Route V41 is an ambitious plan to create a long-distance bike pilgrimage route, Saint-Jacques à Vélo.
It dovetails with EuroVelo 3, the Pilgrim’s Route, which in France passes through Paris, Orléans and Tours on its way to Bordeaux – and, ultimately, Santiago de Compostela.
Historically, there was no one single “way of St James”, but a number of routes favoured by pilgrims. V41 continues this tradition by following other ancient routes with a more westerly course to EV3, starting lower down the Seine valley and going via Chartres. So you could plan a route taking the best bits of each – or perhaps loop out on one and back on the other?
V41 isn’t fully open yet, but you can ride 370km of the route today, principally in the Centre-Val de Loire region. It follows the valleys of the Eure, Loir and Vienne, rejoining EuroVelo 3 by the Loire at Tours. Most of the route is on well chosen minor roads with very little traffic; there are a few rail-trail sections.
In the future, the route will branch off via Poitiers then follow the Gironde estuary towards Bordeaux.