- Location: Northeast of Bordeaux in southwest France
- Attraction Type: Ancient village
- Significance: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best Time to Visit: April to October
- How to Reach: By road from Bordeaux
- Nearest Airport: Bordeaux Merignac International Airport
St. Emilion an ancient heritage village in France is reached from Bordeaux after driving through marvelous vineyards and crossing the Gironde River. This is the amazing ancient counterpart of modern-day French Riviera. The mountain slope village built on limestone soil is a fascinating tranquil place to spend your vacation with your dear ones. Fresh food and sparkling wine prepared from the local vineyards help you to unwind in the lap of nature. With cobblestoned streets and lovely little shops lined alongside you go back centuries while touring this wonderful place.
Not only its indefatigable natural beauty, but you would also be amazed by an underground rock formation in St. Emilion in France. Around the 8th century AD, a hermit by the name of Emilion settled inside a tiny cave beside an underground spring. Over the next five hundred years, this cave was enlarged to create the world’s largest monolithic rock cathedral. The immense open rooms are structural marvels that leave engineers of the modern era baffled. The astounding natural beauty combined with this intriguing rock structure has prompted UNESCO to declare this as a World Heritage Site.
The heritage of St. Emilion is not restricted to this village alone but also to seven adjacent communes, viz., St. Hippolyte, St. Pey d’Alene, St. Christophe des Bardes, St. Laurent des Combes, St. Sulpice de Faleyrens, St. Etienne de Lisse, and Vignonet. Spread over nearly 7800 hectares, this heritage site also includes St. Emilion vineyard.
Activities in St. Emilion
Explore this enchanting place on foot or bicycle. The tile-roofed houses lining cobbled streets are exactly like medieval times. The ochre-colored houses of limestone add to the uniformity of the village. It’s a joy interacting with these simple yet cheerful village folks. Never ignore to visit the underground church carved out of single monolithic limestone rock. You would be surprised to discover catacombs, ossuary, and a church all under the surface. This incidentally is the oldest of all the structures in France St. Emilion village.
After finishing with St. Emilion underground hermitage proceed on a discovery spree of the surrounding vineyards and wineries. You could take a guided vineyard tour or follow any of the hiking trails through this picturesque landscape. It is very surprising to note that an area of fewer than 8000 hectares produces more than a hundred wine varieties. Young wines with the sweet smell of blackberry, raspberry, black currant are manufactured with the same expertise as prestigious aged varieties famous for their subtle flavor and succulent aroma. It is said that wine not only flows through St. Emilion village but also through the veins of the inhabitants.
Accommodation and Dining in St. Emilion
On your vacation to this enchanting French village, you might opt to stay in hotels, guest houses, self-catering accommodations, and even camping sites. Among the hotels you could select from Hotel Chateau Grand Barrail, Bonsai Hotel St. Emilion, Chateau de Courtebotte, and Bonsafa Relais Libourne St. Emilion.
This picturesque village is a gourmet’s paradise. Les Epicureans, Hostellerie Chateau de Roques, Pizzeria de la Tour, Le Clos Du Roy, and Chai Pascal are some of the noteworthy eateries in St. Emilion.