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Mont-Saint-Michel Way – Nantes to Saintes 2/2

Walking Section 2 of 2

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  • Mont-Saint-Michel Way - Section 2 - Nantes - Caminoways.com
  • Mont-Saint-Michel Way - Full Walk - Mont-Saint-Michel Way – Cycling
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  • montsaintmichelway-Saintes-caminoways

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The second section of the Mont-Saint-Michel Way starts in Nantes, the “Venice of the West”, and ends in Saintes, a city with gallo-roman, medieval and classical heritage.

This stretch of the Mont Saint Michel Camino route takes pilgrims through the relaxing green landscapes of Pays de la Loire and crosses many interesting historical places.You will have the opportunity to visit some churches, abbeys and castles during this walking holiday, such as the castle of Clisson, the impressive ruins of the abbey in Maillezais, as well as the medieval attractions in Surgères and Saint-Jean-D’Angély, two cities full of history. A holiday pack is included with detailed walking notes and maps. Although sometimes physically demanding, the Camino only requires a reasonable level of fitness.

Trip highlights

  • Discover the Middle Age in Nantes
  • Visit the impressive ruins of the Abbey in Maillezais
  • Take a break in the pretty Medieval town of Surgères
  • Taste delicious fresh seafood in Saintes

1 Nantes

Mont-Saint-Michel Way - Section 2 - Nantes - Caminoways.com

Nantes is the 6th largest city in France, the capital of the Pays de la Loire regiom and the historic capital city of the Dukes of Brittany. Located on the banks of the Loire River, Nantes is also Jules Verne’s birth city. The Cathedral of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul and the castle of the Dukes of Brittany are the two most famous sites in the city. The Cathedral’s foundation stone was laid in 1434 and it took until 1891 to finish it. It was then damaged by the Second World War and a fire in the 20th century, which lead to what was the most complete interior restoration of a cathedral in France. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is located on the right bank of the Loire, which formerly fed its ditches. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy. The restored building now includes the new Nantes History Museum.

2 Nantes to Clisson - 35km

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8h45 | +335m / -314m
Today you will walk though soft, beautiful landscapes. Passing the famous Muscadet vineyards. In Clisson there are several buildings dedicated to saints, such as chapels, churches and a castle. The town and the castle were destroyed in the period of the French Revolution. They were then rebuilt in the early part of the 19th century. There are picturesque parks on the banks of the rivers. The Moine is crossed by an old gothic bridge and by a fine modern viaduct.

3 Clisson to Montaigu - 19km

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5h | +80m / -70m
After Clisson small paths and agricultural roads lead you quietly into Montaigu, a village with Medieval origins. The Pavillon des Nourrices is the only last element of the Grand Castle.

4 Montaigu to Saint-Fulgent - 29km

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7h15 | +250m / -219m
Today you will pass through the village of Saint-Georges-de-Montaigu where you can admire the Boisseau bridge, which dates back to the XIII century, the Grand Logis, the square of the church, dating back to 1577, and the Rivière house with the mill, from the XVIII century. After stopping off in this village you will continue meandering along the Grand Maine under the shadow of trees.

5 Saint-Fulgent to Puybelliard - 25km

Mont-Saint-Michel Way - Full Walk - Mont-Saint-Michel Way – Cycling

6h15 | +200m / -210m
There are many historic treasures along today’s walk. After almost 5 km you will arrive at the Noue castle. After 5 km more you will find the second castle of the day, the Parc-Soubise castle. Approximately at km 18 you will be in Saint-Vincent-Sterlanges. According to the legend, three angels appeared in the place where you can now find a fountain to remember the story. After 2 km you can visit “Les Roches Baritaud” castle, built for the Chateaubriand family. At the end of the stage, in Puybelliard, the tower dates back to the 12th century and deserves a visit.

6 Puybelliard to Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salle - 25km

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6h15 | +292m / -286m
You will travel along a path with red and yellow arrows and the scallop shell. A couple of km after Puybelliard you have the chance to walk through the village La Caillère-Saint-Hilaire and admire the old church with its decorated altar and the tabernacle door painted with scenes from the Apocalypse. At the end of the stage take your time to admire the Plessis-Le-Franc castle.

7 Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salle to Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq - 22km

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4h30 | +211m / -214m
You will start your day in the Valley of Smagne, walking through beautiful forest area. Plan your first stop at Saint-Cyr-Des-Gâts to visit the church and its rare painting of the Apostle Pierre.

