The way of Tours (via Turonensis) makes it possible to join Roncevaux, on the border with Spain, by discovering the Loire Valley, Touraine, Poitou, Angoumois, Saintonge, Bordelais, Landes. This pathway, which was joined by the butterflies from the north and north-east of Europe, was also very frequented by the many pilgrims who went then to Tours to bend over the tomb of Saint Martin, died in 397.
The way of Tours starts from Paris to Notre-Dame on the basis of two long-distance hiking trails, the GR®655 and GR®3. At Palaiseau, in the south-west suburbs, it separates into two branches, one going towards Chartres (GR®655 West), the other towards Orléans (GR®655 East and GR®3). These two routes meet in Tours. For the pilgrim, the GR® is a possible route, nevertheless, sometimes it will be interesting to take a different route, more adapted to the philosophy of the pilgrimage, shorter and well marked by the Local Associations. These itineraries are described on the sites of these associations. It takes 71 days of walking to reach Santiago.
Between Paris and Tours, via Turonensis crosses four departments of the Centre-Val de Loire Region: the Eure-et-Loir (Chartres), the Loir-et-Cher (Vendôme or Blois), the Loiret (Orléans) and the Indre-et-Loire (Tours). An overview of the path in this crossing (routes, accommodation, services) is viewable via this internet portal published and maintained by the associations jacquaires of these departments.
From Paris to Ostabat, on the way to Tours, pilgrims on foot must walk on the GR®655 and local routes marked out by the departmental jacquaires associations. The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is also increasingly practiced by bike along a route based on quiet roads and often off GR®. The markup is, still today, specific to each department, it is necessary to walk the path while remaining attentive to the local specificities (see the jacquaires sites for more precision).