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From Narbonne-Plage to Puente la Reina (or Pamplona) ?


Active Member
Has anyone experienced this camino?
I found (at least) 2 possibilities :

- Narbonne-Plage to Pamplona (via Saint Jean Pied de Port)
- Narbonne-Plage to Puente la Reina (via Somport)

The 2nd alternative should take about 28 or 29 days (if everything goes well). And I guess the route via Saint Jean might be about 2 days shorter.

Can anyone tell me a little more about these caminos?
Are theses numbers realistic?
Waymarking ? Albergues ?

Thank you!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I haven't done this route, but am thinking about doing part of it. Have you seen this website? http://vppyr.free.fr/vpp-index-etapes.php It is in French, but has a lot of photos of the route, de la Voie du Piémont Pyrénéen as far as Roncesvalles. (not via the Camino Aragones at the end.)


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I was planning on doing this route in 2009 and bought a guidebook "Le Chemin du Piémont pyrénéen vers Saint-Jaques-de-Compostelle" by Jacqueline et Georges Véron.
It gives 23 stages from Narbonne Plage, the last being St Jean to Roncesvalles. The total mileage is 562.6km.
The book is in French but easy to follow with strip maps for each stage, suggestions for accommodation etc. There don't seem to be any dedicated pilgrim albergues until you get to around Lourdes, but as it is with other routes through France, there are hikers' Gites where you'd need to book a bed ahead of time.
You could easily turn south after Oloron St Marie and walk the Aragones route over the Somport Pass. (That is what we did in 2009).



no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
Guidebooks in French are more useful when you understand the difference between "droit" and "droite"! When the balises disappeared and we had to rely on written text directions, we kept getting lost. Then we asked for definitions from a British expatriate, who had a good laugh.


Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
*mutter* *mutter* So don't leave us non-Francophones in the lurch, please. Since my pocket dictionary does not differentiate between the two, except to say that one is and adjective and the other a noun, what, pray tell, *is* the difference between "droit" and "droite"?


Active Member
Thank you for your answers, dear pilgrims!

The 2 websites, yes, I knew them already as I did some research in the virtual world...

Here, I was rather looking for some forum member having done the camino already and able to state some interesting things about...

About 'droit' and 'droite' :
droit - in the composition "tout droit" means straight on.
And "droite" : "à droite" means to the right
(gauche = left)
And "le droit" = the right, justice or legislation - I am studying "le droit"

Buen camino !


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Nice link Kiwi!

We need to do that route! Would you people stop doing this to me!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
lol @newfy...so many routes, so little time...... I know the feeling!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
My wife went through the photos this morning and is half seriously figuring how to to hit it this fall. It is definitely on the list. Along with many others.


Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Oh good grief ... now you've got me interested too!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I strung all the stages together and made a GPS and Google Earth file of the route. Send me a PM if anyone would like it emailed to them. I also have a link to stick it all on IGN topo maps.

I have a skype French teacher who lives in Narbonne right on the route so we are talking about it in "class"


Active Member
Hi Fatma

A good guide (in French - alas?)
for the turn at Oloron towards the south to Somport (and the C Aragones) is

http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/-Et ... ml?lang=fr

as the guide spells out, there are two routes to Somport from Oloron- both of them calling for special care when there is snow and/or the weather is dicey - moreover the eastern route is only recommended for experienced and well-equipped walkers

buen camino



Active Member
hola again Fatma

of course people coming on the track from Lourdes can make the turn south at Arudy and then via Gabas to Somport - they needn't go as far as Oloron and then 'backtrack' ! The guide says the Gabas - Somport stretch is the one for experienced walkers only! I met (late Sept 06) a French walker on the C Aragones who had come via Gabas - he was camping by the Aragon River for a day to rest and 'recharge' after what he called a very arduous walk (Gabas-Somport) - he had started in Lourdes.

http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/-Et ... ml?lang=fr

buen camino


Active Member
Thank you, Peter, for the information. Very helpful web sites indeed!

I am planning a summer camino - probably July (or June) - no snow, but it might be foggy of course - and not to think about a big summer rain or thunderstorm in the Pyrenees...

But actually I am thinking about walking from Narbonne (the Mediteranean) to Hendaye or Irun (to the Atlantic) rather than to pass the Pyrenees (Oloron - Saint Jean - Hendaye/Irun).
(So, later on, I could continue on the Camino del Norte)



Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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hey fatma!

did you walk it this summer? I would be very much intersted in any comments, suggestions...
I will be there next year, not all the way because I will skip some of the start for the sentier cathare - I just can't miss all those fabulous castles when I'll be in the vicinity.



