The Paris & Tours Way, Chemin de Paris et de Tours in French or Via Turonensis in Latin (#viaturonensis), is the Camino de Santiago route followed traditionally by pilgrims coming from the North of France and Europe. Paris, the City of Lights, is the starting point for this route. Tour St Jacques, in Rue de Rivoli, has seen pilgrims embark on their Camino de Santiago journey from this very spot for many centuries.
Followed by devoted Medieval pilgrims, the Paris & Tours Way is dotted with towns and sanctuaries of great importance, such as the Basilica of Saint Martin in the splendid city of Tours.
Admiring majestic castles in the Loire Valley, walking across the vineyards of Bordeaux, exploring charming Medieval villages and of course, treating yourself to authentic French cuisine along the way are just some of the things that will make this section of the Camino de Santiago special. Read more Paris and Tours Way Camino articles on our blog.
Please see below for our suggested itineraries. You can select the French Way to customise your route (start point, finish point and options that you would like to have). You can walk or cycle any of our ways.
The Paris & Tours Way is the Camino de Santiago route traditionally chosen by pilgrims coming from the North of France and North East Europe. While there was an infinite number of routes and branches leading to Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims coming from France followed mainly four routes that converged in the Pyrenees, continuing to Santiago on the French Way. The Paris & Tours Way is the most northerly of those main four Camino de Santiago routes crossing France and mentioned by Aymeri Picaud in his XII century pilgrim guide ‘Guide du Pèlerin de Saint-Jacques’. It follows an important road used since the Celts and Roman times.
The Paris & Tours Way or Via Turonensis was one of the most significant routes, mainly because of the importance and religious significance of many of the cities and towns passed by pilgrims on their way. The Paris and Tours Way to Santiago passes “Saint Martin de Tours, Saint Hilaire de Poitiers, Saint John d’Angély, Saint-Eutrope de Saintes” as well as the town of Bordeaux. These saints and relics would have attracted crowds of devoted pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
The city of Tours is an unmissable stop on this Camino way. Pilgrims have visited Tours in great numbers since the Middle Ages, as its Saint Martin Basilica homes the tomb of this popular saint. Saint Martin’s fame attracted pilgrims coming from Spain and all over the Christian world.
Some other highlights of this stunning Camino de Santiago route across France include the Loire Valley, Touraine, Poitou, Bordeaux and the Landes region.
The Way of Paris and Tours is hilly but not difficult and can be done easily, walking or cycling.