HOW TO GET THERE :
There is a train station to Saint Macaire, so if you don’t have a car it’s not a problem! Parking is easy and usually available below town and just next to the village on the outside of wall near Belle Lurette.
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, while many shops may be closed and some feel like a ghost town, visiting during those cold months is a great way to explore and discover a village in solitude and at your own pace. Plan ahead by contacting the Saint Macaire tourist office at least a week in advance and you can still get a guided tour (in French).
What to do :
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. Market days in town are Thursday and Sunday morning. The old ramparts, private homes and village center, ‘Place de Mercadiou’, all display their beautiful architecture and history. The quiet village is equally stunning in the winter; when you can admire the cobbled streets and stone-framed windows or bask in awe of the ethereal dome of the Saint-Sauveur church.
Visit the local artisan store and art gallery of Simone et les Mauhargats to find postcards, prints, bags and other creative crafts made by hand. The gallery on the upper level once had Maud Langlois of Bordeaux whose etching I was given and absolutely love!
Saint-Sauveur Church – 12th-century church with artwork gracing its interior and splendid painted apse – Hours may vary depending on church services – 9 Place de l’Église Saint Macaire
Simone et Les Mauhargats – https://www.simoneetlesmauhargats.com/ – Friendly art gallery and artisan collective with something to please anyone, on any budget. Events as well, such as art classes or coffee meetups – 19 rue Carnot Saint Macaire – Open daily from 10am – 630pm with lunch break, and Wednesday / Sunday from 12pm – 6pm – Phone +33 (0)9 67 01 24 33 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Eat:
During the summer months don’t miss the evening markets or ‘marche nocturne‘ with live entertainment and lots of food stands. The restaurant L’Abricotier is a wonderful place to sit outside under the trees and enjoy some really great local cuisine with quality products and lots of ambiance. For a quick, inexpensive meal where you can eat like a local, try La Belle Laurette. It’s bar style service, no frills but the price is right and it’s tasty. Wherever you decide to eat, don’t miss an opportunity to have a glass of Saint Macaire wine (sadly, the rare Saint Macaire grape isn’t grown in the region anymore).
L’Abricotier – charming, well-priced 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 / http://www.restaurant-labricotier.com/ / email@example.com or you can also make reservations through LaFourchette
La Belle Lurette – locals, 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 LaForuchette
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. Restaurant inside as well as jacuzzi / 6 Rue Carnot, 33490 Saint Macaire / https://hotel-saint-macaire.fr / +33 (0)5 56 62 33 75