The route of the Chemin de Saint-Martin

Nature escape

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All year round
Walks in the Vienne ©Thomas JELINEK - Agence Zebrelle

If there is a hike to do in the Vienne, it is indeed the one that will take you from the gates of Touraine to the first abbey in the West, namely The Abbey of Saint-Martin in Ligugé, located south of Poitiers.

The Chemin de Ligugé, the first Western Abbey

Two routes to satisfy your hiking thirst!

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Route No. 1: 170 km between Candes Saint-Martin (37) and Ligugé (86)

This walking route is labeled “Cultural itinerary of the Council of Europe” to follow in the footsteps of one of the most illustrious people the world has ever known. Vienne : Saint Martin, founder in Ligugé (near Poitiers) of the first abbey of the West in 361.

During your journey, you will discover, through game-filled forests, typical villages and refreshing rivers, the heritage linked to episodes in the history of Saint Martin. In addition to the Ligugé Abbey founded by Saint Martin, you will discover Saint Hilaire church in Poitiers who trained Saint Martin in religious life and 5 other small churches Saint Martin, the famous Fontevraud Abbey, a historic landmark.

Through the Haut Poitou vineyard, the Roman roads and part of the green way which connects Monts sur Guesnes to Chatellerault, you will be oriented thanks to very specific markings.
indeed follow terminals directional signs in white stone with the cardinal points and the initials D St M meaning Doyenné Saint Martin.

Milestone on the way to Saint-Martin©CCPL

Along the way you will find room and board thanks to the presence of catering points, houses et guest rooms, hotels et campings. A few stations also line the route and will allow you to easily access the route or return home.

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Route No. 2: 127 km between Monts-sur-Guesnes (86) and Candes Saint-Martin (37)

This variant (a little shorter – 127 km) which will take you from Monts-sur-Guesnes in Candes-Saint-Martin following the famous towns of Chinon and Fontevraud. And, it is in the abbey of the latter that rests Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and England, illustrious character of Poitou.

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