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Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat / Limoges Saint-Jacques à vélo - Via Vézelay

Castles & Monuments
25,63 Km
1 h 43 min
I cycle often
Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat
Limoges
Riding down the Vienne River to reach Limoges is one of the highlights of this whole cycling adventure. The city is packed with fine monuments, craft skills and surprises. Make the most of your visit to the capital of the old province of the Limousin to explore its cobbled lanes, passing centuries-old coaching gateways and the odd risqué stone carving! Do visit the porcelain museum, even if you don’t have space for Limoges ware in your panniers, no doubt full of produce from the old province of Berry! Arriving in Limoges via the historic Saint-Etienne Bridge, you may notice, alongside local joggers, hikers on the GR national trail… and perhaps experience some of the emotions felt by pilgrims arriving at this saintly place down the centuries. The cathedral, also dedicated to St Stephen, is a rare major French Gothic monument south of the Loire and a must to visit. The route may stop here for now, but the Limoges - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port portion should be completed before too long!

Elevation of the stage

396 m 324 m

Waytypes of the stage

By road: 25,62 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 25,62 km

Cycle route from Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat to Limoges

From Saint-Léonard, head west on the D39 road, then fork off towards Saint-Just-le-Martel at the level of Saint-Priest-Thaurion, crossing the Vienne River along the D44 road before crossing it again at the level of Limoges’s Pont Saint-Etienne. Through the Limoges metropolitan area, the signposting is still being put in place at time of writing, so for the time being, consult your roadbook or relevant GPS app. South from Limoges, the Saint-Jacques à Vélo - Via Vézelay cycle route hasn’t been entirely laid out yet as far as Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Franco-Spanish border. You can end here or then pursue your cycling adventure further by heading over to join the EuroVelo 3 cycle route some way to the west or southwest. 

Tourist information

SNCF train services

  • The Benedictine station in Limoges is well worth a visit even if you want to continue your journey. It serves Vierzon, Périgueux, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Toulouse Matabiau, Bordeaux-Saint-Jean, Poitiers and Paris Austerlitz, among others.

Don't miss 

  • Limoges : Pont Saint-Etienne and Pont Saint-Martial, the city’s two medieval bridges, which constituted the only crossings over the Vienne in these parts up until the construction of the Pont-Neuf in 1838; the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne containing a highly decorated roodscreen in Renaissance style, plus an exceptional baptistery, one of the largest built in France, only rediscovered at the foot of the cathedral during archaeological excavations in summer 2005; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, occupying the former bishops’ palace, a major 18th-century building designed by the Brousseau brothers, and full of exceptional treasures; the Gare des Bénédictins, built on the site of a former Benedictine convent in 1929 and a great source of pride to Limoges’s inhabitants since its construction, boasting a vast 31m-high cupola and a 61m-high belltower watching over the city, while in the grand hall, admire the magnificent allegorical sculptures by Henri Varenne and the Art Deco stained glass by Francis Chigot, the latter imparting a wonderful light.

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