Active Member
Hello Caminka!

I did!
It was a very great experience - again...
Much on my own, some parts with very few waymarking - especially on the beginning (from Narbonne-Plage till Carcassonne).
Weather was sometimes rather autumnal in southern Europe this year... so some days, I decided not to follow the GR waymarking but to find minor roads because of mud.

Finally, I walked from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. As I could not continue till Santiago, I just wanted a good ending point...
It took me 30 days - but not all of them very long walking days...

I plan to write a bit more - but till now had few time for that...


Active Member
hola Fatma

From sea to sea - hard to beat as a starting and end-point - sounds interesting, so I look fwd to reading more of what you will write about it when you have 'many time'. :p Did you walk through Cathar castles region ? and come across from France into Aragon at Somport?
happy trails


Active Member
I was in Cathar region (Frontfroide, Lagrasse and Carcassonne) with beautiful abbeys and of course with Carcassonne. As well around this medieval city, I came through plenty villages called "en circulade" --- houses built in a circle which replace the fortifications around a church or village centre. Amazing things...

I did finally not cross the Pyrenees but stayed in France (continued on the right side of the Pyrenees from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Hendaye)

And from sea to sea via the mountain side is great!
(especially when you start seeing the Atlantic from quite far away already...)


Active Member
FatmaG said:
And from sea to sea via the mountain side is great!
(especially when you start seeing the Atlantic from quite far away already...)
On the m,ountain side the urge to strap on under hang glider must be resisted, no?



Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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thanks fatma! looking forwards to your posts.

sounds like a beautiful route, cannot wait!

is it true that in some parts there is dual waymarking? that of GR and that of VPP? especially before and after lourdes?
was it much tarmac? where did you stay? any special recommendations? (or critics?) any absolutely not to be missed things to see/do/experience?

take care!


Active Member
Here some notes of my Voie du Piémont.
They resume (in a more technical way) my stages on that camino.
I could not do it with fewer words, sorry.
On the other hand, I spared out all the nice little things that happen to you when you are on a camino, when you walk through countryside and meet up with fellow humans...
But it would just have been toooooo long to post here.
At the end some pictures and a very short resumé for those who do not need to know more details about the stages.


From Narbonne-plage (the Mediterranean) to Hendaye (the Atlantic) via the “Voie du Piemont”

On a sunny 8th of July, I leave my home here in Brussels to go by train to Narbonne in the south of France. The Camino I want to walk this year is in France, la Voie du Piemont.
I won't have time to reach Santiago – so I am looking for another arrival point attracting to me...:
from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

In my bag :
A guide book from 2002 (very preciously lent by Sillydol --- thank you again!)
Other (more actual) descriptions of this Camino found on the internet.
Equipment of course (later on, only in Saint Jean Pied de Port, I learn it is all in all 12kg – much too much for such a little person as I am...)
For the first time: 4 maps (1:100.000) and a compass --- quite a good idea.
And my mobile phone (very useful as well to find accommodation) even if I hate the idea of having it with me.

Narbonne: due to a train delay, I miss the last bus to Narbonne-plage (runs only during summer!)
So I hitchhike... Finally, about 20pm I arrive in Narbonne-plage.
Camping area 20€ - very expense and no reduction
Take away
Stamp in the Tourism Office (in the morning)

9 July : Narbonne-plage - Narbonne

No waymarking. I followed the internet description via the “Plateau de la Clape”. Had to improvise more than one time (even the best description is only approximate...), but finally arrived “at destination”... A mere wonder...
It was hot. No water sources on the way. No café or restaurant.
My bed: CIS “centre international de séjours” in a 5-bed-room just for myself, breakfast included, for 16€...

To do: On the plateau de la Clape, you can go up to a small mount and the view must be mere beauty – but I had not the courage...

10 July : Narbonne – Gaussan
By the way, I decided to take the “Chemin des Abbayes” - a way following ancient monasteries instead of heading directly towards Carcassonne.

No waymarking – trying to follow the description. At some point, just after having left the outskirts of Narbonne, I was lost (too many VTT routes, orientation on the map via the high-voltage-lines)...
Later on, the description is easier to follow.
Abruptly, the “Abbaye de Fontfroide” is ahead... To my surprise, it's just a touristy and not an inhabited place any more.
Snack at the restaurant.
Visit of the gardens – you can see the whole building together with a huge number of tourists...

