3 Things You Must Do in Saint-Émilion
We hopped on the train in Bordeaux, whizzed by the green tones of the French countryside, and within an hour were at the station just outside of Saint-Émilion. After a twenty minute walk along the two-lane road, as other visitors hitched rides on the, ahem, tourist mobiles, we arrived at the entryway of the condensed town. A maze of beautiful, white brick, kept almost too pristinely, and vantage points that allowed you to glimpse the rooftops that shaded you all afternoon. Shop owners lined the alleyways, welcoming visitors from their doorstep. Everyone moved at a stroll's pace as if we were all half a glass of wine in and adapting to French paradise in unison. It wasn't long before we took to the local way of life...Visit the ruins. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's small, but winding. You can mosey down path after path, getting lost along the steep, narrow streets. To catch a bird's eye view of the rooftops, climb to the top of Chateau du Roy close to the entrance of the city (it's worth the 1,50€!). In the heart of the maze, you'll find medieval Les Cordeliers, a stunning, 14th-century cloister that doubles as a wine cellar and tasting room. You can take a tour of the underground cellars or just grab a glass of bubbly and enjoy it on the lawn (like we did). Eat canelés. A canelé is a small, French pastry born in Bordeaux. It has a soft custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. Best served with ice cream and strawberries, in my opinion. Almost any shop you pass by, if they're not serving wine, they're serving canelés. After we finished our sparkling wine from Les Cordeliers, we picked up a double dose of canelés and macarons from Lemoine to eat as we strolled.Drink wine. So, this one is a bit obvious when you're visiting anywhere in Bordeaux, but let me take it up a notch, historical style.. Back as early as the 2nd century, the Romans planted vineyards in this very plot of land. In the 8th century, the town was named after Émilion, a monk and traveling confessor, who settled here as a hermit in a carved out rock. The next generation of monks went on to commercialize wine production in the area. Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc as the primary grape varieties used and a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon.
See the Bordeaux Travel Diary for the rest of our trip!