8 Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq to Nieul-sur-l’Autise - 14km

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2h | +50m / -133m
At half way, after Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq, take your time to visit the “La Baugisière” castle and its garden. At the end of the stage you will arrive in Nieul-sur-l’Autise where we suggest you visit the abbey, which dates back to 1068.

9 Nieul-sur-l’Autise to Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud - 28km

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7h10 | +107m / -107m
This pretty long stage takes you along canals and lush green landscapes. Two hours after your departure plan a stop right after the village of Maillezais to visit its abbey, which dates back to the 10th century.

10 Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud to Surgères - 24km

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6h | +134m / -117m
For half of this stage you will have a relaxing walk, following the main canal “du Mignon” and after Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon the landscape will slightly change. At the end of the stage, in Surgères take your time to admire the Medieval sites in the village.

11 Surgères to Puyrolland - 14km

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3h | +66m / -81m
Today you will leave the medieval walls of Surgéres, continuing on your journey through rolling hills. You will recognize Puyrolland for its Romanesque church.

12 Puyrolland to Saint-Jean-d'Angély - 20km

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4h | +158m / -146m
Saint Jean d’Angély is found in the triangle between Cognac, Saintes and Rochefort. Its city centre dates back to the Middle Ages. The Royal Abbey is in the centre of town and was originally constructed in 817, to house an important religious relic: the skull of John the Baptist. The relic brought great fame to the town. Very little remains of the original abbey as it suffered during the numerous conflicts in the region. The abbey you see today dates back to the 17th century. St Jean d’Angély market days are Wednesday and Saturday and it’s one of the best local markets. It takes place inside and outside the indoor market building, which dates back to the 19th century. The Pilori fountain in the centre of the square dates back to 1546.

13 Saint-Jean-d'Angély to Saintes - 35km

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5h40 | +235m / -250m
Leave Saint-Jean-d’Angély and reach Fenioux where you can admire the lantern of the dead. On the way you can also visit the church of Juicq and the castle of Douet built in the XIV century. You will cross the countryside through beautiful farms and vineyards to arrive in Saintes where you should visit the 11th century abbey.

14 Saintes

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Because of its noteworthy gallo-roman, medieval and classical heritage, Saintes is a popular touristic destination, member of the French Towns and Lands of Art and History since 1990. It has several museums, a theatre, cinemas, and hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. A European center of musical research and practice is located in the Abbey aux Dames. Saintes is also known for its other churches: the Basilique Saint-Eutrope and the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre. The Arch of Germanicus, a triumphal arch, was built at the entrance to a bridge and ruins of the Roman amphitheatre can be found on the left bank of the Charente River.

Hotels & country cottages have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food, and friendliness of the staff. They are subject to availability and if the hotel described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard of comfort & price. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.

Nantes - Standard

The 2* hotel “du Grand Monarque” is situated in the centre of Nantes, next to the SNFC station, north exit, and near the Museum “des Beaux Arts”, The Cathedral St Peter and St Paul, the historic district “du Bouffay” and the castle of the Duke of Brittany.

Clisson - Standard

La Demeure de Saint Fiacre is situated in Saint Fiacre village, near Clisson. The house has a modern design and charming rooms.

Montaigu - Standard

The 2* hotel “Le Pont de Senard” has 23 rooms and a flat with two rooms and a big bathroom to welcome a family or friends and colleagues. The breakfast is served on a continental style buffet. View on the river and the countryside.

Saint-Fulgent - Standard

Located in the village of Saint-Fulgent, the hotel “Les Colonnades” is just 2 km from Saint-Andre-de-Goule-d’Oie and 30 km from Puy du Fou historical theme park. It offers accommodations with free Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TV with Canal +. The guest rooms at Les Colonnades are simply decorated with bright colours. Each room has a view of the garden and a bathtub or shower.

Puybelliard - Standard

The Chateau de Puybelliard is a 19th century château set in the picturesque village of Puybelliard and it features an outdoor swimming pool, a spa bath and a library-bar.

Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salle - Standard

Gite Garreau, nice Guest House near the village of Saint-Laurent-de-La-Salle.

Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq - Standard

Gite de la Gravee own by Mme Blais is a nice, little guest house in Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq.

Nieul-sur-l'Autise - Standard

Le Rosier Sauvage is an old guest house with a few nice rooms.

Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud - Standard

“Au Logis du Marais Sauvage” in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud is a nice guest house in a relaxing environment.

