Cycling from one valley to the next, enjoy halts in the lovely Creusois villages en route. As pilgrims have done for so long, stop at the little chapels along the way. The route begins in the Vallée des Peintres (Artists’ Valley), at Crozant, its medieval fort dominating the confluence of the Creuse and Sédelle Rivers. Having passed through St Germain Beaupré, head on to the medieval town of La Souterraine, the way signalled by scallop shell signs right up to St Jean Gate and Nôtre Dame Church. The next portion of the route follows the Gartempe Valley, guiding you to Le Grand Bourg, then to Bénévent l’Abbaye, the only parish in the Limousin Region awarded the prestigious Petite Cité de Caractère label. Admire the town’s imposing 12th-century abbey church.
On this 48km stage, you follow the Véloroute Ouest de la Creuse (or Creuse western cycle route), sharing quiet country roads with light traffic (just c.500 vehicles a day). There are slopes to tackle, but no major difficulties to signal along the route.
No links on this stage.
There are train stations at La Souterraine and at Saint Sébastien – see www.ter-sncf.com
- Crozant: the fortress ruins dominating the meanders in the Creuse and Sédelle Rivers.
- La Souterraine: this little medieval town conceals many treasures, like the church, its crypt and the town fortifications…
- Bénévent l’Abbaye: experience Le Scénovision, a stirring show about the area