american pilgrims  
 
La Voie Littorale

General Description: La Voie Littorale (or La Voie de Soulac or la Ruta de la Costa) closely parallels the west coast of southwestern France. ~350 km starting at the Pointe de Grave at the mouth of the Gironde then leading down the coast through or very near to numerous small villages to Irun on the French-Spanish border where it joins the Spanish northern routes.

Waymarking: The route is well marked with posts painted yellow on the top or with a yellow arrow. On sections that coincide with GR8, the red and white flashes of the French Grande Randonnée routes also appear.

Terrain: Closely paralleling the French coast as it does, the route is extremely flat.

When to go: This route can be accomplished any time of the year but the vacation times of July and August will place heavy pressure on accommodations. Climate table for La Rochelle.

Accommodation: There are no pilgrim-specific albergues but there are small hotels and chambres d'hôte in all villages. Accommodation might be problematical in high tourist season. Pre-booking is possible and is advised for hotels and chambres d'hôte.

Guidebooks: Confraternity of Saint James: The Voie Littorale (2010) along the west coast of France from Soulac to Hendaye. A walking map of La Voie Littorale with information leaflet can be obtained from the Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle de Bordeaux et de Gironde, 58 Rue de Lyon, 33000 Bordeaux. Tel: 05 56 22 73 45.

Internet links: The Confraternity of Saint James has an overview of the Voie Littorale. Les Amis de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle en Aquitaine has information on La Voie Littorale (French). The Société Landaise des Amis de Saint Jacques et d'Etudes Compostellanes has a section on the Voie Littorale with a list of stages, albergues and general information. (French; claims to have English and Spanish but these don't seem to be implemented)

Other remarks: The Confraternity of Saint James recommends contacting the Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle Gradignan Gironde in Bordeaux for a walking map and helpful information. They also suggest that the French IGN series maps are "essential."

Rev 12/28/14

American Pilgrims on the Camino
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