Surgères - Standard

Le Colombier Gite 5 newly renovated 2,3 and 4 bedroom gîtes situated near the historic market town of Surgères, 29 kilometres from La Rochelle. The gites offers a full range of facilities including a large child safe & heated swimming pool, covered play and entertainment area. The gites are available to rent individually or for groups accomodating up to 32 people. Ideal for all year round use as they are centrally heated and have wood burners for cosy winter evenings.The guest house “La Clef des Champs” is provided with a tree-filled garden, a pond and a barbecue. The continental breakfast is served in a traditional dining room.

Puyrolland - Standard

The guest house “La Clef des Champs” is provided with a tree-filled garden, a pond and a barbecue. The continental breakfast is served in a traditional dining room.

Saint-Jean-d'Angély - Standard

Situated in the heart of Saint-Jean-d’Angely, Abbaye Royale is steps from Museum of Saint Jean d’Angely. Rooms have city or courtyard views. The 37 guestrooms at Abbaye Royale include windows that open and blackout drapes/curtains. Bathrooms offer bathtubs or showers and complimentary toiletries.

Saintes - Standard

The Brit Hotel Bleu Nuit situated in the centre of Saintes has confortable soundproof rooms and a bar with terrace.

Nantes Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Saintes Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Flying IN and OUT

How to get to Nantes
Best Option: Nantes Airport (10km)
The city of Nantes is reachable directly by plane from many European cities. From Rome with Vueling or Transavia, from Dublin with Ryanair, from Madrid with Ibéria, Berlin with Transavia and from many more cities. (see www.nantes.aeroport.fr)

Alternative Option: Paris Airport (407km)
The closest International Airports are in Paris. You can reach the city of Nantes taking another flight from there with Air France. From Paris Orly there is an average of 3 flights per day connecting the two cities. From Paris Roissy there are usually 4. The flights take around 1h15min.

How to get back from Saintes:
Best option: La Rochelle (75km)
La Rochelle airport has some flights to the UK and Ireland, offered by EasyJet and Ryanair, e.g. to Dublin, Cork, London (Gatwick and Stansted), Leeds (Bradford), Bristol, East Midlands or Edinburgh. Other international destinations are Porto or Brussels (S. Charleroi). Flights are available 1-3 times/week. See www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative option: Bordeaux airport (125km)
Bordeaux airport is well connected with the UK and Ireland. EasyJet offers lights to London (Luton), Liverpool and Bristol. Ryanair serves flights from/to Cork and Aer lingus connects Bordeaux with Dublin. It is also possible to take indirect flights via the busiest airports in Europe, e.g. via Paris (Orly and CDG with AirFrance), Amsterdam (with KLM), Madrid (with Iberia), Porto (with Ryanair) or Munich (with Volotea). See www.skyscanner.com.

Transfers to and from Airport

How to get to Nantes

From: Nantes airport (10km)

Shuttle bus from the airport to the city centre every 30 minutes. See http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/acces/navettes

From: Paris Airport Charles de Gaulle (407km)
From Paris there’s the option to take a high speed TGV train (see en.voyages-sncf.com), which journey lasts around 2h. First take a RER from the airport to Gare de Lyon.

 

How to get back from Saintes:
Best option: La Rochelle (75km)
Saintes has a direct train connection to La Rochelle (Gare de la Rochelle-Ville or Porte Dauphine), taking 50min-1h10 (regional trains and intercities available). See www.voyages-sncf.com.
There is a local bus (line 7 or line 47 on Sunday) to the airport (every 30min, 15min travel time). The distance between the station “Rochelle-Ville” and the stop (named Place du Verdun) is approx. 2km, while the distance between “Porte Dauphine” and the stop is about 750m.

Alternative option: Bordeaux airport (125km)
The direct train connection between Bordeaux (Gare St.-Jean) and Saintes is regular with travel time is approx. 1h15-1h35 (regional trains and intercities available). See www.voyages-sncf.com.
There is a shuttle bus between the station (Gare St.-Jean) and the airport (every 45min, travel time approx. 20min). See  www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr.

More Info on getting to Nantes

Please select from our available tours below and proceed to booking. Contact the team if you have any special requests.


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  • Stay in our selected accommodation, all rooms en-suite. Price pp, half board.

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    €1845
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    €1504

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3. No. of rooms

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What's Included

  • Luggage transfered from hotel to hotel
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  • Holiday pack: inc. notes & map(s) & pilgrim passport, what to bring, useful information

We also offer

  • Airport Transfers, Hotel Upgrades (where available)