France - Walking the Vezelay Route via Bourges to Saint Jean Pied de Port

France - Walking the Vezelay Route via Bourges to Saint Jean Pied de Port

This self-guided walk on the Vezelay route 

The Via Lemovicensis or Vezelay Route will take you from the vineyards of Burgundy in central France to the foot of the Pyrenees and the Spanish border to Saint Jean Pied de Port where several other routes converge. 900 km in 43 walking days crossing a wide variety of wooded and cultivated terrain and a rich History. 

The route proposed here via Bourges offers more accommodation options.

We provide luggage transfer, accommodation in 2 or 3 star hotels, dinners (or only breakfasts), assistance and documentation.

You can choose to cut the walk where you want. Choose the number of days and the departure point and we will send you a program and a quote.

From Le Vézelay to St Jean-Pied-de-Port : 43 nights

From Le Vézelay to Limoges : 20 nights

From Limoges to St Jean-Pied-de-Port  : 23 nights 

From Bourges to Perigueux : 18 nights. Hotels can be upgraded on this part of the route

Day 1

Arrive in the afternoon in VEZELAY Take the time to visit the shrine of Mary Magdalene, whose relics are kept in the Abbey. The basilic is a gem of the 12th century

Day 2

VEZELAY => TANNAY -Stage of 18.5 Km – 4 h30 of walking First stage of the walk with the Maison Dieu (14th century Roman Church Saint Jean Baptist) and ST Verain de Asnois Castle. Arrive in Tannay

Day 3

TANNAY => VARZY -Stage of 18.5 Km – 4 h 30 of walking The Church and Priory of Ouagne, Saint Germain des Bois, Cuncy les Varzy and finally Varzy and its 12th century Saint Pierre Church, the former castle of Auxerre Bishops, St Lazare Chapel.

Day 4

VARZY => CHATEAUNEUF VAL DE BARGIS - Stage of 22 km, 5 h 15 of walking Reach Champlemy « la Romaine », the castle, the mills and wash house. Arrive in Chateauneuf – Taxi transfer for a second night in Varzy.

Day 5

CHATEAUNEUF => LA CHARITE SUR LOIRE -Stage of 26 km, 6 h of walking. Taxi transfer in the morning to get to Chateauneuf. Vendôme Castle in Arbouse, and Mouchy Castle in Raveau are on your way to La Charité sur Loire. To visit : the historical center surrounded by the fortifications, the salt house and the well, the bridge over the Loire Valley.

Day 6

LA CHARITE => CHARENTONNAY -Stage of 25 km, 6h00 of walking. St Martin des Champs chapel and Sancergues where you will visit the gothic Church St Pierre de Charantonnay before arriving to the Chapels Hamlet.

Day 7

• CHARENTONNAY => BRECY Stage of 18 Km – 4 h 30 of walking Baugy and its St Martin Church, Brecy (St Germain Church, altarpiece, relics of St Firmin).

Day 8

BRECY => BOURGES Stage of 16 km – 4 h of walking From Gordon to St Germain-du-Puy by the Via Romana. Arrive in Bourges To visit: the splendid St Etienne Cathedral and many interesting chapels and churches

Day 9

BOURGES => CHAROST - Stage of 26 km – 6h30 of walking After leaving Bourges and Villeneuve-sur-Cher (church and fortified bridge over the Cher River) you will reach Charost To visit: St Michel 12th century church, cloister remains of the Abbey Notre Dame d’Issoudun.

Day 10

CHAROST => ISSOUDUN - Stage of 12 km, 3h00 of walking. A small stage to relax between 2 larger stages. St Georges sur Arnon (roman portal) and arrive in Issoudun. To visit: St Cyr and Ste Juliette, Basilique Notre Dame du Sacré-Cœur, the ancient hospital (leprosarium)

Day 11

ISSOUDUN => NEUVY PAILLOUX – Stage of 21 km – 5h15 of walking A very peaceful road leads to the small village of Thizay. Continue your way to Neuvy Pailloux To visit : St Laurent Church and the clock tower.

Day 12

NEUVY PAILLOUX => ARDENTES – Stage of 22 km – 5h30 of walking Today the scenery changes from large pastures to fragmented meadows and woods. Saint Fauste is the only village on the route, nestled at the edge of the forest of Maron. Arrive by a rocky path to Ardentes and its roman church.

Day 13

ARDENTES => NEUVY ST SEPULCRE - Stage of 21 km – 5h15 of walking Bocage and wood landscape, hedges, ponds and pools, here is the Berry. Forest tracks lead to Lys-St Georges which castle offers dramatic views. Continue the small paths through meadows and arrive in Neuvy St Sépulcre To visit: Saint Etienne Church formerly dedicated to St Jacques-le-Majeur

Day 14

NEUVY ST SEPULCRE => GARGILESSE – Stage of 24 km – 6h00 of walking Bocage, isolated farms, hollow paths and little roads will take you to Cluis and its 12th century church.The final descent through the woods leads to hilltop Cargilesse over the Creuse River. To visit : Notre Dame Church its sumptuous illustrated capitals, the frescoed crypt. Georges Sand’s museum and house

Day 15

GARGILESSE => CROZANT - Stage of 23 km – 5h45 of walking The route winds its way from one side to another of the Creuse River to finally reach the beautiful perched village of Crozant. To visit : the fortress remains, the church and the dovecote.

