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HomeThe tracks  > Norman tracks / map > The PARIS ROUTE

Itinéraire culturel du Conseil de l´Europe
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Norman tracks / map



The capital of France, and the largest city of medieval Europe, Paris has seen the passage of countless pilgrims on their way to Mont St Michel. They usually took the road which started at the bridge at St Cloud, and until Dreux they took the same route as the pilgrims bound for Saint-Meen in the diocese of Rennes. This hilly* itinerary crosses the whole of Normandy and was in use throughout the middle ages and into the modern era, so it has been possible to reconstitute its path with confidence using documents of the 15th and 16th centuries. After Dreux it passes through Verneuil-sur-Avre, Echauffour, Exmes, Argentan, Ecouche, Pain-d’Avaine (the commune of Isigny le Buat) and Ducey. Once at Bas-Courtils, overlooking the bay of Mont St Michel, there are only a few miles of seashore before reaching the shrine of the Archangel.
The Pilgrimage route from Paris to Mont St Michel was published in 2012 in the TopoGuide for the GR 22 (pp30-75) Mont-St-Michel, Paris-Alencon, Mont –St- Michel. After Verneuil the GR 22 goes south towards the Perche and no longer follows the Mount route.
The historic route starting at Verneuil-sur-Avre is published in the same Topoguide as the ‘northern option’ published on pp148-189 for the stages at Verneuil to Domfront and pp 119-127 for the Domfront-Mortain section.
Note that on leaving Mortain, the GR22 rises to the north before joining the route from Rouen to Saint-Michel-de-Montjoie, while the marked route for Mont St Michel follows the ‘green lane’ via Isigny-le-Buat and Ducy.

After leaving Paris the route crosses the Yvelines through the celebrated Forest of Rambouillet and goes round to the north of Dreux. It then leaves L’Eure-et-Loir, going on into the Perche with its many stud farms, the Argentan plain, the ‘bocage’ with its leafy hedges, then the area around Domfront with deep valleys before finally arriving at Mortain, from where at last we can glimpse the Mount itself.

From Paris to Verneuil-sur-Avre :
- Paris / Chaville : GR 2

- Chaville / Petit-Jouy-les-Loges :GR 22

- Les Loges-en-Josas / Villiers : GR 11

- Villiers / Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines : GR 1

- Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines / Verneuil-sur-Avre : GR 22

From Verneuil-sur-Avre until Mont-Saint-Michel:
- Verneuil-sur-Avre / L’Aigle (30 km)

- L’Aigle / Saint-Evroult-Notre-Dame-du-Bois (16,5 km)

- Saint-Evroult-Notre-Dame-du-Bois / Gacé (24 km)

- Gacé / Le Bourg-Saint-Léonard (22 km)

- Le Bourg-Saint-Léonard / Argentan (14,5 km)

- Argentan / Ecouché (20 km )

- Ecouché / Putanges-Pont-Ecrépin (16 km)

- Putanges-Pont-Ecrépin / Briouze (21,3 km)

- Briouze / La Ferrière-aux-Etangs (18,8 km)

- La Ferrière-aux-Etangs / Domfront (21,5 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)

22 stages et 522 km


 Many paths are very wet and others are rough and steep; good climbing boots, a stick or staff, and physical fitness are essential!
 Accommodation is limited in parts of the Orne which is heavily forested with deep countryside.
 Some stages are relatively long and could be broken by more stops.
 The beginning of the green lane starting at Mortain may seem rather dull to begin with.

For more informations on this guidebook
It contains accounts by pilgrims of their journey and numerous illustrations showing the historic sites you will discover. Pratical index cards showing maps of 1 : 50000.


GPX files for GPS

Gacé-Bourg St Léonard
Bourg St Léonard-Argentan
Argentan Ecouché
Ecouché Putanges
Putanges Briouze
Briouze La Ferrière
La Ferrière Domfront
Courtils-Le Mont

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