Hospices de la Madeleine, 21 rue André Loiseau.