This first part of the continental route is mainly in the plains and countryside. It crosses very typical regions: Brittany, Normandy, Île-de-France and the Far East.
Around 590, Colomban and his Irish monks arrived on the continent via the west coast and penetrated inland to the east as far as the foot of the Vosges Mountains where they settled for about twenty years. Their exact route is not known except for a few places listed in Colomban's biography written in 640. The proposed itinerary follows this general direction, passing through the cultural and historical highlights of this northern part of France.
This crossing of France is quite direct, like Colomban who sought to withdraw as quickly as possible as a hermit deepest inland marked by the meeting of the first mountain range that was the Vosges.
This route is 1100 kilometers long. Here are two itineraries
Route 1 BAINS-LES-BAINS - LUXEUIL-LES-BAINS
During this day you will alternate meadows, forests and heritage. You will discover natural sites then a town with a rich industrial past, Saint-Loup-sur-Semouse, before arriving in front of the remains of the monastery Saint-Pancrace de Fontaine-lès-Luxeuil, founded by Saint Colomban, you will end in Luxeuil-les-Bains, the capital of Colombia.
Start: St-Columban Church, 4 rue d’Épinal, 88 240 La Vôge-les-Bains
Arrival: Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, place Saint-Pierre 70 300 Luxeuil-Les-Bains
Leaving the Saint-Colomban church in La-Vôge-les-Bains, you go down to the place of Dr. Leroy. You walk along the town hall and you can fill your water bottle with drinking water at the Samaritaine fountain.
At the crossroads straight ahead rue de Verdun
- Turn right on rue du Charmois.
- Stay on your left and leave the D4.
- Carrefour D20 continue straight ahead to Saint-Loup-sur-Semouse
- Turn left on rue Aristide Briand in the direction of the church after having passed in front of the church, cross the Semouse and turn left in front of the town hall.
- At the roundabout, turn right towards Conflans-sur-Lanterne, rue Général Prévost, avenue Christian Jansen until the end of the town.
- Exit Saint-Loup, cross the stream and take the first road on the left, direction Hautevelle D243, first on the left when leaving the D243. Stay on tarmac road until you reach a fork on the left, after the clearing on your left, continue straight on dirt road
- In slight descent take on the left grassy path in the clearing then fork first path on the right. Go up the hill straight in the vegetation and then in the forest.
- At the crossroads with a dirt track turn left, at the hunting lookout take a right, first track on the left straight ahead.
- At the Calvary turn left, rue Saint-Martin, at the small roundabout, rue Saint-Martin in front of you, at the next crossroads straight ahead, rue Saint-Martin, at the fork in the road on the right, rue Marquiset.
- Cross the town after the Priory, turn right, chemin du Moulin, then left, rue du Beuchot, in the housing estate take the first street on the left, towards the forest.
- At the crow’s-foot turn left, cross the railroad tracks with vigilance and leave the woods to arrive at Luxeuil-les-Bains, take the rue Beauregard, and go straight down into town. Pass in front of the thermal establishment
- Turn right on rue Carnot and then rue Victor Genoux and you will find Place Saint-Pierre on your left with the basilica of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul de Luxeuil-les-Bains.
Route 2 LUXEUIL-LES-BAINS - ANNEGRAY
Visit the Columbian sites, the Hermitage of Saint Valbert, the cave of Saint Colomban and the site of the first Columban monastery in Annegray. Emblematic places that tradition preserves through the legends of the Breuchin valley such as the Stone of the Sheep or the Stone of Sacrifice.
Start: Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, place Saint-Pierre 70 300 Luxeuil-Les-Bains
Arrival: Saint-Colomban Chapel, Annegray, 70 310 La Voivre
Follow the north side of the Basilica of Luxeuil, rue du Sgt Bonnot, right rue Henri-Guy, left rue Saint-Colomban, at the first crossroads turn right, rue Gambetta, left cross the place de l’Étang de la Poche and head towards the path along the Morbief canal on your right.
- Take the bridge on the right to cross the canal and go straight up, turn left, go under the road. At the exit, go straight ahead towards the path which enters the wood.
- Cross the dual carriageway by the underpass on your right. At the exit of the underpass, turn left, cross the access road to the animal park, take on your right the tarred road going up in the forest. Straight ahead until Saint-Valbert. Use the game bridge to cross the 4 lanes. Cross Saint-Valbert and take the Chemin de l’Ermitage to the right of the church.
- After the visit of the Hermitage, cross the French garden and go out to the right, pass in front of the old quarry and follow the beacons of the Chemin des Moines.
- Follow the signposts towards La Plancenaye and cross the RD 18. Take the forest road in front of you in the direction of the Etang Trésurier and the pierre du mouton. Follow the signs for 200 m. to go down towards Raddon and Chapendu on the forest road following the Raddon valley.
- In Raddon, pass in front of the gymnasium in the direction of the town centre by the rue du Moulin. Cross the rue du Lieutenant-Colonel Boigey, take the rue du Rang de Fahys until 9 bis, turn left towards the Pierre aux Sacrifices.
- Turn right to continue the ascent of the hill passing in front of the sacrificial stone. Continue to the top of the hill, follow the beaconing to go down towards Amage. You arrive on the RD6 on the left a picnic shelter and a drinking water fountain follow the roadside towards the village. Take the rue du Tacot then cross the RD6 to take the rue de la sablière.
- Cross the RD139 to take the road to Saint Roch, parallel to the RD6. Take the direction of Ste-Marie-en-Chanois, take on the left the street “rue de la Proiselière”.
- Cross the RD6, take the street Saint Colomban, in the ascent take the first road on the right in the direction of Les Fouillies de Colomban, at the crossroads of the tarred road take on the right the Chapel Saint-Colomban. Go down by the path passing in front of the small basin in the direction of Breuche-les-Faucogney.
- Crossroads with the RD 6, turn left towards Breuches for 200 m, cross the RD6 to take the direction of La Voivre by the departmental road. Take the stone bridge that crosses the Breuchin and turn left onto departmental road 139.
- Get to the stop sign on the RD 72, turn right then left, you are at the chapel Saint-Colomban d’Annegray.