13-day Stevenson Trail trek in Cevennes National Park, France

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Join Emma, a UIMLA-certified mountain leader, for this 13-day trip that follows a trail created by classic author Robert Louis Stevenson! You will enjoy the same breathtaking views of Cevennes National Park as Stevenson, all while enjoying the local hospitality and cuisine of the French countryside.

Not specified

13 Days

Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Fit

Intermediate


Description

Follow the trail blazed by the writer of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: this trek follows the route taken by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1878 as he trekked through Cevennes National Park! 

While he is best known for his fictional works, Stevenson wrote the travel narrative Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes to commemorate the solo trek he undertook in the French countryside after the married American women he was courting broke off their affair. We will use his route as the basis for this 13 day/12 night trek, as we cover 156 miles (251 km) exploring the beauty of Cevennes National Park while enjoying the quaint charm of traditional French villages.  While historic, this route is under-the-radar, so it is a perfect opportunity for you to complete a unique long distance trek on a less crowded route.

We will start in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Le-Puy-en-Velay and finish in the town of St. Jean du Gard.  Each day, we will  trek for 4-8 hours.  In general, the trail is relatively flat.  While there are some steeper climbs and sections that are more technical, with loose terrain underfoot, for the most part the paths are old tracks and mule trails that are relatively easy to walk on.  Participants should have a decent level of fitness and the endurance to complete long back-to-back days of walking for two weeks.

We will make nightly stops at local auberges or similar accommodations, allowing us to experience the hospitality, not to mention the gastronomy, of the local countryside.  Please see day-by-day itinerary below for more information on accommodations. I will coordinate your luggage so that it is transferred to our lodge each day, so that you only need to bring a day pack during the walk.

Book this trip now for a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of a legendary writer!  This adventure will give you a unique glimpse of rural France, as we explore the Cevennes National Park and the charming villages of the surrounding area.

I invite you to check out my other long distance trekking trips: 10-day Monte Rosa trekking tour, 9-day West Highland Way Trek through Scotland, or even Secret Tuscany Trek 7-day guided hike!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival: Le Puy en Velay

We meet at the hotel in this UNESCO world heritage site, where we will review the upcoming program and enjoy dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel – dinner not included

Day 2: St Martin de Fugères to Le Bouchet St Nicolas

After a short transfer to the trailhead, we set off. Easy trails take us across a river gorge and into the village of Goudet, where we will  enjoy a picnic and explore the Château de Beaufort, built in the 1200s.  We ascend a volcanic plateau to have great views of the village below us, and continue until we reach the village of Le Bouchet Saint Nicolas, where we rest for the night and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

Distance: 15 km

Elevation gain/loss: +460m / -175m

Accommodation: Auberge w/ dinner included

Day 3: Le Bouchet St Nicolas to Pradelle

We trek towards the village of Arquejol, where we will marvel at  an astonishing railway viaduct. We then cross a steep ravine until we reach Landos, where we have the option to take a detour to enjoy the views from the Rocher de la Fagette. We continue on to the quaint village of Pradelle. If there’s availability, we stay in the village; if there’s no availability, we continue to a nearby town, Langone.

Distance: 21 km (Pradelle), 25 km (Langone)

Elevation gain/loss:+315m / -575m

Accommodation: Hotel w/ dinner included

Day 4: Langogne to Cheylard l’Evèque

Back in the 19th century, Robert Louis Stevenson got lost on the section of the trail we are about to complete today. We pass through the rustic Gévaudan countryside, trekking through woodlands, crossing streams, and admiring ancient bridges. We continue until we reach Cheylard L’Eveque, a hamlet where we will stay in a rustic auberge.

Distance: 16km or 22km depending on route

Elevation gain/loss:+320 / -150m

Accommodation: Auberge w/ dinner included

Day 5: Cheylard l'Évêque to La Bastide Puylaurent

We enjoy a particularly scenic stretch of trail today.  We trek through rolling hills and woodland trails.  Eventually, the Cévennes Mountains will become visible through the trees, though still at a distance.  We then head into the Allier Valley, and continue along until we reach the hamlet of Bastide Puylaurent, where we stay in a simple yet charming hotel.