From Fontfroide to Gaussan, I followed the road to reach Gaussan and it's former monastery.
Now, an English family lives there. They rent rooms. I got a bed and a breakfast for 35€. Special price for pilgrims because normally, it's much more. GREAT place!

11 July Gaussan – Lagrasse

A very long and very hot day.
No waymarking. Some hesitation.
A small town on the way to find some fresh water and food.
In Lagrasse, the monks welcome me very nicely. But no accommodation for women in the Monastry. I am allowed to put up my tent in the Olive grove.... (very biblic place) but the soil is so hard, I am not able to get my tent pegs in the soil..
Finally: another 2kms to the little camping ground above Lagrasse.

After a shower, I return to the small town to find something to eat.
The nice looking restaurant “Les Remparts” kindly tells me that the only table left is for 4 persons and they prefer not to give it to a single person.........

12 July Lagrasse - Montirat

Waymarking !!! I follow the “GR 36 Variante”. “Variante” is quite important because the regular GR 36 takes another – much longer – way to reach Carcassonne.
Again a small town where I find a coffee automate in a supermarket.
The day is long. The way is long.
First trial for accommodation in Monze. 50€ pilgrim's price. I continue.
I continue to Montirat – there used to be a gîte d'étape (for groups); it's no longer in service. But the owner, Gérard let me use one of his places not in service any longer. THANK you, Gérard!
My dinner : some nuts, an apple.
That night : a big big thunderstorm!

13 July Montirat – Carcassonne

A short day. Only about 12 to 14 km...
Waymarking the GR36 Variante again.
Muddy. Cold.
Abruptly: Carcassonne!
My bed in the former Monastry – just opposite to the “Cité of Carcassonne”. For about 27€, a room for myself, dinner and breakfast. Recommended to make a reservation!

Carcassonne is worth a longer visit.
And Soeur Françoise's welcome is great!

14 July Carcassonne – Montréal
Jacobean way from now on waymarked as GR 78 (& some concrete piles with “Voie du Piémont”)
No café, snack open till Montréal. (National Day in France!!!)

Nice little camping ground in Montréal. I stop there, no place in the Monastry of Prouilh close to Fanjeaux because of tourists in great numbers.
A restaurant. And a bar. A bakery. All is fine.

15 July Montréal – Camping à la ferme some km after Fanjeaux
The little bakery in Montréal : The best croissant I ever ate in France!

Some starting difficulties to find the waymarking out of town...
Few accommodation possibilities on that part, you have to choose either long or short walking days. My day is a short one.
Camping ground “à la ferme” about 3 km after Fanjeaux. Nicely placed, but far from the town. Do your shopping before!

In Fanjeaux: cafés, snacks, a “superette”, a bakery and a tourism office
Accommodation possible in a monastery.
GR waymarking still.

To see some very strange little villages : houses are built in a circle “en circulade”, they protected the centre of the town, the church... they were somehow the “battlements” of the place.

16 July Camping (Fanjeaux) to Mirepoix
Pyrenees are approaching.
Gorgeous sigths, gorgeous day!
Still white and red GR waymarking.
! Arriving just before Mirepoix, one yellow flesh is misleading (it's a sign for the next morning leaving the city)

NB very often by nowGR signs and Jacobean signs – but if I remember well, they follow exactly the same paths and ways!
From Fanjeaux to Col du Portet d'Aspet: there is a small guideline for the etapes crossing l'Ariège.
Bed: either private pilgrim's accommodation or camping ground.

Medieval Mirepoix is very touristy so no problems with finding all you need.

17 July Mirepoix – Belfort
Rain! Difficulties to be motivated and to start.
Finally, a late start – a hard day through continuous rain and over muddy ways...

To see: Beautiful church in Vals! It is a “église rupestre : the entrance hidden in the rocks; remarkable wall paintings. And a little café in the museum

My bed: on the ground of the former “Camping à la Ferme”-kitchen. The landlady kindly let me sleep there (5€)
Dinner: nuts and perhaps an apple.

18 July Belfort – Pamiers

Again a short day.
I start mixing up more often different alternatives (GR, arrows, internet description, maps) – the best thing for that “Voie du Piémont”.

My bed: a small pilgrims' albergue in the bishop's residence. Marie-Thérèse, the hospitalera, prepares a succulent dinner.
Plenty of shops and cafés.

