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Normand tracks / map

carte Chemins normands

The CHARTRES ROUTE

the Way of Chartres until Domfront on Google Map
the Way of Chartres from Domfront to The Mont on Google Map

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This road links the two almost mythical sanctuaries of the medieval world, both masterpieces of architecture and UNESCO sites. The journey follows the route of the pilgrims of past centuries across the Beauce and Normandy.
Chartres, an important centre for the cult of the Virgin Mary attracted pilgrims arriving to venerate there the statue of the Virgin and Child and a holy relic called ‘the Virgin’s mantle’. The inhabitants of Chartres and the Beauce, of all social levels, were for their part faithful followers of St Michael, as contemporary texts describe their pilgrimages to the Mount from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. After Nogent-le-Rotrou, capital of the counts of the Perche, they would choose a path through either Le Mans or via Alençon. The latter route has been chosen by the association for the Mount St Michel path. It follows the medieval frontier of the Duchy of Normandy, lined with a series of fortresses held in the eleventh and twelfth centuries by the powerful Bellême family, vassals of the Dukes of Normandy.
The itinerary between Chartres and Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre (on the boundary of the Orne) is described in a series of leaflets published by the Association and its partners in the Eure-et-Loir (5 euros each +pp). For more details on this guide...

The itinerary between St Hilaire-sur-Erre and Mont St Michel is described in the guide published by the Association, no longer available but to be updated and reissued in 2021.
While awaiting the new edition, the Paris to Mont St Michel topoguide to the GR 22 can be used for the section on Bellême to Mortain (via Alençon, Carrouges, Bagnoles and Domfront) pp94-127, with the possibility of continuing via the GR22 and Saint-Michel-de-Monjoie to rejoin the Route from Rouen or taking the green lane starting from Mortain for the Mount – this itinerary is marked by the association as an historic route.


PLACES AND LANDSCAPES
After crossing the cultivated plains of the Beauce stretching to the horizon, the path threads its way through the green hills of the Perche as far as the great forests south of the Orne (Bellême, Ecouves, Andaines, Perseigne) which it crosses from one side to the other via Alençon, Carrouges, and Bagnoles-de-l’Orne. The itinerary winds through the bocage of Domfront before entering the area around Mortain from where we catch a glimpse of the Mount.
Alternating plains and hills, rural farmland and forests, you will be ravished by this typical and picturesque landscape.

STAGES

From Chartres to Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre, near Nogent-le-Rotrou :

- Chartres / Fontenay-sur-Eure (16 km)

- Fontenay-sur-Eure / Illiers-Combray (24 km)

- Illiers-Combray / Thiron-Gardais (27 km)

- Thiron-Gardais / Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre (29 km)
96 km From Chartres to Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre

From Chartres to Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre (nerar Nogent-le-Rotrou), there is a guidebook , published by the Associationr (5 € + post) guide book
ordering


From Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre to the Mont-Saint-Michel :

- Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre / Bellême (26,5 km)

- Bellême / Aillières-Beauvoir (25 km)

- Aillières-Beauvoir / Alençon (27,5 km)

- Alençon / Saint-Nicolas-des-Bois (14 km)

- Saint-Nicolas-des-Bois / Carrouges (24 km)

- Carrouges / Bagnoles-de-l’Orne (28,5 km)

- Bagnoles-de-l’Orne / Domfront (18,5 km)

- Domfront / Lonlay-l’Abbaye (23 km)

- Lonlay-l’Abbaye / Mortain (28,5 km)

- Mortain / Isigny-le-Buat (23 km)

- Isigny-le-Buat / Bas-Courtils (25 km)

- Bas-Courtils / Le Mont-Saint-Michel (9 km)
275 km (12 stages) between Saint-Hilaire-sur-Erre and Le Mont

Total Chartres / Le Mont : 370 km – 17 stages


DIFFICULTIES
Some stages are rather long
Many paths are wet or rough; walking boots, stick and physical fitness essential!
Accommodation is very limited in this sparsely-populated area but Bed and Breakfast or walkers’ hostels are usually available.





GPX FILES FOR GPS

Chartres Fontenay
Fontenay Illiers-C
Illiers -C Thiron-G
Thiron-G - St Hilaire sur Erre
St Hilaire - Bellême
Bellême - Aillières
Aillières - Alençon
Alençon - St Nicolas des Bois
St Nicolas - Carrouges
Carrouges - Bagnoles
Bagnoles-Domfront
Domfront-Lonlay
Lonlay-Mortain
Mortain-Isigny-le-Buat
Isigny-le-Buat-Courtils
Courtils-Le Mont

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