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.
It is used by many pilgrims from the north of France and Europe both on foot and by bicycle. This path is distinguished from other French paths by its slightly uneven terrain, easily passable by bicycle, by its remarkable architectural and cultural heritage (sites, churches, sanctuaries). It takes 71 days of walking to reach Santiago.
The Way of Tours symbolically begins at Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and splits into two branches at Palaiseau, one going towards Chartres (GR®655 West), the other towards Orléans (GR®655 East and GR®3 ). These two routes meet in Tours. It stretches over four departments in the Centre-Val de Loire region. For pilgrims, the GR® is a possible route, however, it will sometimes be in their interest to take a different route, more suited to the philosophy of pilgrimage, shorter and well marked out by the local associations.
The Way of Tours through Chartres
The western branch of the Way of Tours passes through Chartres and Vendôme. Circulating in the Gâtines, rich in an impressive Jacobean heritage, it allows you to discover the magnificent landscapes of the Loir valley, passing through Chateaudun, Cloyes, Vendôme and Château-Renault. In the region, this route successively crosses the departments of Eure-et-Loir (28), Loir-et-Cher (41) and Indre-et-Loire (37).
The Way of Tours through Orléans
The eastern branch of the Way of Tours passes through Orléans and Blois. It is a fairly flat route, for both walkers and mountain bikers, which does not present any physical or technical difficulties. The path often runs along the banks of the Loire, a wild river bordered by the most beautiful royal castles, through Meung, Beaugency, Suèvres, Blois and Chaumont-sur-Loire. In the region, this route successively crosses the departments of Loiret (45), Loir-et-Cher (41) and Indre-et-Loire (37).
Before arriving in the Centre-Val de Loire region, the pilgrim takes the Compostela Ile de France ways developed and maintained by the Compostelle2000 association. Then, leaving the Centre-Val de Loire region, the pilgrim crosses the Vienne department in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.
Routes, services and accomodations suggested in Centre-Val de Loire region
Our itineraries are provided for information only. They are updated regularly but modifications not known to us may have been made for technical, climatic or practical reasons by the various actors of the Way. Please excuse us for the inconvenience encountered and contact us if you notice any changes, errors or lack of markup, improvements to be made.