19 July Pamiers – Mas d'Azil

This morning: I see the first pilgrims – they are on bicycle, the pleasure is quite short...
Mixing GR and short cuts via the road at some point.
Nonetheless: a long long day till Mas d'Azil.
Bed: A pilgrims' albergue next to the Priory of the Protestant church (donativo).
A premiere: we are 5 pilgrims in the albergue that night!

Pilgrim's menu in 2 restaurants in town.
And cafés, bakeries, supermarket and a market.

NB Mas d'Azil (the French name witness this) was used to welcome people and grant them asylum; nice little historical detail...
To see: very huge cave arch (with a road through it)

20 July Mas d'Azil – St Lizier

Another long day.

Some (10?) km later, after a very steep climbing (the first of them), you reach a kind of “alternative village” run by young French people living apparently in autonomy and +- away from society...
Landscapes and views are stunning. But no café or snack in sight... (or open)

Saint Lizier again has it's own pilgrims' albergue run by the Tourist office of the town. (15€)
A nice place, Saint Lizier. Ancient town of bishops (as Pamiers), and important place in pilgrim's history I'm told.
(some cafés, but the supermarket is downhill and about 1 km to walk)

More accommodation (and plenty of shops) are found in Saint Girons, about 2 kms away (but +- on the Camino)

21 July Saint Lizier – Moulis

A very short stage.
Bed: in the house of friends uphill.
In Moulis: one Restaurant.

22 July Moulis – Buzan
My bed: in the house of a eremite,Tatiana, a woman about my age, not a Eremite in the strict sense of the word. She lives +- in autarcy.
Dry toilet and cold showers 'African style' with calebasse... (all outside of course)
Dinner by Tatiana: a succulent tortilla with herbs of garden. Goat cheese and good bread for breakfast.

NB on the way: A café (bar) in Engomer (off camino – over the bridge)
In Audressein (remarkable wall paintings on the church porch) and Castillon, more accommodation possibilities.

23 July Buzan – Razecueillé
A beautiful long day – finally sunshine!
Great landscapes, small villages.
Cafés, accommodation, food and restaurants in Saint-Lary & Portet d'Aspet (nice accommodation possibility 'Chez Jo')

! From Portet d'Aspet to Razecueillé at least 3 more hours of walking in wild and lonely landscapes!
Mountain area, small foot paths. Be careful specially by rain.

My bed: gîte de vacances in Razecueillé – rent for a real pilgrims' price if free. Josiane (who looks after the house) is lovely.
No shops! Think for food before!

24 July Razecueillé – Génos

Several little cafés or shops on the way.
One nice accommodation possibility is on the pic of a small “mountain” (col des Ares) - run by Dutch people.
My bed: camping site in Génos at a sheeps' farm, very small.
No shop in Génos.
Last shopping in Saint Pé d'Ardet (just some km before)

To see: the church is said to be old and beautiful, but was closed!

25 July Génos – Saint Bertrand de Comminges
A hard day – rainy, foggy, muddy and cold.
I decide to follow my map and not the GR. All right except one moment along a national road, N125 from Galié towards Luscan, with cars and trucks speeding up...
Shops, restaurants and hotels in Loures-Barousse.

My bed: Pilgrims' albergue in the bishop's priory of Saint Bertrand. (call before!)
No shop in Saint Bertrand (quite touristy), but restaurants; but in the albergue, they fill the cupboards and frigde for you. Lovely!
To see: the cathedral and the cloister.

26 July Saint Bertrand de Comminges – Montsérié

From now on till Bagnères de Bigorre: really rural areas without any shops! Be prepared!

What I remember: a deviation of the GR. And mud mud mud...
Nice little villages, but no cafés - except a very posh hotel-restaurant in Nestier.
My bed: In Montsérié, in one of the “gîtes d'étappe” run by the village. Ask the mayor, he might welcome you.

27 July Montsérié - Moulin des Baronnies
The region is called “Les Baronnies” - a beautiful, hilly area with plenty of small roads...

Again, I decided to replace a part of the GR by minor roads – after Lortet (towards Prat and Espèche – finding back to the GR later on)

My bed: in the “Moulin des Baronnies” - a real “gîte d'étappes” not specially for pilgrims but for walkers and hikers!
There: a very small café and shop (little choice: chestnut soup, sweets, wine...)

On the road: no shops!

28 July Moulin des Baronnies – Bagnères de Bigorre

Detour to visit the monastry “Escaladieu” - worth to be be seen!
Mixing up ways again (GR and roads)

In Bagnères, you are welcome as a pilgrim at the local albergue.
All services.

