A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Camino Forum Donation

Canterbury to Santiago: route planning help

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Hi all,

Have just finished my first Camino from SJPDP to Santiago, and am already planning my next. This time I'll be hoping to walk from my front door in London, via Canterbury and France, joining again at SJPDP. I met a few people who had walked through France but neglected to get finer details and recommendations for a route. So my question is: what route through France would you recommend? Bearing in mind I'll be walking from Calais.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2010; 2016), Norte, Primitivo, Muxia/Fisterra (2010), Mozarabe, Via de la Plata, Sanabres (2011), Arles, Aragones, Frances (2015)
There are 4 main Saint James' route in France and the closest one to Calais is Paris-Tours, also called via Turonensis. Coming from Calais and joining this route , there are various possible options...
  • Pretty easy one: Calais - Arras - St Quentin (via Francigena/GR145) + St Quentin - Paris (GR655) + EITHER Paris/Chartres/Tours (GR655 Est/East) OR Paris/Orleans/Tours (GR655 O) + Tours - Saint Jean Pied-de-Port (GR655)
  • If you're ok for some Map-It-Yourself: Calais - Le Pas d'Authie (GR120) + Le Pas d'Authie - Tréport (50km of MIY) + Tréport - Dieppe (GR21) + Dieppe -Rouen-Evreux-Chartres (local Camino association path) + Chartes - Tours (GR655 O) + Tours - Saint Jean Pied-de-Port (GR655)
  • If you're ok with local signed Caminos: Calais - Arras (via Francigena/GR145) + Arras - Amiens - Beauvais (local Camino association path) + EITHER Beauvais - Chantilly - Paris (local Camino association path) and GR655E/O and Tours - Saint Jean Pied-de-Port (GR655) OR Beauvais - Mantes la Jolie - Epernon (local Camino association path) and GR655O and Tours - Saint Jean Pied-de-Port (GR655)
Here are some website that may help: (most in French, few in English)
- Via Francigena/GR145 : map, accommodations
- Calais-Dieppe: GR120 here and here; MIY with Geoportail or a IGN map; GR21: here
- Dieppe-Chartres (GR210 and other paths): basic map, guide (order from any red email address); here (itinerary on the left) and here ("chemin anglo-normand")
- Arras-Amiens: here
- Amiens-Beauvais-Paris or Chartres: here (this doc to download, better map resolution to ask at this adress: abcompostelle@hotmail.fr)

Concerning Paris Tours route:
- Tours - Saint Jean Pied-de-Port (GR655) : map, distances, level, stages, guides (ask for detailed info by "demandez notre documentation détaille": fill up the form and select "La voie de Tours")
- always useful, links to all of the French association of St James, who are responsible of many streches of the Camino. It's not practical, but you'll have to go region after region...
Note that there are 2 options between Paris and Tours
- path through Chartres (GR65 O, O=Ouest=West), said to be the "traditional" and "historical" one
- path through Orleans (GR65E, E=East)(also called GR3), more "touristy" as it goes through various places to visit
Be careful to pick a guide that will lead you through your chosen route, as they usually go one path or the other, but not both!
Also note that if you decide to get a TopoGuide (as @giorgio suggested), you'll need 2 of them (Bruxelles-Tours and Tours-Mirambeau) and will have to end without them. After Mirambeau, the Camino isn't a GR anymore, it's made and managed by local associations.
The Lepère guide from Paris to St Jean Pied-de-Port could be more interesting if going through Orleans, even if in French (got maps, accommodations, touristic information and description of the path). There is also one for the stretch Paris-Chartres-Tours (not the rest).

You can of course chose to walk other itineraries.
- the Vezelay route is not that far... reachable through various GR and the Via Francigena
- an idea here of other options from Calais
- possible too to leave the Paris-Tour route to walk the coastal route in France and join the Camino del Norte

Well, that's all I can think of now... I think it's a good start though ;)

Buen preps!


OLDER threads on this topic

Book your lodging here




Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 126 15.5%
  • May

    Votes: 198 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 56 6.9%
  • July

    Votes: 16 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.6%
  • September

    Votes: 239 29.4%
  • October

    Votes: 98 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%