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.
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.
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.
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.
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.