Saint James cycle route: on the way to Santiago de Compostela
You probably know this Chinese proverb: “the journey is far more important than the arrival”. The meaning of this proverb makes sense on the Saint James routes. This pilgrimage is the opportunity to meet people, admire the landscapes and reflect on one’s life… a must do as part of your trip in Touraine, which is located between Paris and Bordeaux.
Going to Santiago de Compostela by bike, via Tours
This 380 km long pilgrim path, which starts in Rambouillet (78) and goes to Châtellerault (86) via Tours, is widely used by cyclists in France, especially by our foreign neighbours from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The road is fairly flat which is greatly appreciated!
Looking back in the past, the pilgrimage to Tours used to be one of the most famous because of the relics of Saint Martin kept and cherished in the basilica in the centre of town. Saint Martin, evangelist from the Gaule country during the IVth century became popular because he shared his cloak with a poor man. This route bears the name of “Via Turonensis” (route of Tours).
The Via Turonensis, an ancient path, winds along the Brenne river, goes through the Vouvray vineyards and passes by Tours, the capital city (a pleasant place where you can enjoy the historical well preserved areas, the “guinguette” just footsteps away from the Loire and the new Contemporary Creation Centre Olivier Debré…). Biking south, you discover the fortress of Montbazon, the village of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine and the Vienne region.
Walking or biking ?
This route has recently been identified as a cycling path and so you can now choose whether you prefer walking or biking. Everyone will find the answer according to his wishes or personal objectives.
The advantages of cycling: it will take you faster and further (useful in case of a short journey), it is physically less tiring due to less walking and the bicycle can carry your luggage ; moreover, the cycling path is child friendly and a quicker way to reach your accommodation.
The advantages of walking: it allows you to experience the original pilgrimage; it encourages self-reflection; it makes it easier to meet people and it avoids of taking care of the bicycles when visiting a place.