DAY 1: Arrive Saint Emilion
Arrive in Saint Emilion. Perching above famed vineyards, this medieval village is one of the most appealing in all this region and its surrounding vineyards are now UNESCO World Heritage listed.
Take the time upon arrival to explore, especially at sunset, when all the characteristic limestone buildings literally ‘glow’.
Overnight: Hotel Le Palais Cardinal***, Saint Emilion
Located in the old quarter this hotel has 27 lovely rooms and offers a very warm welcome. Relax by the pool or in the hotel’s private garden.
DAY 2: Saint Emilion Vineyards
You will begin your week with a day of walking in the Saint Emilion area. Follow a circuit through these characterful landscapes and in the region of vineyards such as Chateau la Clotte and Beau Sejour.
This region has such a proud history of winemaking and today you will have the chance to learn about this heritage and perhaps stop for a wine tasting or two!
Dinner & Overnight: La Lézardière, St Martin de Lerm
Nestled in the hills of the Dropt Valley between Saint Emilion and Sauternes, this chambre d’hôtes provides a haven of peace. Built from a restored farm building from the 17th century, you can sit on the lovely terrace, relaxing and listening to the sound of birdsong while revelling in the views.
Walk: 10km, 100m elevation gain
DAY 3: Entre-deux-Mers Walk: St Martin du Lerm to Caudrot
The Entre-Deux-Mers area lies between the Dordogne and the Garonne Rivers, which combine to form the Gironde. The wine-making tradition in this area goes back over 2,000 years and produces dry and sweet white Bordeaux wines from Sauvignon Blanc, to Semillon and Muscadelle grape varieties.
Cross these vineyards which benefit from an exceptional geographical site on the slopes dominating the Valley of the Garonne.
At the end of the afternoon, you will receive a transfer back to your accommodation in St Martin du Lerm.
Dinner & Overnight: La Lézardière, St Martin de Lerm
Walk: 10 or 15km, 70m elevation gain
DAY 4: Walk Caudrot to Saint-Macaire
With beautiful vine-filled landscapes and the estuary of the Gironde in your sights, today's walk will not fail to impress you. A transfer of 10 minutes brings you to the beginning of your walk.
This area is dotted with castles and fishermen's huts and you will be able to pause in a small port which has locks marking the departure of famous “Canal du Midi” into the Atlantic Ocean, which is linked to the Mediterranean Sea.
The trail leads you directly into the medieval city of Saint- Macaire, a site protected since 1965 because of its historic buildings. With its church adorned with murals, impressive fortifications, market square lined with arcaded galleries and residences of merchants, this place is well-worth exploring.
Overnight: Hotel les Feuilles d’Acanthe***, Saint-Macaire
This hotel’s spacious rooms have great views over the old town and offer traditional Gironde décor. The restaurant serves local cuisine and you can enjoy swimming in the pool or relaxing in the Jacuzzi.
Walk: 10km, 25m elevation gain
DAY 5: Loop via Sainte Croix du Mont
Walk above Saint-Macaire and into the hills, from where you can take advantage of the splendid views. This landscape of hills and small valleys, opens up to meadows and thickets of leafy trees. Discover the many mills and castles and follow the trail leading you to the “Domaine de Malagar”, residence of the writer François Mauriac. You can also visit the tomb of the famous painter Toulouse Lautrec.
You'll also have the pleasure of visiting the Château Laurette (a producer of sweet white wine) or the Château Loubens, before reaching the village of Sainte Croix du Mont, perched on a slope with spectacular views over the Garonne Valley. This village is remarkable for its wine caves, whose walls are covered with fossilized oyster benches and where cellars and even a vault were built.
At the end of the afternoon, return on foot to your hotel in Saint-Macaire and from here a short transfer to your accommodation in Sauternes is included.
Dinner & Overnight: Chateau d’Arche, Sauternes
The Chateau d'Arche Hotel is located within a Grand Cru Sauternes vineyard and is in a beautiful 17th century building. There are 9 very comfortable rooms, one of them in the top of a tower! There are lovely landscaped gardens and you can enjoy the views from the terrace as you sip a delicious glass of Sauternes.
Walk: 8 or 16km, 100m elevation gain
DAY 6: Sauternes Vineyards
Your walk today focuses on the left bank of the Garonne River where the high-class wines of Sauternes are produced. Throughout your walk you'll see the vineyards of famed wine producers like Château La Tour Blanche and Château Rayne Vigneau and can appreciate the vineyard’s small communities with their churches and mills.
Walk through peaceful forests and by the small and wild River Ciron, formerly used for the transport of wood.
Complete the day with an “aperitif tasting” in the Château Gravas. Like other high-class wines of Sauternes, this chateau dates back to the time of Richard the Lionheart (12th century).
Dinner & Overnight: Chateau de Camperos, Barsac
This 19th century country chateau has 5 gorgeous rooms, all decorated in a different theme. There is a sun terrace, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and hammam, perfect for relaxing at the end of your journey through this fabulous wine region.
Walk: 15km, 60m elevation gain
DAY 7: Onward travel
Check out of your hotel and bid farewell to this beautiful wine region. A transfer to Barsac Train Station is included.
This tour is available to start any day of the week from April to October. Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
This tour is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the tour is more expensive as some costs are not shared.
Grade & Terrain
This walking tour is graded easy to moderate. Daily walks are on trails and a mixture of country paths, forest trails, paths through vineyards and in the valleys and hills of the Gironde. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.
Navigation, Route Notes & Maps
Most of the routes on this walk are not way-marked but we provide you with detailed route notes and maps for you to follow.
Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
A delicious breakfast is included each morning and 4 dinners are included on Days 2, 3, 5, & 6. On the days when dinner is not included you can either eat at your accommodation or in local restaurants. You can buy lunch in the village patisserie before you depart each morning, or en route. In your route notes there will be information about where you can buy lunch and dinner (on the nights when dinner is not included).
The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includeds standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.
It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.
Getting to Bordeaux/Saint Emilion
The closest airport to Saint Emilion is Bordeaux Airport. This airport is served by several low cost airlines, such as Easyjet, Flybe and Ryanair and also by regularly scheduled airlines, such as Air France and British Airways. You can also take a TGV train from Paris to Bordeaux, which takes approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.
From Bordeaux Airport or train station a taxi transfer to your hotel in Saint Emilion is included on Day 1.
Getting from Barsac
On the final day of your tour you will be taken by the hotel owners to Barsac Train Station. From here you can take a train to Bordeaux and then a shuttle bus to Bordeaux Airport. You can find train times and schedules on the SNCF website.