Day 16

CROZANT => LA SOUTERRAINE - Stage of 27 km, 6h45 of walking. A long but varied stage with interesting villages all along the way : the mills of Sedelles, the Charraud bridge, St Germain Beaupré and its castle, St Agnan de Versillat, before arriving to La Souterraine. To visit : The Church and the tower bell ; the Mozarabic porch and the square

Day 17

LA SOUTERRAINE => BENNEVENT L’ABBAYE– Stage of 22 km – 5h30 of walking Walk through rural areas, meadows and woods before reaching the dolmen in St Priest la Feuille. Follow peaceful roads and arrive in Bennevent l’Abbaye. To visit : the dark granite Romanesque church, the octagonal tower

Day 18

BENNEVENT => CHATELUS-LE-MARCHEIX – Stage of 18,5 km – 4h45 of walking Today’s peaceful hilly landscape and pine forests look like a montainous ground (at an altitude of 600 m. in St Goussaud). The descent leads to Chastelus-le-Marcheix.A short taxi transfer to Pont du Dognon to spend the night.

Day 19

CHATELUS => PONT DU DOGNON - Stage of 18 km – 4h30 of walking A short taxi transfer to Chastelus-le-Marcheix, where you will start your walk on the small road winding through the woods up to Pont du Dognon where you will sleep in the same accommodation than the day before.

Day 20

PONT DU DOGNON =>ST LEONARD DE NOBLAT - Stage of 16 km – 4h00 of walking This short stage will give you the time to visit St Léonard. To visit : the collegiate Church of St Léonard, the mill of Got, Noblat bridge, the consulate house, the porcelain manufacture of Limoges.

Day 21

ST LEONARD => LIMOGES - Stage of 22,5 km – 5h30 of walking The short stage is an invitation to contemplate the perched houses along the River Vienne. The road is still quiet before entering Limoges by a busy road. The City witnesses of the wealthy medieval past. To visit: the cathedral, the museum of porcelain, Saint Martial crypt, the « art deco » train station

Day 22

• LIMOGES => AIXE SUR VIENNE - Stage of 12 km – 3h00 of walking We are half way to the Pyrenees and the high tracks naturally reach Aixe, the “Madone City”. To visit: carved cockleshell in the church, the small bridge over the Aisette

Day 23

AIXE SUR VIENNE => LES CARS - Stage of 18 km, 4h30 of walking. The Pilgrims used to take “The Saints Valley” to reach the sanctuaries where ancient hermits were venerated. Arrive in Les Cars To visit: the relics, the castle

Day 24

LES CARS => LA COQUILLE – Stage of 21 km – 5h15 of walking Many ponds in the chesnut tree forests, the last « feuillardiers cabins ». All along the way you will note that chesnut poles makers still exist nowadays. Night in La Coquille To visit: The Virgin and the child in the Church.

Day 25

LA COQUILLE => THIVIERS – Stage of 22 km – 5h30 of walking Today you enter the Green Perigord which countryside is green all year long and dotted with a great number of medieval ponds dug to enable fish-farming. Arrive in Thiviers. To visit: Notre Dame capitals, la Croix St Jacques and St James neighborhood

Day 26

THIVIERS => SORGES - Stage of 13,5 km – 3h30 of walking The ancient Roman way passes by orchards and hazelnuts and arrives to the village of Sorgues. To visit : the church and the 2 portals, the truffle Museum.

Day 27

SORGES => PERIGUEUX – Stage of 22 km – 5h30 of walking Enjoy the walk and the splendid Perigord-style houses on the way to Cornille. Follow the forest of Lamary before starting to descend to Perigueux. To visit : the Gallo-roman temple of Vesone, the Saint Front cathedral (Unesco World Heritage), ST James Chapel.

Day 28

PERIGUEUX => SAINT ASTIER - Stage of 24 km – 6h00 of walking Arrive at the famous place of Chancelade and its Abbey after following the Puy-de-L’Arche forest. The two Romanesque Churches side by side as well as the fountain on a shaded square invite for a break. You are now in the “White Perigord” where the way between the high limestone cliffs and the river leads to Saint Astier. To visit : the square tower bell and the Church, the Chapel in the Cave (grotto)

Day 29

SAINT ASTIER => MUSSIDAN - Stage of 22,5 km, 5h45 of walking. In Douzillac the most important monument is not the Church but the presbytary. Soon the landscape will change into the large pine forest of the Landes. Arrive in Mussidan To visit : André Voulgre Museum (arts and popular traditions)

Day 30

MUSSIDAN / LALINDE => STE FOY LA GRANDE Stage of 21 km – 5h15 of walking Taxi transfer to Lalinde and continue the way to Ste Foy la Grande. A nice stage through the vineyards after Monfaucon and the amazing descent towards Pont Ste Foy. Follow the Dordogne River to Ste Foy la Grande. To visit : the bastide, Prehistory Museum

