Via Francigena- From Bar-sur-Aube to Besançon

Stage 6 of 16


12 days


Popular time


Starting from




15.2 min | 23.9km average | 33.3 max


146.7 min |294.2m average | 447.6 max


2   3.3   5

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 661

As you move closer to the border of Switzerland, this sixth section of the Via Francigena highlights the architectural heritage of this part of the country. Early in the tour, there is a chance to visit the Clairvaux Abbey, where Victor Hugo was inspired to write his most famous piece of literature, the novel Les Misérables.

Cistercian monastery

Clairvaux Abbey

This Cistercian monastery is located near Bar sur Aube. The original building was founded in 1115 and is now in ruin. The abbey that you can visit which stands here dates from 1708. In 1808 the building was bought by the French State and converted into a prison. The Abbey is now divided into two parts: the prison and the museum. You can visit the museum section.



Do you want to explore a truly mediaeval city? The city of Langres is a treasure trove for anyone who loves mediaeval history. The fortifications around Langres were originally built by the Romans and contain a dozen defensive towers and seven gates. During the following 2,000 years, the fortifications were modified and renewed so they are still a prominent landmark on the Langres Landscape to this very day. Take a walk around to the Petit Sault tower, and the Navarre and d’Orval Tower.


Besançon Citadel

Designed by famed engineer Vauban for King Louis XIV, the citadel of Besançon was built during the 17th Century. The citadel dominates the city at 100m in height. The 12-hectare Citadel has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. Pride of the Franche-Comte, the Citadelle is considered one of the most beautiful of France. Climbing to the highest point of the citadel will offer you an incredible view of the region. Surrounded by rivers, Besançon is a hotspot for tourism and cultural events.

Via Francigena- From Bar-sur-Aube to Besançon

Starting from € 1692



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Bed & Breakfast

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24/7 Customer Service

Virtual Face-to-Face Pre-Departure Briefing


Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights


Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch






Arrive into Bar sur Aube. This old picturesque mediaeval town is perfect for strolling through and admiring the architectural and historical buildings before you start your hike.



15.2 km


Leaving Bar sur Aube, you will cross the Aube River before arriving into the first village of today, Fontain. From here, you will continue along the gently sloping hillside covered in rows of grapevines before winding your way down into the next village, Baroville. Climbing up a small ridge out of this village through more vineyards, you will then descend across more fields before arriving into the village of Clarivaux. Here, there is a former abbey that was founded by Bernard, but now is a high-security prison but you can still visit. It is this abbey and the prison that was notorious for its treatment of prisoners during the time of Napoleon that influenced Victor Hugo to pen a short story in 1834 that then went on to influence his most famous piece of work, Les Misérables.



25.6 km


Today’s walk is not much longer than yesterday’s. Leaving behind the small village made famous by Victor Hugo, you could be forgiven for feeling you are part of a novel as your destination for today does sound as if it was named by a James Bond villain – Châteauvillain! Today, when you reach the village of Maranville, you will have passed over into the Department of the Haute Marne and as you pass through one village to the next it will not be long before you see your final destination on the horizon. Châteauvillain is a quiet town nestled in a bend of the River Aujon and is a maze of alleys and parapets for you to explore. Châeauvillain has more than 100 deer roaming freely in the Parc aux Daims.





From Châteauvillain you will go through the Parc aux Daims, unless it is closed for breeding season (typically in late October/early November). After, you will reach the village of Maison Forestière then continue to follow a forest track for your stop for this evening, Mormant. Today is not particularly long but there is nowhere to stop for snacks so we would advise that you bring a picnic and take advantage of walking through the park to find a spot to enjoy some lunch and break.





Walking today will be over rolling hills of crop fields, through small quiet villages, and by woodland. Just before reaching Langres, you will cross the La Bonnelle River and wind your way up a shady road to be greeted with a view of Langres and your stopover for the night. Langres is a fortified town that has some breathtaking views from its walls. If all the walking today has got your appetite going, then be sure to also try some of the Langres cheese produced here, which (not surprisingly) goes well with Champagne!



