According to the Codex Calixtinus, pilgrims should at least visit these three saints on their journey to Santiago: Mary Magdalene (Vézelay), Leonardus (of Noblat) and Frontus (Périgueux).
The Codex also refers to Leonard as: ‘Sanctum Leonardum Lemovicensem’ (Saint Leonard of Limousin). Hence the Latin name of this pilgrim route: Via Lemovicensis.
The route covers a wide variety of landscape and passes many historical sites and monuments..
In December 1998, the Vézelay Route 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 (in French: "Voie de Vézelay") is approximately 900 km long.
From Vézelay there are two main routes: via Nevers and via Bourges. These come together after almost 300 km in the village of Gargilesse.
Both ways offer wonderful opportunities to walk through calm and peaceful nature and at the same time explore a remarkable cultural heritage.
- from Nevers there is an abbreviation via Augy-sur-Aubois to Ainay-le-Château (see map: 1),
- from Périgueux there is a variant via Bergerac to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (see map: 3).
Since 2011, there are new agreements about the marking of pilgrim routes through France, by a yellow shell on a blue background and by a double marking in the same colors. (The shell does not indicate any direction; the 'point' must always be on the left). All 'old' markings have been or will gradually be replaced.
Please note: in Pierre-Perthuis, 8 km after Vézelay, on the variant via Nevers, two routes to Santiago (and several other walking trails) intersect, both marked yellow-blue. To help you follow 'our' route, small yellow stickers have been added to the markers indicating ' Voie historique de Vézelay' (see opposite; see also this map (PDF)).
More information: waymarking Vézelay Route (PDF)
- on our Tracks & guides page you will find: a digital map, including the facilities, for the entire Vézelay Route. You can download the corresponding files. There you will also find guides to this route.
- on our Confraternities page you will find: additional regional information (including historical information) as well as information about the preparation of your journey, the pilgrim passport, etc.
- the website of the Confraternity of Saint James UK.
- the website of the American Pilgrims on the Camino.