An Easy Guide to Travelling from the Wine City of Bordeaux to the UNESCO Listed Medieval Village of Saint Emilion
Located in the world-renowned wine region of Bordeaux, France, Saint Emilion is a charming medieval village known for its historic architecture, vineyards, and fine wines. Just a mere stone’s throw away from the wine city, travelling from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion makes for a perfect day trip (a popular one undertaken by tourists) or a weekend getaway.
I have just returned from my trip to Bordeaux, and visiting Saint Emilion was one of the highlights of my journey. Venturing from Bordeaux to Saint Émilion itself becomes part of the adventure, as you find yourself surrounded by rolling vineyards, beautiful châteaux, and the sweet scent of wine.
The heart of Saint Emilion’s UNESCO-listed village awaits. Its ancient streets, stunning architecture, and world-famous wines are all splendid reasons that make a trip worthwhile. Whether you choose a guided tour, independent exploration, or indulging in a delightful meal at a local restaurant, Saint Emilion promises an unforgettable experience that will linger in your memories long after your return.
In this short and easy guide about how to travel from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, you will find the various transportation options available to you. No matter if you prefer the convenience of a regional train, the picturesque route of a bus journey, or the freedom of renting a car, there’s a mode of transportation to suit your preferences.
HOW FAR IS SAINT EMILION FROM BORDEAUX
Saint Emilion is located to the east of Bordeaux, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. The distance between Bordeaux and Saint Emilion is approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) in a straight line. By road, it takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to travel from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, depending on traffic conditions and the chosen route.
BORDEAUX TO SAINT EMILION: 6 WAYS TO TRAVEL
You can get to St Emilion from Bordeaux with or without a car. Opt for one of the following six ways for a splendid experience:
- By Train;
- By Bike;
- In a guided tour;
- By Car; or
- By Private Transfer.
Whichever mode of transport you choose to get to Saint Emilion from Brodeaux, it is convenient and can be reached in under an hour.
TRAVELLING FROM BORDEAUX TO SAINT EMILION WITHOUT A CAR
How to travel from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion by Train
One of the convenient ways to reach Saint Emilion is by train. Departing from Bordeaux Saint-Jean station, regional trains (TER) offer a quick and comfortable journey, whisking you away to Saint Emilion in just around 30 minutes, covering a distance of about 40 km. This option is ideal for those seeking an efficient and affordable means of transportation.
It is possible to take a direct train.
You can travel to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux without having to change trains. There are about 15 direct trains daily from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, departing every hour or so. The first train departs at 6:00 a.m. and the last train at 10:00 p.m. Check the train schedules before your departure. Visit the official website of the French railway company, SNCF for the latest on train travel in this region.
Purchasing your ticket.
You can purchase your ticket either online, at the ticket counters or the self-service ticket machines in Bordeaux Saint-Jean station. I’d suggest that you buy your tickets beforehand, well in advance of your travel so that you can secure a seat of your preferred choice.
Tickets start at €10:00 (May, 2023) for a one way journey. It is best to purchase a return journey ticket but if you are unsure of your return time, opt for an open return. This ensures that your return trip is covered. I’m saying this because the train station at Saint Emilion is a small one and has a self-serve ticket machine. Just don’t be caught out if the machine is broken.
How far is Saint Emilion town centre from its train station?
Saint Emilion train station is located about 1.5-2km from the town centre. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes of walking time.
Are there transportation options between the train station and the village of Saint Emilion?
If you prefer, there is an electric Tuk-tuk shuttle available from April to November. The shuttle operates every day from 10am to 6pm and offers a convenient way to travel between the train station and the village. The shuttle route costs €3.00 per trip.
To book the shuttle, you can contact them at 06.40.83.62.60 or email@example.com.
From Bordeaux to Saint Emilion by Bus
Travelling from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion by bus provides a convenient and scenic option for exploring the region. It is also a much cheaper option than the train that costs around €3.00.
TransGironde operates regular bus services between Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. The journey takes about an hour. The TransGironde bus line 302 departs from the central bus station in Bordeaux, also known as “Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean” or “Bordeaux St-Jean.” The bus stops at Saint Emilion at a short walkable distance to the town centre.
From Bordeaux to Saint Emilion by Bike
Embarking on a bike trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion can be an incredible adventure, especially if you are in good shape.
The journey starts by cycling alongside the picturesque Garonne river, immersing yourself in the serene surroundings. As you continue, you’ll pedal along the renowned Roger Lapebie cycle path, offering delightful opportunities to pause for lunch in the charming villages that dot the route.
Once you cross the Dordogne river, you’ll embark on the famous path through the breathtaking vineyards of Saint Emilion. It’s important to note that the route is quite lengthy, and you should allocate at least three hours of cycling time without factoring in any stops. This immersive experience allows you to soak up the natural beauty of the region and create lasting memories along the way.
Go here for a guide on the cycle route from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion.
Alternatively, you could opt for a small group guided bike wine tour tastings and lunch in Saint Emilion from Bordeaux.
