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

Advertisement


Buy any book, get free camino shell

Guide book?

Camino(s) past & future
Haarlem (Netherlands) - Santiago august 2018
#1
I'm going to walk from Brussel-Paris-SJPP. I was wondering if somebody has done this before and want to share the experience with me. I have a list of the etappes, but I have no idea if there is a route with yellow arrows or if I can just walk and see where I end up.
- Can I just go or do I need a guide book? If yes, can you advice me about a good guide book:)
- Are there albergues in France as well or is it just Spain?

Thank you!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#3
For walking from Brussels to Paris see this earlier forum thread with many helpful links and tips--https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/brussels-to-tours-who-did-it-een-nederlander-een-belg.35582/

Here is much info in French including interactive maps and lists of etapes or stops regarding the Paris to SJPdP routes .
https://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/3/la-voie-de-tours

Browsing these might be a great way to start planning your journey.

Check these useful forum topics for guides to the Tours route
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/the-tours-route.47/

and for the Vezelay route
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/the-vézelay-route.48/

Forum member pudgypilgrim has studied/walked these routes. Do check her relevant posts for many invaluable comments/tips.

The Confraternity of Saint James
has published in English a guide for the Tours route.
https://www.csj.org.uk/product/pilgrim-guide-via-lemovicensis/

Perhaps you will find this 2013 blog in English by Carolus Peregrinator on the Chemin de Tours also helpful.

Happy planning, good luck and Bon chemin!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Haarlem (Netherlands) - Santiago august 2018
#5
https://www.amazon.fr/Sentier-Saint...id=1529879532&sr=8-4&keywords=chemin+de+tours

The yellow arrows start in Spain. In France the GR routes, all of them, are marked with red and white bars and arrows. At intersections you may need to use ingenuity!

The accommodations are called gites d'etape. There are not enough of them, so you also will need to use chambres d'hote and hotels on occasion.

Bon chemin.
Is the quide okay to use if you don't speak French? Thank you!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#6
We found we had to make our own route from Paris to Tours. After that it was easy to follow the GR.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Haarlem (Netherlands) - Santiago august 2018
#7
We found we had to make our own route from Paris to Tours. After that it was easy to follow the GR.
May I ask how you did it with accommodation? I'm wondering if there are any cheaper accommodation on the way rather than just hotels :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#8
@PaulineRoozen we used gites d'etape (walkers hostels) and chambre d'hotes (bed and breakfasts in private homes) and occasionally hotels - hotels are usually only in larger towns. To find them we used guide books and online websites. Don't rely on booking.com or similar agencies - they are likely to put you in accommodation that is five minutes by car - or 2 hours of walking!

I'm sure others have more up to date information than me, it is six years since we walked this route.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#9
Is the guide okay to use if you don't speak French?
You are choosing a tough route if you do not have any skills in French. There are no guidebooks in English, so you are left with some books in French from which to choose. I like the FFRP series, but they are written for the serious French wanderer. Information on accommodations is self-explanatory if you know the basic terms. The directions for twists and turns need a bit more French understanding. For example, the terms for "right" and "straight ahead" are pretty close -- droite and tout droit. Obviously, it is important that you pick the right one, or you are headed off to the hinterlands.

The explanations of where you are, what you are seeing, and the history require a good understanding of French.

Honestly, if you are completely flummoxed by French, only the route from Le Puy is suitable. You can always find a translator among the French, Belgian, German, and English pilgrims on it when you are desperate. If you are not on that route, you will never engage in a conversation in English, will find that no one understands even what you think is very simple English, and frustration will become your constant companion. Everywhere in France you need to call ahead to see if a place is open or the proprietors have decided to take a few days away. Your chosen route has low traffic, and hosts do not sit around waiting for a pilgrim that they do not know is coming. So, you need to be able to make a phone call, though on the Le Puy route, the host will do it for you. Bonne chance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#10
Here in France there is a often a Chain of Local ( donativo )
Hospitality offered for passing pilgrims. See more in French here --http://www.randonneurs-pelerins.com/joomla1.7/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=533
Those who offer such hospitality do so for the pleasure of meeting/greeting pilgrims as well as helping them find their way.

For example my husband and I live in a small Champagne village, facing the Marne river.
We have a b & b but also provide simple family hosting for passing pilgrims. My first pilgrim shell hangs at our door marking the path.

Check to see if such a Chain of Local Hospitality/ l'Accueil pèlerins à domicile exists where you might wish to travel in France.

Good luck and Bon chemin!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Haarlem (Netherlands) - Santiago august 2018
#11
You are choosing a tough route if you do not have any skills in French. There are no guidebooks in English, so you are left with some books in French from which to choose. I like the FFRP series, but they are written for the serious French wanderer. Information on accommodations is self-explanatory if you know the basic terms. The directions for twists and turns need a bit more French understanding. For example, the terms for "right" and "straight ahead" are pretty close -- droite and tout droit. Obviously, it is important that you pick the right one, or you are headed off to the hinterlands.

The explanations of where you are, what you are seeing, and the history require a good understanding of French.

