Saint-Benoit-du-Sault travel guide

Photo of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Visit Saint-Benoit-du-Sault (Centre-Loire Valley, France)

Photo Gallery Book hotels, flights, car hire

Saint-Benoit du Sault is a picturesque village on a raised hill overlooking a broad meander on the Creuse river. It is in the Indre department 20 kilometres south-west of Argenton-sur-Creuse and to the very south of the Centre region (near the borders with both Limousin and Poitou-Charentes regions).

The village owes its origins to the benedictine monks who established themselves in the area around the 10th century, having chosen the site on a raised rocky outcrop because of its defensive advantage. The village has been selected as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'.

Exploring Saint-Benoit-de-Sault

The village of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault that you visit today, with its pretty narrow streets of medieval houses, dates from the 15th-16th century, with the original village centre based around the church, the priory and fort, and some ramparts. Outside the fort area the historical village was surrounded by further ramparts, including the Grimard Tower.

belfry and fortified gateway

The streets around the fort are the oldest part of Saint-Benoit-sur-Sault and apart from the medieval houses, you can also see the fortified gate, built in the 14th century as part of the original defensive fortifications and the belfry (in a most unusual round tapered design).

The main pleasure is simply in strolling around the village admiring the many small highlights that remind us of the history of the village. Half-timbered buildings glimpsed through ancient stone archways, narrow cobbled streets hemmed in by ancient houses with doors made the old fashioned way - with large nails, ornate stone lintels and unusual roof designs all combine to make Saint-Benoit-sur-Sault an almost ideal medieval village.

One of the more important houses here was built for the governor in the 15th century and is called the Logis du Gouverneur, and the small cottage called the Maison de l'Argentier is also very quaint.


The Church St Jean Baptiste is one of the earliest examples of roman style architecture to be found in France and dates from 1020. Inside the church you can see early examples of roman architecture in the capital stones and 10th century granite baptism font, and the numerous arches and windows. The priory, at the end of the same rocky outcrop as the church, dates from the 15th century.

France This Way opinion: although the church is very ancient and includes romanesque architecture, it is perhaps not one of the most interesting of the roman style churches in the region.

Also near the church you can see some well maintained gardens, and the raised position has an attractive view across the river. Be sure to cross to the other side of the river for the view back to the church and village.

If you tire of the medieval buildings visit the newer part of the town, where you can see the surprising successful modern architecture of the gendarmerie and the college. This newer part of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault is more extensive than you will find around most of the 'most beautiful villages of France', and has plenty of parking and other commerces.

Ancient house in centre of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Attractions nearby

There are two interesting villages to visit to the north-east of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault at Gargilesse-Dampierre and Argenton-sur-Creuse: both are quite different in character and interesting to explore.

You can find more travel ideas in the Indre guide and the Loire Valley guide.

See also: 

Photos of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • creuse-river
  • gardens-in-village
  • meadow-below-village
  • medieval-gateway
  • pretty-gardens
  • pretty-houses
  • quiet-village-alley
  • roman-church-architecture
  • roman-church-art
  • rooftops-detail
  • town-centre
  • view-across-village
  • village-church

Arrange a visit to Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Saint-Benoit-du-Sault best prices


Reserve excursions

Map of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault and places nearby


Visit near Saint-Benoit-du-Sault with France This Way reviews



Gargilesse-Dampierre is a very small village, but also very pretty and in a lovely setting. Don't miss the frescoes in the church crypt!

Gargilesse-Dampierre guide


There are several churches of interest here in Argenton-sur-Creuse, and a very pretty walk along the banks of the Creuse river

Argenton-sur-Creuse guide
La Souterraine

La Souterraine

La Souterraine is one of those 'hard to find' traditional French towns that are always a pleasure to discover

La Souterraine guide


In the small town of Le Dorat you will enjoy exploring the old town and visiting the Collegiale Church of Saint-Pierre

Le-Dorat guide
Brenne Regional Natural Park

Brenne Regional Natural Park

This quiet region of small lakes and fields is a perfect place for cycling on peaceful lanes

Brenne Regional Natural Park guide


Although it is quite a small town, there is a lot to discover in the pretty town of Montmorillon - and bookshops!

Montmorillon guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Indre

Tourist classifications for Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Saint-Benoit-du-Sault is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Saint-Benoit-du-Sault, Saint-Gaultier, Le Blanc, Loire Valley, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.441, longitude 1.3913

Plan your visit to Saint-Benoit-du-Sault, Indre

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey: heritage site (11 km)
  • Eguzon-Chantome: village d'etape (15 km)
  • Jardin-arboretum de La Sédelle: remarkable garden (19 km)
  • La Souterraine: village d'etape (24 km)
  • Etangs de la Brenne: site of natural beauty (29 km)
  • Brenne: regional natural parc (29 km)
  • Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre collegiale St Etienne (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (36 km)
  • Bessines-sur-Gartempe: village d'etape (37 km)
  • Montmorillon: town of art and history (40 km)
  • Eglise de Notre-Dame (Montmorillon): religious monument (40 km)
  • Abbaye de Saint Savin sur Gartempe (Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe): religious monument (43 km)
  • Bellac: village d'etape (44 km)

The French version of this page is at Saint-Benoit-du-Sault (Francais)