The year 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the registration of the "The Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela in France on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's an opportunity to shine a light on this original walk.

A Christian pilgrimage for some, a sporting or domestic challenge for others... The mythical Camino de Santiago has a wide appeal.
In a hyper-connected world full of non-essentials, those known as 'the pathfinders' set off in search of meaning and introspection.

There's no need to go to the ends of the earth! In the footsteps of Saint-Jacques, they are looking for authentic encounters and strong values such as mutual aid, sobriety, surpassing oneself...
On the trails, long-distance walkers leave their comfort zone, find their way, rediscover their momentum...

The programme: To explore sacred sites, to be in contact with nature, to contemplate and meditate... In this space of freedom, a little out of time, you can walk at your own pace, far from the mental burden of everyday life.

Religious tourism? We're talking about spirituality in the broadest sense. Believer or not, the emblematic pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela is open to all. 

A little history...

Santiago de CompostelaThis pilgrimage, which began in the early 9th century, is the third largest in Christendom after the pilgrimages of Jerusalem and Rome.

Historic routeThe main route from Saint Martin de Tours to Santiago de Compostela runs alongside the Vienne before turning off towards Poitiers and Ligugé Abbey.

There are five main routes in France. A historic route, the Via Turonensis or route de Tours crosses the Vienne. Coming from the Tour Saint-Jacques in Paris and after venerating the relics of Saint-Martin in Tours, the pilgrims entered Poitou. 
The full story of the route

Welcome in Greater Châtellerault, on the GR 655 leading to Santiago de Compostela and passing from Port-de-Piles to Vouneuil-sur-Vienne (about 47 km).


We're off to explore the countryside on safe, signposted routes...

À Battery Port You enter the Vienne department via the bridge over the Creuse. This is a historic route known as the "Seuil du Poitou", where the Roman road, trunk road, motorway, TGV line and the Vienne and Creuse rivers meet...


At the entrance to the village Les Ormes on the left is the remarkable façade of the old sheepfold, on the right the castle of the Age of Enlightenment and, a little further on, the former Horse post office. Then it's on to the church square and the old covered market to catch up with the river.

À ChâtelleraultAs a stopover town on the route, the path enters the historic centre via the rue Bourbon, where shells anchored in the cobbles lead to the church of Saint-Jacques. Walkers enter the church to admire a famous statue of a pilgrim Santiago, the symbol of the Tours route.

We then follow the Vienne River, admiring the famous Henri IV Bridge.

Two options are available from Châtellerault.

Option 1: via Cenon-sur-Vienne
Poitiers is reached via the GR. The Route de Saint-Jacques follows in the footsteps of the Romans and Charles Martel, skirting the sites of the Gallo-Roman theatre in Vieux-Poitiers and the chessboard at Moussais la bataille of Poitiers (732).

Option 2: via Naintré
The Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela passes through the forest here. From Naintré, you can join the Roman road via the hills overlooking the Clain valley. This variant is signposted in yellow and blue.

Then we join Poitiers which has just been awarded the Stopping Place - The Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela in France "and whoseSaint-Hilaire-le-Grand church (11th century) is on the World Heritage List as part of the "Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela in France".

You can also admire the church Notre-Dame-La-Grandeits Saint-Pierre cathedral in the city of a hundred steeples.

Contact: Les Amis des chemins de Compostelle en Vienne
Tel: 07 81 38 15 23 or [email protected]
Open every third Saturday of the month at the Hôtel Sully in Châtellerault

Discover the haltes jacquaires

Did you know?

The Via Compostela offers 7 routes in France, 3 in Spain and 1 in Portugal

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