Historic Routes in France

  • Chateau de Murol, Auvergne

    Chateau de Murol, Auvergne

    © ATOUT FRANCE/R-Cast

Historic Routes in France

Historic routes criss-cross France from end to end on themes based on its cultural heritage. These are different from the so-called "tourist" routes, which also have themes, but which relate only to local produce.

The historic routes are about famous people, artists or monuments that relate to a specific region's buildings. For the most part, they are indicated on the site or in front of the building concerned.

The historic routes were the pioneers of the themed tour in France. The first ones date from the 1970s. The "route historique" trade mark was registered in 1989 by the Caisse des monuments historiques et des sites, now known as the Centre des monuments nationaux, which ensured a guarantee of quality and unity to the route.

Since 2000 the Fédération Nationale des Routes Historiques has breathed new life into the historic routes. There are now over twenty of them, each including a number of private sites and monuments open to the public. Châteaux, abbeys or museums are what make them original, to help you explore a region or a specific theme.

For instance, the Jacques-Coeur route concerns the Superintendent of Finance to King Charles VII in the 15th century. It explores an area of 170 km between the Loire and the Cher, through the rural landscapes of central France.