Renouned wine town
www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com. Anchored to a chalky outcrop in a sea of vines, this cheerful little wine village also does a fine line in almond macaroons. There is none of the Médoc pretentiousness here and the Maison du Vin has a list of local vineyards offering tours of their caves and free dégustations. Half a day spent here is perhaps the pleasantest wine pilgrimage of all in the Bordeaux region.
Saint-Emilion’s 8thC namesake was a hermit. His rough-hewn cell, furnished with a simple stone pallet and seat, can be visited on a 45-minute guided tour which takes in the Eglise Monolithe, a vast 9th-12thC church tunnelled into the hillside by Emilion’s followers after his death, the ancient catacombs, and a partially ruined 14thC Benedictine chapel (tickets from the tourist office).