Distance: 17km

Elevation gain/loss: +240m / -380m

Accommodation: Hotel w/ dinner included

Day 6: La Bastide Puylaurent to Chasserades

The trail takes us into remote countryside today.  We trek until we reach La Mourade (1308m), where we will take a moment to admire the view. We then hike through Forêt domaniale de la Gardille, eventually reaching the hamlet of Chasserades.

Distance: 12km

Elevation gain/loss: +330m / -160m

Accommodation: Hotel w/ dinner included

 

Day 7: Chasserades to Le Bleymard

After we reach the village of Mirandol, we make the first big ascent of the trek up the wooded Goulet Massif.  We stop at La Bleymard (1413m), a village which marks the entrance to Cevennes National Park.

Distance: 16km

Elevation gain/loss: +0m / -310m

Accommodation: Hotel w/ dinner included

Day 8: Le Bleymard to Finiels

We continue walking toward the Cevennes mountains, following the standing stones, locally called Montjoies, that mark the way.  Near the end of the day’s section, we begin our ascent to the village of Finiels, which is located within the National Park.  If the group is too large for the local B&B, we continue a little ways to a larger town.

Distance: 14km

Elevation gain/loss: +630m / -824m

Accommodation: B&B or Auberge w/ dinner included

Day 9: Finiels to Florac

We transfer to Le Pont de Montvert for our longest day of the trek.  The path grows more hilly as we walk toward the Cevennes Mountains, pausing at the top of each ascent to enjoy the panoramic vista.  We will spend the night in either Florac or Cocures.

Distance: 23km or 27km depending on which town we stay in

Elevation gain/loss: +545m / -875m

Accommodation: B&B w/ dinner included

 

Day 10: Florac to Cassagnas

The path becomes more technical today.  We proceed with caution along a balcony ridge until we reach the village of Saint Julien D’Arpaon.  From there, we follow a railway track along a gorge.  We spend the night in Cassagnas or Cauvel depending on availability.

Distance: 21 km (Cassagnas) or 23 km (Cauvel)

Elevation gain/loss: +200m / -50m

Accommodation: B&B or Auberge w/ dinner included

Day 11: Cassagnas to St Etienne Valley Française

We spend a little time walking through the woods of Camisards forest before we ascend La Plan de Fontmort.  This is an intersection with other major hiking routes heading toward the Col de la Pierre Plantee (891m).  We descend to the bottom of the valley and walk until we reach the village of St Etienne Vallée Française.

Distance: 22km

Elevation gain/loss: +320m / -710m

Accommodation: B&B w/ dinner included

Day 12: St Etienne Valley Française to St Jean du Gard

We begin the day by climbing the Col de Saint Pierre (597m) and Signal de Saint Pierre (695), where we will be rewarded by a panoramic vista that allows us to view all the terrain we’ve just walked.  We descend and follow the trail in the picturesque valley floor.  Finally, we cross the bridge into the town of St Jean du Gard, our endpoint.  We will relax at our auberge’s pool before enjoying dinner together in a local restaurant.

Distance: 12km

Elevation gain/loss: +350m / -410m

Accommodation: Auberge – dinner not included

Day 13: St Jean du Gard: Departure

After breakfast, our trip officially ends.

 

Details

Accommodation

We will stop at hotels, B&Bs, and auberges along our route.

Meeting point

We will meet at our accommodation in Le Puy-en-Velay

Photos


About the guide

I'm a qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) and I have been leading expeditions for the last 15 years. I have led the Tour du Mont Blanc over 40 times, the Everest Base Camp trek 27 times, Kilimanjaro 10 times, and I have also led trips in Nepal, Peru, Cuba, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, Thailand, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Russia, Uzbekistan and Madagascar, amongst others.

I'm a passionate skier, in 2009 I made the first ski descent of Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world (8156m).

Fluent in French, Russian and Spanish, I also work as an interpreter and love to chat.


What people are saying about Emma Jack


Prices per person

Group of 1

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 2

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 3

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 4

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 5

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 6

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 7

GBP 2320 Each

Group of 8

GBP 2320 Each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Breakfast

- Dinner

Price details

Price for joining a group of 4-10 people. Price includes: Professional guiding services, all accommodations on a twin-share basis, all breakfast except day 1, 10 dinners (as outlined in day-by-day itinerary), all transports during the trek, luggage transfers. Not included: lunches, 2 dinners, personal drinks and snacks, airport transfers, travel insurance, tips.




 

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