25.7 km


The walk today is relatively short. Leaving the town of Langres behind, you will walk through large crop fields before entering a wooded stretch. Coming out the other side you will meander your way down to the village of Balesmes-sur-Marne. Traversing through more rolling green hills, you will arrive down into Chalindrey, where you will stay for the night and can relax and enjoy some freshly prepared French cuisine in one of the local restaurants.



26.5 km


Leaving Chalindrey today, you will also be leaving behind the Champagne region of France and entering the Franche-Comté region. This region is known for its dome-shaped church towers. Walking down out of Chalindrey, you will cross over a forested hill down into Grenant. Winding around a forested hillside you will emerge into arable land and follow the road up to your destination, Champlitte. This small town had a rich history and beautiful architecture. After wandering around you can treat yourself to one of the local wines.



17.2 km


From Champlitte, you will make your way across the countryside, through lush fields and small sleepy French villages. Crossing the La Salon River, you will then be re-crossing it to arrive at your destination for today, Dampierre sur Salon. Wander around this typical French country town and relax as you will have a long day walking tomorrow.



33.3 km


You’ll see more bountiful fields full of produce today before crossing the River Saône then following this until you reach a forest. Coming out the far side of the forest, you will wind your way down into the village of Sainte-Reiene before coming to the large village of La Chapelle Saint-Quillan. This is a lovely spot for a picnic. Pop into the church, which has a 16th Century statue of the Irish Quillan, for a quick visit. Continue down a road flanked on either side by forest before emerging out onto a flat plain of crop fields that welcome you to Gy.





Today’s shorter walk takes you to Cussey-sur-l’Ognon. Get your camera set up for memorable pictures of the dappled light of forest pathways guiding your way before returning to the open fields and arriving at Cussey-sur-l’Ognon. Nestled in a bend of the Ognon River, this peaceful French village offers an opportunity to relax and enjoy another delicious traditional French meal.





Take a country track through fields and past a forest to Geneuille, the first village today. Here you can take a morning break and grab a coffee and pastry. Continuing on, you will cross the railway line and climb a forested ridge before coming down into Ecole Valentin. Soon you will reach your final destination for this section, Besançon. This large town is built around a horseshoe bend of the Doubs River and has many historic sights to visit.





After breakfast we bid you farewell. The most popular tourist attraction here is the 17th Century military citadel designed by the famed French engineer Vauban, which is also a World Heritage site. You can also visit the St Jean’s Cathedral, learn about local history in one of the museums, or even take a scenic boat trip on the Doubs River.

How to Get There

Getting to Bar Sur Aube, France

To begin your Camino, it is best to fly into either Paris Charles de Gaulle or Paris Orly.

Fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle is a major international airport and nearly all airlines fly there, including Iberia/BA and Aer Lingus from Dublin. To get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Bar sur Aube, take the train from Terminal 2 to Paris Nord. Then, switch lines at Paris L’Est and journey on directly to  Bar sur Aube. This should take about 3 hours.

    Fly into Paris Orly

    Paris Orly serves budget airlines such as Wizz Air. From Orly Airport, get on the tram heading for Gare D’Antony. Get off and switch to Paris Nord train station. Then, switch lines again at Paris L’Est, and you will be on the right route to Bar sur Aube. This will take 3 hours.

      Getting home from Besancon, France

      It is easiest to return from Besancon through Geneva Airport, Lyon Airport, or Paris Charles de Gaulle.

      Fly home from Geneva Airport

      To fly from Geneva Airport, go to Besancon’s Viotte train station. Get off at Dole Ville. Switch lines and head for the Swiss city of Lausanne. From there, you can catch a direct train to Geneva Airport. This journey takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

        Fly home from Lyon Airport

        There is a direct route from Besancon to Lyon Airport with Flixbus. This journey takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes and departs from the town’s main bus stop.

          Fly home from Paris Charles de Gaulle

          To get from Besancon to Charles de Gaulle Airport, catch the train from Viotte station to Paris Gare De Lyon. Then, switch trains for Châtelet Les Halles. Disembark and change trains again, this time bound for Paris Charles de Gaulle, Terminal 2. This will take 3 hours and 30 minutes.

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            This section of the Via Francigena ttravels into the eastern part of France and ever closer to the border with Switzerland.
            January Off season
            February Off season
            March Good time
            April Good time
            September Good time
            October Good time
            November Off season
            December Off season