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.
This is the complete itinerary for the Paris & Tours Way (Fr: Chemin de Paris et de Tours, La: Via Turonensis), with traditional stages. Please note that ‘splits’ have not been included in the table.
|Massy||21||The first section of the Paris & Tours Camino de Santiago starts in Paris, the City of Lights, and ends in medieval Orléans. This route crosses one of the most productive agricultural areas of France so it is quite a flat and easy section to walk. Starting at the Tour St Jacques (St James Tower), you will cross the city of Paris and its many interesting sights, such as the Cathedral Notre-Dame, St Michel… along the way to Orléans, you will reach many scenic villages and hamlets with churches, abbeys and castles; a reminder of the area’s important medieval heritage. At the end of this section, you will arrive in Orléans, a city linked to the history of the Kingdom of France.|
|Beaugency||29||The second section of the Paris & Tours Camino de Santiago starts at the Sainte-Croix Cathedral in medieval Orléans and finishes in gorgeous Tours. You will walk following the Loire, the longest river in France, and cross beautiful vineyards, fields and woods. On the Paris & Tours Way to Santiago, you will see many amazing cities, full of history, such as Blois and Amboise. You will then cross the Touraine region, famous for its white wine production. This section finishes in the city of Tours, with its stunning old town, where you can visit the St Martin Basilica and the city’s cathedral.|
|Sorigny||23||The third section of the Paris & Tours Camino de Santiago starts in the flowery city of Tours and ends in Saintes. You will start your walk from the old town in Tours, on the Loire River, and head South on your Camino walk along beautiful countryside, dotted with pretty hamlets and little towns.On your way you will discover a number of remarkable cities and monuments, such as Poitiers, Saint-Jean d’Angely, Melle and the church of Saint Hilaire, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Pons||23||The fourth section of the Paris & Tours Camino de Santiago starts in Saintes and ends in Bordeaux, also called “La belle endormie” (Sleeping Beauty).This is a region of outstanding beauty and you will walk along some of the most prestigious vineyards in France. This is quite an easy walking section of the Paris Camino or Via Turonensis. Along the way, you will pass castles, chapels and pretty villages; and discover beautiful cities such as Pons. Your destination is the stunning city of Bordeaux and its breath-taking city centre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Le Barp||26||The fifth and last section of the Paris & Tours Camino de Santiago starts in the lovely city of Bordeaux and ends in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, near the Spanish border. You will cross the Bordeaux region, famous all over the world for its fine wines, and walk across vineyards before arriving at the foot of the Pyrenees. It is a relatively easy section of the Camino, although the last stretch does require some effort. Starting from the suburb of Bordeaux you will cross lovely countryside and vineyards.The many churches, abbeys and streets with the name of Saint James will remind you all the way that you are on the road to Santiago de Compostela. You will pass magnificent cities like Dax before arriving in Saint-Jean–Pied-de-Port, the last town in France and starting point of the French Way to Santiago.|
|St Jean Pied de Port||23|
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.