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Vezelay route - Bergerac variant

hollinhead

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017)
Hi - this is my first post. I'm walking the Vezelay route heading for Perigueux where I'll be meeting my daughter who will join me for a few days. Would anyone recommend the variant via Bergerac over the traditional st Foy route? It seems to have longer gaps between places to stay and fewer of them? Thanks.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Welcome to the forum @hollinhead and I hope you have a wonderful chemin. The Vezelay route is one in France I have not walked, but it looks stunning. It is one of the routes less walked, but hopefully someone who is experienced will be able to answer your question soon.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Hello @hollinhead

I live between Perigueux and Bergerac and I get really confused about which paths are 'the' camino and which aren't. I get the feeling that there are a few varients and that maybe local folks have disputed and changed the route over the years? In the village next to ours at Bourrou there is a huge old convent… part of it no longer in use and in a bit of a state and part of it still working. We were told by the mayor a few years ago (who tried to sell it to us :eek:) that it once served as a resting place for pilgrims? But I don’t think it is on any of the modern routes?

Even the ‘current’ path from Perigueux has changed in the last few years. The first time I walked it from home, I joined the route between St Astier and Neuvic and walked to Ste Foy as part of my practice walks for my first CF. Recently I walked this section again with friends and the route was different going into Mussidan from St Astier. It seems to have merged with part of the new Voie Vert (green path) that joins Perigueux to Bordeaux.

(by the way you can now walk from Perigueux centre to St Astier along the river on the Voie Vert... it's generally a really pretty walk... this site is in French but you'll get the gist http://www.ccivs.fr/au-service-des-habitants/veloroute-voie-verte )

This website might also help with the two route options? http://www.compostelle-limousin-perigord.fr/voies.php?p=m1b

I can see Grignol chateau from my garden and this website http://walkinginfrance.info/pilgrimages/the-way-of-vezelay/perigueux-to-bergerac/ is by pilgrims who walked the variant you mentioned. On the paths around my home there are plenty of camino arrows but I’ve not walked this entire section… it’s on my list!

Also, there are a number of villages that will have small hotels/rooms above bars/restaurants… not specifically for pilgrims but there are options.

I’m not sure I have offered any clearer advice but hopefully pointed you to a few ideas…. Please feel free to get in touch for more info and if I can help I’ll happily do so!

p.s. St Astier has an excellent local market on a Thursday morning… maybe if you go that route you could arrive on a Wednesday evening and spend an hour or two in the market the next morning before heading off…It’s big, fills the old town and is full of local produce. We love spending an hour or two here when we can.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
Having walked the 'original' Vezelay route between Périgueux and Sainte-Foy-la-Grande instead of the Bergerac variant, I agree with LesBrass that there is more than one way south. Especially on the stretch between d'Anesse-et-Beaulieu to St-Astier.
There I could choose the path described in my guide or follow the Voie Vert along the river L'Isle through St-Astier and on to Mussidan. I choose the latter and had no regrets. After Mussidan it was back to the guide again because the Voie Vert continues to the west and the Vezelay route heads south.

2016-05-16 09.05.23.jpg
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
And as a side-note: if you keep walking after Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, try to stay at the Moulin de Piis just after La Réole. A watermill renovated by local craftsmen and a fantastic location to spend the night. Bring your own food and drinks, though.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
The Vezelay route in general is notorious for having long distances (by my standards) between lodging, so a variant that offers even longer gaps would drive me to research lodging carefully, and enlist the Tourism Offices and tonight's lodging host in ensuring a bed for the next two nights.
 

hollinhead

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017)
The Vezelay route in general is notorious for having long distances (by my standards) between lodging, so a variant that offers even longer gaps would drive me to research lodging carefully, and enlist the Tourism Offices and tonight's lodging host in ensuring a bed for the next two nights.
 

hollinhead

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017)
Thanks all who've replied so far. I'm trying to keep it simple - what's the best choice to make for someone (my daughter) who isn't already road hardened and who only has 3or 4 days to experience a bit of the Camino with her dad!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
Thanks all who've replied so far. I'm trying to keep it simple - what's the best choice to make for someone (my daughter) who isn't already road hardened and who only has 3or 4 days to experience a bit of the Camino with her dad!
When I was to walk with someone who is not yet road hardened, I'd choose for the variant with the most frequent accommodation (and shops, restaurants, cafes etc.).
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I would go the non-varient route. Having walked bits of both the path and markings are generally better on the 'main' route. Also, you can follow the voie vert out of perigueux it's a pretty and an easy walk out. St Astier is worth a stop as it is a lovely old town and several restaurants (Palombie opposite the church is very good) and there a few accommodation options. Likewise Mussidan will have options as it's a good size town. Inbetween there are several good size villages.

I hope you have a great trip! When are you planning to be in Perigueux? I only ask as this is a very popular tourist area and it's high season now in the Dordogne.
 

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