Honestly, if you are completely flummoxed by French, only the route from Le Puy is suitable. You can always find a translator among the French, Belgian, German, and English pilgrims on it when you are desperate. If you are not on that route, you will never engage in a conversation in English, will find that no one understands even what you think is very simple English, and frustration will become your constant companion. Everywhere in France you need to call ahead to see if a place is open or the proprietors have decided to take a few days away. Your chosen route has low traffic, and hosts do not sit around waiting for a pilgrim that they do not know is coming. So, you need to be able to make a phone call, though on the Le Puy route, the host will do it for you. Bonne chance.
You are choosing a tough route if you do not have any skills in French. There are no guidebooks in English, so you are left with some books in French from which to choose. I like the FFRP series, but they are written for the serious French wanderer. Information on accommodations is self-explanatory if you know the basic terms. The directions for twists and turns need a bit more French understanding. For example, the terms for "right" and "straight ahead" are pretty close -- droite and tout droit. Obviously, it is important that you pick the right one, or you are headed off to the hinterlands.

The explanations of where you are, what you are seeing, and the history require a good understanding of French.

Honestly, if you are completely flummoxed by French, only the route from Le Puy is suitable. You can always find a translator among the French, Belgian, German, and English pilgrims on it when you are desperate. If you are not on that route, you will never engage in a conversation in English, will find that no one understands even what you think is very simple English, and frustration will become your constant companion. Everywhere in France you need to call ahead to see if a place is open or the proprietors have decided to take a few days away. Your chosen route has low traffic, and hosts do not sit around waiting for a pilgrim that they do not know is coming. So, you need to be able to make a phone call, though on the Le Puy route, the host will do it for you. Bonne chance.

Thank you for your honest opinion! It makes me a bit nervous but that means I have to be ready for a big challenge! Unfortunate Le puy route is to far out of my route there I go from Antwerp-Paris-SJPP. I have a month to work on my French, haha. Thanks again!
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#12
Actually there is some marking from Paris to Tours, depending on which département you're in. If you search for compostelle<number of departement> you will find the website for the local pilgrims' associations, which usually have lists of accommodations. So "compostelle17" will bring up a link to the Charente-Maritime amis. Not all are kept up to date, unfortunately. I can tell you that Cher-et-Loir, for instance, still lists several places that were already closed back in 2015 when I was walking.

The advice I got from the people with whom I stayed was to ask your hosts about the next place to stop and let them call for you, or if you need, just contact the local parish if there doesn't seem to be anything available in the village you're heading for. I did meet a pilgrim from Antwerp in Chartres cathedral.

There is a LePere guide in French for this route, and I believe there's a Dutch or Flemish guide as well, but I've never seen that. Having seen and used LePere, I would opt for the other one if you can find it, but LePere was moderately helpful for places to stay, and it doesn't take a lot of French for that. In Paris, I would definitely get in touch with Compostelle2000:
http://www.compostelle2000.org
who should be able to help you with further contacts and info about the best routes out of Paris.

I envy you--such an adventure!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Haarlem (Netherlands) - Santiago august 2018
#13
Actually there is some marking from Paris to Tours, depending on which département you're in. If you search for compostelle<number of departement> you will find the website for the local pilgrims' associations, which usually have lists of accommodations. So "compostelle17" will bring up a link to the Charente-Maritime amis. Not all are kept up to date, unfortunately. I can tell you that Cher-et-Loir, for instance, still lists several places that were already closed back in 2015 when I was walking.

The advice I got from the people with whom I stayed was to ask your hosts about the next place to stop and let them call for you, or if you need, just contact the local parish if there doesn't seem to be anything available in the village you're heading for. I did meet a pilgrim from Antwerp in Chartres cathedral.

There is a LePere guide in French for this route, and I believe there's a Dutch or Flemish guide as well, but I've never seen that. Having seen and used LePere, I would opt for the other one if you can find it, but LePere was moderately helpful for places to stay, and it doesn't take a lot of French for that. In Paris, I would definitely get in touch with Compostelle2000:
http://www.compostelle2000.org
who should be able to help you with further contacts and info about the best routes out of Paris.

I envy you--such an adventure!
Thank you for your warm and supporting message! I send them an email and hopefully I get in contact with them!
Do you think that I can just walk into a church/toerisme centre in a town and ask for a place to stay? That is very good advice, thank you!
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#14
Well, in that area it seems to vary. I walked the Chartres variant, which is probably the least-walked camino in France, and I found that the tourist offices weren't very conversant with the difference between the walking route and the cycling route. Paris-Tours is much more popular with cyclists than walkers, but the cycling route is much longer and more roundabout in many places. Also, the tourism offices aren't open much in a lot of the towns in that area (Wednesdays from 2-4 pm only, for instance), so you can't rely on there being anyone there to ask. I would ask in the Mairie if you get to a town and need help--they seem to know all about everything that goes in the town.

But mostly you really do need to book ahead, although in my experience people were unbelievably kind and accommodating if I was shoved onto them with no warning. But it's just more polite to try not to do that, if you can avoid it.

ETA Incidentally, there is a fancy glossy booklet available in the tourist offices for the chemin à velo as far as Tours. You don't want to walk that way, but there are listings of pilgrim accommodations and some of the towns are the same, so it's useful to have.
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Most read today


A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

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

Most replies

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 9 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 34 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 112 14.6%
  • May

    Votes: 188 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.6%
  • September

    Votes: 228 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top