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Pilgrimage routes to Compostela

Pilgrimage routes to Compostela and Mont-Saint-Michel through Western France.

Pilgrimage routes to Mont-Saint-Michel is an association which since its foundation in 1998 participates actively in creating a network of cultural exchanges on an European scale. Today’s pilgrims are enabled by the work of the association to travel, like their predecessors, from one sanctuary to another, along these long distance routes, many of which are shared or overlap.
Mont Saint Michel was the objective of the ‘Michelots’, the pilgrims named after St Michael their patron as well as the normal departure point for the ‘Jacquets’, the pilgrims named after St James setting out for Saintiago di Compostella, one of the major European pilgrimage sites and centre of a huge convergence of routes from all over Europe. The Archangel and the Apostle, the Channel and the Atlantic are thus linked and celebrated today as yesterday and the Roads to Santiago are celebrated as World Heritage Site 868.
You can access detailed information about these sites in the ‘Atlantic Arc’ – from Normandy to the Basque country, from Brittany to the Loire- and the different associations that manage and promote these routes in the ‘Atlantic Arc’ :http://portail.arc.atlantic.free.fr
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The shared routes between Compostella and the Mount.
There are today three main itineraries linking the two great pilgrimage sites. All three join up at Tours on the Loire and the main route to Compostella which is marked for both directions and described in most guide books. The signposts for the Compostella pilgrims going south are marked with the yellow cockle shell which is the badge of St James, while the sky blue marking points northwards towards Mont St Michel. These signposts have been put in place by the ‘Jacquet’ associations of Brittany, Anjou, Maine and the Touraine.


THE CITIES ROUTE OR THE WESTERN PATH
The Cities Route from Clisson to Mont St Michel,
via Nantes, Rennes and Pontorson is very popular today: it takes in historic monuments and fine countryside.
It is marked with the Association’s logo and you can get a guide from www.lulu.com/shop/association-bretonne-amis-de-saint jacques/guide-du-chemin-du-mont-saint-michel/paperback/product-24487709.htm
Or for more information about the itinerary:
www.compostelle-bretagne.fr/index.php/fr/guides-et-chemins-bretons-fr/chemin-vers-le-mont-saint-michel-fr/

From Mont St Michel to Clisson and Saint-Hilaire-la Palud (Vendée) to Compostella
Starting from the Mount towards Compostella, this path crosses Normandy, Brittany and the Vendée via Pontorson, Rennes, Nantes, Clisson. Montaigu and Surgères before reaching Saint-Jean-d’Angely on the Tours road.
The itinerary is described as far as the Vendée in the guides edited by the Breton association, Friends of St James (17euros +p&p,) 122 pp ed 2018., available from
www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/association-st-jacques-compostelle-bretagne/guide-de-la-voie-des-capitales/paperback/product-24487719.html
for more information on this itinerary:
www.compostelle-bretagne.fr/index.php/fr/guides-et-chemins-bretons-fr/voie-des-capitales-fr#guide.

THE PLANTAGENT ROUTE
From Angers to Mont St Michel.

This route starts from Anjou and is described in the guide Le Chemin du Mont St Michel – La Voie des Plantagenêts published by Rando-Editions in 2008 and available (2020) from Editions Glénat (ISBN 978-2-84182-386-4) which can be ordered from www.glenat.com/les-chenins-dhistoire/le-chemin-du-mont-st-michel-voie-des-plantagenete-9782841823864. This guide describes the historic sites and monuments from Angers to the Mount and from the Mount to Puy-Notre-Dame (south of the Maine-et-Loire);it is the only available guide for the section going the direction of the Mount. Those wishing to start from Aulnay-de-Saintonge via Angers towards the Mount, the section in the Deux-Sèvres follows the route (grande randonée) GR36 which is signed in both directions.
For more information follow the Breton association site –
www.compostelle-bretagne.fr/index.php/fr/guides-et-chemins-brteons-fr/voie-des-capitales-fr.#guide et le site de l’Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques en Anjou - http://compostelle-anjou.fr/la-voie-des-plantagenet

From the Mount to Aulnay-de-Saintonge towards Compostella
This itinerary crosses Brittany and the Anjou, via Saint-James, Fougères, Vitré La Guerche-de-Bretagne, Pouancé, Segré, le Lion- d’Angers, Angers, Doué-la-Fontaine, le Puy-Notre-Dame, Thouars, Niort and Parthenay before joining the road from Tours to Aulnay de Saintonge.
This itinerary in 23 stages is described in the guide produced by the Breton Friends of St James (18euros+p&p, 122 p, 2018 ed.) available from www.lulu.com/shop/http://www. Lulu.com/shop/association-bretonne-amis-de-saint-jacques/guide-de-la-voie-des-plantagen%C3%AAts/paperback/product-24487705.html CHECK**
For more information on this route:
http://compostelle-anjou.fr/la-voie-des-plantagenets-fr

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