Welcome to wine country! This commune in the south of France serves as a detour for us on each of our many trips between Seignosse and the Dordogne. It’s a great way to split the trip in half to stretch your legs for a couple of hours, or even to take a special trip to see what it has to offer.
Most of the villages we visit are beautiful and quaint in their own way. Saint-Emillion is no exception with its beautiful, meticulously cobble-stoned streets and tiled roofs (and let’s face it, a French village without cobble-stones is like bread without cheese: still pretty good but is missing a little something special). Also like most other medieval villages, if one was to look at the village from above, you would be able to see how the various buildings began to arrange around the city center all of those years ago forming a Ferris-wheel shape.
In many ways, it’s very similar to Bordeaux: both have great scenery, people, wine and food. Nevertheless, the village offers something slightly different to Bordeaux. It’s a bit smaller and more quaint than Bordeaux (which, with its growing abundance of shops and people, propels it to a more cosmopolitan market of people) and feels like its retained more of its historical value. For example, one can sign up to join a tour of the underground catacombs or visit the surrounding vineyards for wine-tasting.
If you’re just passing through, you don’t have to miss out too much. It’s no less exciting to be able to meander around the village in your own time, eating lunch in the square, or popping into a wine shop for a tasting-on-the-go (TIP: many of the wine shops offer shipping to various countries around the world. I was quite surprised that my home country, South Africa, was included in this list. So you won’t have to worry about copious amounts of hand-luggage on your return trip home).
The moral here is to make sure you pay Saint Emillion a visit, even if it wasn’t initially part of your travel schedule. It may be a short detour from a driving commute, or perhaps you are staying nearby and can squeeze in a day-trip. It will be worth your while.