France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Saint-Émilion, France Guide





The historic town of Saint-Émilion, east of Bordeaux, is famous for its wine and macaroons, but it's also a fine place to visit for its history: it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site with interesting things to see and do.

You can get there on a day-trip from Bordeaux by car or train or, if you which, you can stay the night in Saint-Émilion. More...

Set on a hill surrounded by vineyards and wine châteaux, Saint-Émilion is far more than meets the eye. The town takes its name from a saintly hermit named Émilion who lived in a cave carved from the limestone of the hill.

Over the centuries much more limestone has been quarried beneath the town, so that the hill is pierced by caves and tunnels, one of which has been fashioned into a huge troglodytic church.

Today many of these caves and tunnels are used for the storage of wine. Added to the favorable climate, the mineral-rich soil, and the wine-makine expertise of the local vintners developed through many centuries, this long, careful storage in the caves is the secret of high-quality Saint-Émiliom wines.

The center of town is the Place du Marché, marked by the town's tallest spire, the Bell Tower of the Monolithic (underground) church. The Office de Tourisme is right here as well. More...

Wineshops all over town provide tastings and sales by the bottle or case. The Maison du Vin is admirably stocked and organized, with advantageous prices clearly marked. There are numerous good local resaurants featuring—of course—the local wines.

Hotels in Saint-Émilion

What to See & Do

Tourist Information


Médoc Vineyards




Loire Valley





Bell Tower, Saint-Émilion, France

The Bell Tower, tallest steeple in town.

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