29 July Bagnères de Bigorre – Lourdes

Different possibilities to continue: the GR is (much longer and sporty) or the annual pilgrim's way to Lourdes (easier and shorter).

Or what I did: a mixture of GR and some short cuts by small roads (following my maps).
Still a very long walk. But:
A SIMPLY GREAT DAY – my favourite.
In Germs – very HARD to get there! – there was even a tiny café OPEN!

My bed in Lourdes: “La Ruche”, an albergue specially for Jacobean pilgrims - nice and very friendly place with an impressionating sight.

In Lourdes, you find everything – unnecessary to point this out...

From Lourdes onward – if I remember well – the yellow arrows replace more and more the GR signs...

30 July Lourdes – Asson
Pilgrims' accommodation in Asson – small albergue.
No shops. But a village café serving dinner.

In Lestelle-Betharram: café, shops (?), accommodation possible in the Monastry

31 July Asson – Arudy

Bruges: café, shops, bakery.

My bed: pilgrims are welcome at Priests Pierre home.
Great host, pilgrim himself. One cat, brougth to the house by pilgrims “Tiago”.
Shops, restaurants.

1 August Arudy – Oloron Sainte Marie

Different possibilities – ask Pierre for more information.
Few food supply on the road (in my memory at least)

Oloron: shops, albergue, restaurants – everything.
Crossing with the “Chemin d'Arles” towards Somport.

2 August Oloron Sainte Marie – Hôpital Saint Blaise
Very rural again - few shops (in Saint Goin?)

My bed: pilgrim's albergue in Hôpital Saint Blaise.
2 restaurants; no shops.
Some food in an “automat” at the albergue.

Very nice “sounds and lights”-performance in the little church – all done by the locals!

3 August Hôpital Saint Blaise – Mauléon

No shops.
Mauléon: pilgrims' albergue! Warm welcome.
Plenty of shops and cafés.

4 August Mauléon – Bunus

Beautiful day through Basque country.
Possibity to have a drink on the way.
After Ordiarp, 2 possibilites to get further. I took to the left.
In Saint Just Ibarre: maybe rooms. But not that night.
My bed: Camping ground in Bunus - slightly off camino
One shop just 1km before.

5 August Bunus – Saint Jean Pied de Port

Beautiful walk!
Café (& accommodation) at Col de Camia

My bed: “Esprit du Chemin” ! (Reservation needed – it is always full, and now I know why......)
Plenty of everything – Saint Jean is touristy!

6 August Saint Jean Pied de Port – Itzassou

No more waymarking to get to the ocean!
Following my maps (better scale now) and a description by “Gerard du Camino” - you can order it via internet (sometimes found in Saint Jean as well in a shop)
Small roads via Bidarray and Pas de Roland.
My bed: a hotel in Itzassou (my most expensive night!)

7 August Itzassou – Ascain

Partly waymarked as a GR8 – but still following the description of Gerard and my maps.
My bed: Camping ground in Ascain.
Shops, restaurants, bakery, cafés.

8 August Ascain – Hendaye (Atlantic) – Irun (ESP)

Description of Gerard – at the end GR10 till the Atlantic ocean.
In Hendaye: everything.
In Irun: as well everything – even a nice pilgrims' albergue.

To resume a little:

There are plenty of alternative ways, roads, paths..., you have to choose very often your own way!
I was at some point even quite eager for tarmac – due to the never ending rain falls, I was fed up with mud everywhere! So I chose rather minor roads instead of following the GR. If you have a good map (or even a basic one), you can switch quite easily from one to the other.
As this was my third camino, I felt good with this - taking decisions, chosing finally "my" way...

I stayed quite often on camping grounds, but there are more and more pilgrims' shelters found as well. Usually very lovely welcome on a camino which is not overrun by touregrinos...
There are as well hotels or bed & breakfasts. And at least in Ariège you find private pilgrims' accomodation (probably by people who are pilgrims themselves)
The most important information for you: I found every night a shelter!

It was not always easy to find food – you come across quite rural parts without shops.
But you won't starve - if you organise yourself a little.

The “Voie du Piémont” was not really a camino in the mountains, rather in the “foothills” of the Pyrenees, but it was not “flat country” neither! Be prepared to hard and steep parts, and to loneliness.

It is a gorgeous way!
I met few pilgrims but plenty of lovely people!
And felt very welcome as a pilgrim.



