One-hundred and thirty kilometres (81 miles) of walking from Martel, through some of France’s most glorious countryside—and six of its most beautiful villages—brings us to Rocamadour. Considered the second most important religious site in France (after Mont-Saint-Michel), Rocamadour attracts a steady stream of visitors. Let’s join them and explore this historic village. Not to be […]
Day 2: Donneville to Renneville (21.5 kilometres, 13.4 miles) Between Donneville and Renneville, the Midi Canal slices through fields of summer sunflowers—a line of plane trees providing a ribbon of shade and tranquillity among a riot of cheerful yellow blooms. There are few places to stop for lunch along the way unless you are prepared to […]
Recently joining the ranks of France’s most beautiful villages, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a delightful note on which to end a long-distance walk. I’ve enjoyed many unforgettable moments here—these are a few of my favourites 🙂 (Before you arrive, download a map from The Tourist Office website—available in French, English and Spanish—with several places of interest marked.) […]
Day 1: Toulouse to Donneville (23.4 kilometres, 14.6 miles) The Midi Canal is one of the most popular destinations for holiday-makers in France and on any day over the summer months, you’ll find hundreds of boats scattered along the 240-kilometre (150-mile) ribbon of water between Toulouse and the Mediterranean Sea. Almost as many people make […]
Not every walk in France is covered by a TopoGuide or Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. So, how do you work out the distances between villages and plan an itinerary (for example, Martel to Rocamadour and the southern part of the GR 34 along the coast of Brittany) when there is no guidebook? Walking directions on […]
If you’ve read the previous section on Planning an itinerary, you’ll know that my preferred guidebook for long-distance walking in France is the TopoGuide. But there are several other options and another popular choice among walkers I met was the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. Of course, we all look for different things in a guidebook […]
The Les Editions du Vieux Crayon website is in French. To purchase a Miam Miam Dodo guidebook— From Les Editions du Vieux Crayon home page click on TOUS NOS LIVRES to the right of the large banner photo. (The GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson guidebook can also be found by scrolling down past NOS BEST-SELLERS […]
The FFRandonnée website is in French and while it is very easy to use, finding your way around the first time can be tricky. To purchase a TopoGuide— (1) From the FFRandonnée home page (after you’re done exploring their website), click on BOUTIQUE and select CATALOGUE DES TOPO-GUIDES ® (2) If you know which […]
Day 5: Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac (14 kilometres, 8.8 miles) The last day of walking along this section of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques is an easy stroll of 14 kilometres (8.8 miles) and will have you arriving in Aumont-Aubrac in time for lunch. There’s plenty of time to explore Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole before you leave if you didn’t […]
From Cahors to Eauze, the GR 65 Chemin de Saint-Jacques meanders through 190 kilometres (120 miles) of mostly gentle terrain. On this walk, you will climb a few gorges and follow some shady paths through the forest, but for much of the way you’ll find yourself surrounded by rolling hills and a patchwork of cultivated […]
Audierne marks the end of this section of the GR 34. Since leaving Camaret-sur-Mer ten days ago, you’ll have walked 160 kilometres (100 miles) along some of the most glorious coastline France has to offer. Another 300-odd kilometres (190 miles) of walking will take you as far as Lorient, but perhaps that’s a journey for […]
The lighthouse at Audierne marks the entrance to the port and the final few hundred metres of this walk. What’s up ahead? Where have we been? Which long-distance walk follows this section of the GR 34? The Coast of Brittany from Camaret-sur-Mer to Audierne
Day 4: Le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (22.5 kilometres, 14.1 miles) The fourth day of walking from le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole offers something for everyone—gentle hills (there are no strenuous climbs), wide green fields and shady paths through the forest. There are no cafés along today’s walk unless you detour a kilometre or so off the […]
…along the GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson Now that I’ve planned my ideal itinerary along the Chemin de Stevenson and I know where I’d like to stay each night, I like to book my accommodation. I know many of you are rolling your eyes about now, but I’ve seen many walkers stranded when an unexpected […]
Day 3: Monistrol-d’Allier to Le Falzet (22 kilometres, 13.8 miles) Today’s walk starts with another strenuous climb—up and out of the gorge. The walking may be tough but the views are spectacular and offer a welcome excuse to stop for a few minutes. Half an hour after climbing out of Monistrol-d’Allier, the GR 65 passed […]
Instead of walking all the way to Audierne, I stopped two kilometres (1.2 miles) short in Trescadec, in a fabulous hotel overlooking the beach. I was quite reluctant to move on! What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
