The Vézelay Route to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is one of the four historic routes through France towards Santiago de Compostela, as described in the Codex Calixtinus, the oldest pilgrim guide (12th century).
The Vézelay Route ((in French: ‘Voie de Vézelay’) covers a wide variety of landscape and passes many historical sites and monuments. In December 1998, it was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the pilgrim routes through France to Santiago de Compostela.
The Vézelay Route is a relatively quiet route, with simple but sufficient facilities, small-scale accommodation (hostels managed by Confraternities of Saint James, municipalities, religious institutions and private persons), and home hospitality (‘by pilgrims for pilgrims’).
The Vézelay Route is approximately 900 km long.
From Vézelay there are two main variants: via Nevers and via Bourges. These come together after almost 300 km in the village of Gargilesse.
If you like culture, the variant via Bourges may be more interesting (in particular: Charité-sur-Loire and Bourges).
If you like nature, you might prefer the Nevers variant, which is more undulating and varied.
The variant via Nevers is 30 km longer than that via Bourges. You can halve this difference if, leaving Nevers, you choose the shortcut via Augy-sur-Aubois to Ainay-le-Château.
From Périgueux there is a variant via Bergerac to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (see map: 3)
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