Day 31

ST FOY LA GRANDE => SAINTE FERME - Stage of 25,5 km – 6h30 of walking You are now in the famous ‘’entre deux mers » between Dordogne and Garonne the largest rivers of the region. The surrounding Bordeaux vineyards and the wealthy wine growing domains all along the way lead to Ste Ferme. To visit : the Abbey Church

Day 32

SAINTE FERME => LA REOLE – Stage of 22 km – 5h30 of walking Walk from a Monastery to another today and admire the perched bastide of Montségur, St Hilaire Church and enter La Reole by the Crouzille Way (the Shell Way) To visit : the Benedictine Museum, the castle called Quat’Sos.

Day 33

LA REOLE => BAZAS - Stage of 27 km – 6h45 of walking Today’s walk along the poplar lined riverside of the Garonne leads you to the first worthwhile break at the Hospital of Pondaurat, the bridge and the mill. Enter into Bazas under the beautiful door of Gisquet where the cobbled-stone street arrives to the Grande Place (Large Square). To visit : St Jean Baptiste Cathedral and its 3 amazing portals, the ramparts, the Museum, the St Antoine apothecary house.

Day 34

BAZAS => CAPTIEUX - Stage of 20 km, 5h00 of walking. This stage through the pine forest, planted under Napoleon III between 1857 and 1870, links Bazas to Captieux, considered as the door of the Haute Lande.

Day 35

CAPTIEUX => RETJONS – Stage of 23 km – 5h45 of walking Another day through the largest European pine forest featuring the ruins of sanctuaries and hospitals all along the way. Arrive in Retjons where a milepost mentions that Santiago is still 1000 km further.

Day 36

RETJONS => ROQUEFORT – Stage of 14 km – 3h30 of walking The third day through the pine forest to Roquefort

Day 37

ROQUEFORT => MONT DE MARSAN - Stage of 29 km – 7h15 of walking After the previous short stages today’s walk is longer : 29km stage dotted with sanctuaries, a sacred fountain where the pilgrims used to relieve their pains. In Bostens you will find one of the most remarkable Romanesque churches of the region. In Mont de Marsan, the main city of the department you will visit St Medard Church. To visit : the flour mill, Plumaçon arenas.

Day 38

MONT DE MARSAN => SAINT SEVER - Stage of 20 km – 5h00 of walking Here is the Chalosse, the corn fields and poultry farming. The Adour River marks the contrast between vast stretches of fields and the hilly landscape around Saint Sever. To visit: The Abbey Church (Unesco World Heritage), the Jacobins Museum

Day 39

SAINT SEVER => HAGETMAU - Stage of 16,5 km – 4h15 of walking. Leave Saint Sever and start walking on the first foothills of the Pyrenees. Arrive in Hagetmau where rests the venerated St Giron. To visit : Saint Giron crypt

Day 40

HAGETMAU => ORTHEZ – Stage of 29 km – 7h15 of walking The ground becomes steeper and Sault de Navailles marks the entrance to the Bearn and the breathtaking views on the Pyrenees range. A long descent leads to Orthez the Bearn Capital. To visit: Moncade Tower, Jeanne d’Albret Museum, Protestantism Museum

Day 41

ORTHEZ => SAUVETERRE DE BEARN – Stage of 23 km – 5h45 of walking Along this stage the Saint James signposts will guide you through the Bearn countryside. Sauveterre can be seen in the distance thanks to its imposing church settled on the riverside

Day 42

SAUVETERRE DE BEARN => OSTABAT - Stage of 25,5 km – 6h30 of walking The green and red shutter houses mark the entrance into the Basque Country and its different culture. Walk in the Basque mountain, the green hilly landscape and arrive in Ostabat the last stage before Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. To visit: St Nicolas d’Harambeltz chapel, fortified ramparts, Haize Berri cultural center

Day 43

OSTABAT => ST JEAN PIED DE PORT – Stage of 22,5 km – 5h45 of walking In the Basque country, home to a strong pastoralism you will meet cows and ewes on your way. Arrive in the Medieval fortified city of St Jean Pied de Port in French Basque Country, capital of Low Navarra and the door to Spain and the French Camino. To visit: St Jacques Door (Unesco), Nive bridge, the citadel, Navarra and Spain Doors, the Bishop Prison.

Day 44

End of your walk after breakfast in Saint Jean Pied de Port

titre 1

Self guided WALKING
Duration :
44 Days
From :
5990 €

Included : (see details in Dates and Prices section)

2 and 3 star hotels and guest houses- Breakfasts and dinners

An English road book and maps.

English speaking assistance for your reservation



Starts in : Le Vezelay

Ends in : St Jean Pied de Port

Access :  train station.


Information : click on "ask for more information"

Phone Cecile : +33 5 58 48 71 65


Customize your tour : add or remove one night or more, combine with another section of the Way


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Castles, churches, villages

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