THE PATHS – 03 : TOWARDS COMPOSTELLE IN FRANCE
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR PATHS TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA IN FRANCE?
In FRANCE, four main routes converge towards SPAIN: the WAY of PUY-EN-VELAY, the WAY of VEZELAY, the WAY of TOURS and the WAY of ARLES. The first three meet near ST-JEAN-PIED-DE-PORT, where many walkers and pilgrims gather before crossing the Pyrenees, in the direction of CAMINO FRANCÈS.
WHAT IS THE WAY OF PUY-EN-VELAY ?
Distance: about 750 km. It starts from the Notre-Dame du PUY-EN-VELAY cathedral, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is the best known and most frequented route with the superb Aubrac plateau and the unavoidable basilica of Conques.
WHAT IS THE WAY OF VEZELAY ?
Distance: about 950 km. It starts from the basilica Ste-Marie-Madeleine of VÉZELAY, in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. Less frequented, it offers however very beautiful landscapes and cathedrals and abbeys among the most famous of France.
WHAT IS THE WAY OF TOURS ?
Distance: about 950 km. It starts at the foot of the Tour St-Jacques in PARIS and passes by the cathedrals of CHARTRES or ORLÉANS, before reaching BORDEAUX and the Spanish border. It is the least frequented by walkers despite its low altitude difference which attracts cyclists.
WHAT IS THE WAY OF ARLES ?
Distance: about 1000 km from ARLES in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. It passes through TOULOUSE then crosses the Pyrenees by the COL DU SOMPORT before reaching Spain where it converges with the CHEMIN DE L’ARAGON which leads to the beginning of the CAMINO FRANCÈS. It is a beautiful itinerary, but the steepness of the last part makes many walkers hesitate.
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