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whoa! that is loads of info! thank you so much!

those were not the standard ign maps you had, no? and they were adequate? cause I don't know if I should buy maps or not. I'll probably decide to buy them if needed, or for more mountaneous stages. hopefully my itineraries will be enough. (I love maps but I don't want to carry too many.)

I'll have to look into the annual pilgrim's way to Lourdes from Bagneres (in case of bad weather, of course ;)). where did you get the info? neither vppyr, au coeur du chemin, or Peter have it.

I like 'touregrinos', heh.


Active Member
I used IGN-maps, 4 of them to cover my camino, scale 1:100.000 - but cut them in 2 and took just the useful part with me. They were perhaps not sufficient, but better than nothing. Alternatively, take just maps of parts clearly missing waymarking...
As to the Bagneres-Lourdes- description, try to meet the responsible in Bagneres, he can give it to you!


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Camino(s) past & future
The 1:100,000 IGN maps are great, but they stop at the France/Spain border. Colin Peter has IGN backgrounds for his route maps, so IGN does have a more extensive coverage than the print maps I used. I think that the "blue" series maps are out of print. I did not find them in the stationary stores of France last fall. That scale is good for walking and biking; anything smaller loses useful detail; anything larger you can walk in a day, so need a lot of maps. I found the maps very useful in France, though they probably are not necessary. The one time I really needed them on the Vezelay route, I probably could have inquired at a farmhouse! Instead, I spent ten minutes orienting the map and trying to figure out where I was and where I was going. It does break up the monotony.


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that is why I am undecided. I don't want to be loaded with maps that I will most probably not need. I assume the waymarking is good enough (as is very often on established routes in france), and the route itself is established enough so that local people know where it is. so I can always ask around. the only probelm that I can forsee is bad weather and, consequently, mud, when the roads would be preferable. I have some experience with mud, thankfully not a lot, and I can tell you that it is no fun walking in a dress muddy up to the knees. (I also happened to scare a hell ouf of someone.)

I checked aucoeurduchemin page again, and they have a bit different route then GR78. it uses a lot more of smaller roads and is few kms shorter. maybe that is this annual pilgrimage route.
fatma, how long did you need from bagneres to lourdes? I found different kms and different hours on every page I checked.

can I assume there is a drinkable fountain of some sort in pretty much every village the route goes through? I drink a lot and that's very important to me.

tnaks again for all the info!


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@falcon : the IGN maps (1:100.000) are indeed great - but sometimes, I would have preferred a smaler scale with more details... Btw, the blue series still exists - http://loisirs.ign.fr/11/cartes/randonnee-france.htm (scale : 1:25 000)

@caminka : Maps or not : all depend where you start and where you stop and which alternatives you choose.... Or if you decide to follow the waymarked GR-route (through mud and everything)

Bagnères - Lourdes: it was a long day about 8h and 32 kms, I would say, mixing minor roads and GR. (Later, I met some young pilgrims who had done the whole GR and it was far more than 40 km under "hard" conditions sometimes...). The pilgrims' way should be less than 30 and a bit less 'climbing'...

As to the fountains : I remember some, but not systematically. But I did not look out for fountains neither. If needed, you can always ask in a village to get some water, I'd say.
Hello Fatma!
Thank you for your notes of YOUR way du Piémont!
I am preparing MY way :wink: to Santiago and my intention is to go from my house in Heilbronn, Germany, via Stuttgart - Freiburg - Belfort - Cluny - Le Puy-en-Velay - Saint Gilles (over the Regordane Way) - Béziers - Narbonne - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port - Camino Frances in June - Oct. 2012.
The part, which was least definite, was the Voie du Piémont or GR78. Particularly because there are some breaks in the directions.
I read your notes and the details of your wayfinding and -decisions with increasing interest! I will buy the 4 maps (1:100.000) when I will stay in Béziers because I guess I prefer too the mix between GR78 and a shorter/easier way on small roads.
Buen camino


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camiño Portugués 2012

Read your notes on walking __Narbonne-Plage to Puente la Reina . Very interesting,____and would love to see more of the images.

In your researches did you come come across any francophone camino forums equivalent to this wide-ranging Forum, that branches-off into historical or philosophical discussions ? My wife is French, from Normandy, and has tracked down francophone forums that deal exclusively with technical issues ie suitability of backpacks and boots and such like, but nothing more wide-ranging. Advice would be appreciated.

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C The Piémont Route 8
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