How to Get There:
There is a train station to Saint Macaire, however trains are sporadic. Driving is the best option, plus then you can explore more of the surrounding area. If you drive, parking is easy and usually available below town (the Ramparts) or just next to the village on the outside of wall near the Restaurant Belle Lorette.
What to see:
Nouvelle Aquitaine is a region of a thousand villages, so choosing which one to visit is never easy, even for those of us living here! In the summer months, there are so many fun events that you’ll always feel like you’re missing something. In the winter, with many shops closed (especially during covid), some feel like ghost towns. Visiting during those cold months is a great way to explore and discover a village in solitude and at your own pace.
Saint Macaire is best on the weekends during the Covid period. Besides wine, the city made much of it’s money through the limestone industry, with one of the its old quarries still visible. Plan ahead by contacting the Saint Macaire tourist office at least a week in advance and you can still get a guided tour (in English or French) with a minimum of four people.
Filled with well preserved, charming medieval buildings, Saint Macaire has an amazing, medieval festival in the end of summer – with crafts, gastronomy, beverages, evening dinner and authentic costume which can be rented for the day through the city, even fireworks at night. It’s a really fun event for the whole family!
Market days in town are Thursday morning, rather small in winter, but still offer a fish monger, multiple fruits and vegetables, meat and cheese vendors.
Saint-Sauveur Church – 12th-century church with artwork gracing its interior and splendid painted apse – one of the best preserved in the area. Hours may vary depending on church services – 9 Place de l’Église, 33490 Saint Macaire
Simone et Les Mauhargats – Friendly art gallery and artisan collective with something to please anyone, on any budget. Events as well, such as art classes or coffee meetups. Open daily from 10am – noon and 2pm-630pm, Wednesday and Sunday from 12pm – 6pm / 19 rue Carnot, 33490 Saint Macaire / Phone +33 (0)9 67 01 24 33 / email@example.com / https://www.simoneetlesmauhargats.com/
Where to Eat:
During the summer months don’t miss the evening market or ‘marche nocturne‘ with live entertainment and lots of food stands.
Wherever you decide to eat, don’t miss an opportunity to have a glass of local wine. At the bottom of the hill to Saint Macaire, the Garonne river used to touch the town and boat loads of wine would make their way to Bordeaux. The Saint Macaire grape isn’t grown much in the region anymore, but biodynamic producer Chateau Cazebonne will have their first bottle of 2020 Saint Macaire ready for purchase in 2021! This is also a great wine producer to visit as they are biodynamic and really focused on experimenting in wine production (call in advance, visits in French only) / Peyron, 33210 Saint Pierre de Mons / Château Cazebonne, Vins de Graves – Vins Bio et Biodynamie / +33 (0)6 89 77 42 12
La Pampaillet – Opened up in 2020 and luckily had a wonderful summer, serving up seasonal dishes with lots of beautiful local produce. The offer indoor and terrace seating during summer but are closed during the winter due to covid. You’ll be able to find Chateau Cazebonne on their wine menu. Order local products from their epicerie next door anytime, open weekends only for now (covid period) / 5 Rue de l’eglise / 33490 Saint Macaire / +33 (0)5 56 62 33 75 / Accueil – Restaurant Saint Macaire (restaurant-saint-macaire.fr) / firstname.lastname@example.org
L’Abricotier – charming, good-value restaurant with great produce and service; in summer you can enjoy sitting under the pergola or under the large trees. Right next to train station and also a hotel / 2 rue Bergoeing Saint Macaire / Open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner / Reservations via phone +33 (0)5 56 76 83 63 / email@example.com / http://www.restaurant-labricotier.com / you can also make reservations through The Fork.
La Belle Lurette – locals love this simple, no thrills restaurant with good 12 Euro weekday lunch menu (I had 1/2 duck breast and fries); events and bands playing year round, check the website for more information – http://www.bar-labellelurette.com / 2 Place du Général de Gaulle – Open for lunch-only all week and dinner Saturdays – Reservations via phone +33 (0)5 56 63 02 42 or The Fork
Where to Stay :
Les Feuilles d’Acanthe – Located right in the old town, this three star hotel is in a 16th century building that has been completely refurbished. Lovely, charming owners. Restaurant inside, as well as jacuzzi / 6 Rue Carnot, 33490 Saint Macaire / +33 (0)5 56 62 33 75 / https://hotel-saint-macaire.fr
For more Information :
If you want to visit someplace else locally, try going to Saint Croix du Mont or Verdelais.