…along the GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson After spending some time choosing a walk and deciding on the GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson, my next step is to plan an itinerary, working out how long it will take and where I’ll stop each night. Regardless of whether you prefer to book accommodation well in advance, […]
…along the GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson Are you dreaming of a long-distance walk through the glorious countryside of rural France…visiting picturesque villages, ancient châteaux, tiny chapels…? It sounds amazing…but you’re not sure how to start? This September (2016), I followed the GR 70 Chemin de Stevenson, a walk first taken by author Robert Louis […]
From Pointe de Lervily, Audierne is just four kilometres (2.5 miles) further along—barely visible through the mist and the gloom. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Until last year, I thought blisters were a necessary and unavoidable evil. As someone who often walks 15 – 20 kilometres (10 – 12 miles) each day on a regular holiday, I’ve always suffered from tiny water blisters on the balls of my feet. Each night, I’d slice them open, release the liquid and cover […]
Lighthouse at Pointe de Lervily What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Swathes of pink wildflowers dancing in the breeze at Trez Goarem. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Although the path here at Le Loc’h is only four or five metres above the beach, there were many sections along the coast where the track followed the edge of the cliff quite closely. I never felt in any danger of falling, but if you don’t have a head for heights, this may not be […]
I waited here at Port de Feunteun Aod for smugglers to emerge from the caves—but it was a quiet day for pirates that day. In the 1970s, this site was earmarked for the construction of a nuclear power station. Thankfully, public outcry prevailed and it is still a popular fishing spot. What’s up ahead? Where […]
Pointe du Raz—the most westerly point of mainland France. This was one of the first areas to be awarded Grand Site de France status, and the classification provides protection to 2,000 hectares of land around Pointe du Raz, extending north to Pointe du Van. Visitors arriving by car pay a small parking fee to contribute […]
Views of Pointe du Raz from Baie des Trépassés—enticingly close but still an hour’s walk away! What’s up ahead? Where have we been? Which long-distance walk follows this section of the GR 34? The Coast of Brittany from Camaret-sur-Mer to Audierne
The rocky coastline between Pointe du Van and Pointe du Raz has proven to be the undoing of many ships over the last few centuries, earning this gentle sweep of beach the name Baie des Trépassés (or Bay of the Dead). What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Inside the small stone wall surrounding the chapel of Saint-They, the cross which normally adorns the stone calvaire has been replaced with sixteenth-century statues of Saint-Jacques and the Virgin Mary, indicating that this may once have been a stop on an ancient pilgrims’ trail towards the Compostella in Spain. Legend has it that the bell […]
Perched on the edge of the cliff, just south of Pointe du Van, is a small chapel dedicated to Saint-They—a monk who lived in the sixth century and studied at the abbey in nearby Landévennec. This church, which was built in the seventeenth century over the remains of an earlier chapel, is a classified historical […]
Approaching Pointe du Castelmeur. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
View towards Pointe de Castelmeur from Pointe de Brézellec. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Boats moored in Baie de Brézellec. It has me completely stumped how you would get from the shore into the boat! What’s up ahead? Where have we been? Which long-distance walk follows this section of the GR 34? The Coast of Brittany from Camaret-sur-Mer to Audierne
The hamlet of Trouérennec near Pointe de Penharn. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
At Grand Crom, a program to re-establish the grasses and groundcover seems to be working well! What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Heading west towards Pointe de Luguénez and we’ve found the perfect spot for a picnic lunch. Don’t you just want to lie down in that grass? If only there was a little more sunshine to soak up! What’s up ahead? Where have we been? Which long-distance walk follows this section of the GR 34? The […]
It’s not hard to imagine smugglers sheltering in these tiny coves around Pointe de Kastel Koz. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
House overlooking Pointe du Millier—sheltered from the worst of the ocean winds and away from the prying eyes on passing walkers 🙂 What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
There are several SOS points along this section of the coast where it is possible to get back to the main road from the GR 34 path. I’m sure their main purpose is safety and rescue access but it also makes this area easy perfect for day walks if you’ve arrived by car or bicycle. […]
An hour or so after leaving Douarnenez, near the hamlet of Keriéré, and it’s rocky coastline in all directions! What’s up ahead? Where have we been?
Back street in Douarnenez. What’s up ahead? Where have we been?