Beautiful Villages Along the Pilgrimage Road
In this spirit of self-care, curiosity, and discovery, we invite you to join us on this voyage. The Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, also known in English as “The Way of St. James,” or in French as Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques, has existed for more than a thousand years. It was one of the most important pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.
This is a cultural tour featuring French villages and towns of artistic and historical significance along these pilgrimage roads. These roads are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. We will cover various areas of France such as the Auvergne, the Aveyron, Lot, and the Tarn-et-Garonne.
Our journey will begin in the beautiful city of Lyon before continuing to Le Puy-en-Velay, one of the starting points of the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. As we meander along the pilgrimage roads, we’ll visit many “most beautiful villages in France,” a label awarded to exceptional villages that have a rich natural and cultural heritage. Our tour draws to a close in Toulouse, another important stop on the route to Santiago.
In addition to sightseeing, there will be time to savor simple pleasures and cultivate wellness—such as journaling, moments of conviviality, conscientious dining, and practicing the arts of looking and listening.
Most days there will be some free time to explore on your own.
We will travel by bus but this tour requires a fair amount of walking each day, with some of it on cobbled streets and uneven surfaces plus some walks that include strenuous uphill climbs or numerous steps.
The historical and culture and gastronomic attractions of France are all available in these trips organized by Rachel Baker and Sandy Gaynor. Successive trips are always a new experience and there is always great ease of travel through the countryside. And there is nothing “touristy” about the trips. While souvenirs etc are easily purchased, there are no stops at obvious tourist traps. More than that you can encounter the French in their daily commercial life and even try out your French if you’re so inclined! We always return to the US feeling enriched. – John & Anne, 2017
Sandy and Rachel travel with an open mind and open heart. Although we were a group in many ways, we were also respected as individuals, with different needs and wishes . – Martha, 2015
This is my 3 rd trip with the group. I have never been disappointed, even though some sites I’ve visited before. The trip is well planned, informative and enjoyable. Many thanks to our leaders, Rachel and Sandy. – Wei, 2015