The route from Tours to Santiago de Compostela

The route from Tours to Santiago de Compostela

The via Turonensis towards Santiago de Compostela

It is also called the “great path of Saint-Jacques”, or the “paved path of the pilgrims”. There via Turonensis , which was joined by backgammoners from the north and north-east of Europe, was indeed once very busy. Crowds then went to Tours to bow at the tomb of Saint Martin, who died in 397. The pilgrims included in their ranks famous figures such as Clovis, Pepin the Short, Saint Louis, Philip Augustus, Richard the Lionheart.

The Tours route, which guides generally start in Paris, has today been rediscovered thanks to the efforts of a few associations. One of their first objectives was to trace a route that would avoid pilgrims using major roads. It was also necessary to initiate a constantly growing network of accommodation. It’s up to everyone now to follow their own route, on foot or by bike, since this route has very few elevation changes.

Several possibilities are available to pilgrims, described in different guides. These generally alternate hiking trails, forest paths and small country roads. Whatever route you choose, surprise and wonder will be there, as the heritage of the regions crossed is so rich. It is enough to cite the towns of Orléans, Blois, Tours, Poitiers, or Saint-Jean-d’Angély, and the communes of Melle, Aulnay, or Pons, to be convinced that this path cannot disappoint its pilgrim…

Variants: as there are several routes proposed for the Tours route, we will not talk about variants but about different possible choices. The Via Turonensis site offers descriptive sheets.

Season : the lodges are generally open from mid-April to mid-October, the season when this path is generally practiced. As its attendance is not high, it can be carried out in the summer.

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