A guided tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Embarking on a guided tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion is a wonderful option to enhance your visit to this enchanting destination. There are several choices available, catering to different preferences and budgets. Here are some notable tour options:
Half-Day Wine Tour:
This popular half-day tour is one of the favourites from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. In addition to the scenic ride, the tour includes a visit to the medieval village of St Emilion, several wine tastings and visits to two wine châteaux. This comprehensive experience allows you to indulge in the region’s finest wines and is priced at €99 per person.
For detailed information and direct booking, visit this link to An Afternoon Trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion Wine Tasting + Chateaux Visits.
Intimate Saint Emilion Tour:
Immerse yourself in a more intimate experience with this half-day tour in Saint Emilion. Limited to small groups, you’ll have the opportunity to listen attentively and ask questions during your visit to one winery. Priced at €98 per person, this tour offers a personalised touch.
For more information and ticket reservations, visit this link about Saint Emilion Village Half Day Wine Tour from Bordeaux.
Full-Day Wine Trip:
For those seeking an extensive exploration, consider a full-day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. This tour includes visits to three different châteaux, providing a comprehensive understanding of wine-making techniques and the chance to taste a variety of wines from the same area. Priced at €170 per person, it offers a rich and immersive experience.
Explore all the details and secure your tickets for a Full Day Saint Emilion Wine Tasting Tour from Bordeaux.
Budget-Friendly Group Tour:
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, there is a half-day trip to Saint Emilion available on Wednesdays and Sundays. While the price is €54 per person, please note that these groups tend to be larger, so expect a less intimate experience.
Discover all the details and reserve your tickets for this budget-friendly vineyards and wine tasting in Saint Emilion from Bordeaux.
*All prices stated are correct as at June, 2023.
TRAVELLING FROM BORDEAUX TO SAINT EMILION BY CAR
Self-Drive to Saint Emilion
If your intention is to visit the city of Saint Emilion and a winery near the city centre, taking a train is a suitable option. However, if you wish to explore the expansive Saint Emilion wine area and discover more remote and beautiful châteaux, renting a car becomes necessary.
Renting a car may also be a more cost-effective choice if you are travelling in a group or three or more people. With numerous rental companies available at both the airport and Gare Saint-Jean, the main train station, securing a car rental is a straightforward process. However, if you prefer to pre-book for seamless travel, you can take a look at options available with this car rental company.
To reach Saint Emilion by car, follow the N89 route, which connects Bordeaux to Libourne. This route will guide you directly to Saint Emilion, allowing for a convenient and scenic journey.
Where to Park in Saint Emilion
When visiting Saint Emilion, finding suitable parking can sometimes be challenging due to the village’s popularity and limited space. Here are some specific parking options in Saint Emilion:
Parking de la Gendarmerie (Free Parking): This parking lot is located near the Gendarmerie (police station). It offers free parking, but it can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Parking de la Gare (Free Parking): This is another free parking area located near the train station. It provides an alternative option if the parking at the Gendarmerie is full. From here, you can walk to the village center.
Parking du Cloître (Paid Parking): Situated near the Collegiate Church, this paid parking lot is located in the upper town. It offers convenient access to the main attractions of Saint Emilion. The parking fee is typically around €2 per hour.
Parking Place Bouqueyre (Paid Parking): Located in the bottom town, this paid parking area provides access to shops, restaurants, and the lower part of Saint Emilion. The parking fee is approximately €2 per hour. It’s important to note that during busy periods, such as weekends and holidays, parking availability can be limited.
Note: Arriving early in the day or considering alternative transportation options, such as public transportation or organised tours, can be helpful in managing parking challenges.
Taxi or Private Transfer to Saint Emilion
Private transfers from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion offer convenient and comfortable door-to-door service. This makes it a hassle-free option for travellers.
With a private transfer, you can enjoy the convenience of being picked up at your desired location in Bordeaux and dropped off directly at your destination in Saint Emilion. The vehicles are typically well-maintained and provide a comfortable journey, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Additionally, private transfers offer personalised service, allowing you to choose your departure time and customise your itinerary. However, it’s important to note that private transfers can be more expensive than other transportation options. Private transfers may limit your independence and opportunities for local interaction.
In sum, private transfers provide convenience, comfort, and personalised service. Thus, making them an attractive choice for those seeking a seamless journey from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. However, the higher cost and potential limitations on flexibility and local interaction should be taken into consideration when deciding on the best transportation option for your needs.
There are various transportation options available when travelling from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. Whether you choose to take a train, bus, ride a bike, join a tour, self-drive, or opt for a private transfer, each option has its advantages and considerations. It’s important to weigh factors such as convenience, cost, flexibility, and the overall travel experience when making your decision. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, the enchanting village of Saint Emilion and its renowned vineyards await, ready to offer a memorable and delightful experience.
Have a great time exploring Saint Emilion and surrounds from Bordeaux. xx
Before you go…
While visiting Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, you may want to add a couple of destinations to your itinerary. London makes for a great visit and you can find lots of information and things to do on my London page.
England is famed for its beautiful countryside. If you would like to experience a slice of Englishness, visit the quaint towns of Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Castle Combe, Burford, Lacock, Battle and Canterbury.
Some destinations in Europe are great for short and long visits too. Take a look at my travel page about Verona, Milan, Lake Como and Lake Garda. There is more on this page about Italy if you’d like to take a look. For all travel tips, go to this page on resources about seamless travel.