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moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating


  • self guided walk
  • 7 nights in country hotels
  • 6 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1010GBP


Trip Code: JC8

Walking in the Cevennes Trip highlights

  • French Country Walking in the Massif Central
  • Glorious Quiet Countryside, Meadows and Shaded Chestnut Forests
  • Pretty Riverside Strolls and Walks Over Low Mountains

In the autumn of 1878, the Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped, set out from Le Monastier in the Auvergne to walk south across the Cevennes accompanied by "a small grey donkey called Modestine, the colour of a mouse with a kindly eye". It took this pleasing pair eleven days to complete the trip, and the book that Stevenson wrote about their journey, Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes was his first successful book and one, which has since become a travel classic.Stevenson should have put the Cevennes "on the map", but despite his account of his travels through this region, it remains little known. His book did however inspire the establishment of the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail ('Trace Historique de Stevenson” on French maps) in 1978, the centenary year of the original walk. The local people encouraged by a Scotswoman, Madame Pat Villette, decided to retrace and waymark the trail. The route was partially waymarked by blue and white markers carrying the St. Andrews Cross of Scotland. More recently the Stevenson's Trail has been designated as GR70 and waymarked with the usual white over red GR marks. The walk starts near Le Puy en Velay in the Auvergne, a hilly region of extinct volcanoes in the north of the Massif Central and follows a winding route southwards across the Cevennes, a more mountainous area on the eastern flank of the Massif Central. The Cevennes National Park covers 3,284 sq kms, of which 914 sq kms in the central zone are protected. The headquarters of the park are at Florac and it is the only generally inhabited French National Park. The region that Stevenson chose for his journey boasts great natural beauty and is almost totally unspoilt. Depopulation as drastic as that in Stevenson's native Scotland has left a region full of sad romantic ruins. The walk itself is not difficult; the hills are not particularly high. However, the trail does cross two significant mountains: Mont du Goulet (1,497m) and Mont Lozere (1,699m); for the most part we are able to follow quite closely the route taken by Stevenson over a century ago. It is not known the exact route that he went on all the days however and some parts that he did walk on have become road, so the GR trail heads off on different cross country routes.

*Enquire about the use of taxis to shorten some of the longer walks.



Starting Point:

Le Puy-en-Velay

Finishing Point:


For your first nights accommodation you stay in the historic city of Le Puy not far from Le Monastier where the Stevenson's Trail begins. Le Puy is a wonderful town to explore and you may wish to add an extra night. Its most striking attraction is the Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy, dating chiefly from the first half of the 12th century. Each morning, pilgrims gather at the cathedral to be blessed before starting their journey to Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1998, as part of the "Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France". The iron statue of Notre-Dame de France (The Virgin Mary) overlooking the town was designed by the French sculptor Jean-Marie Bonnassieux, and is made from 213 Russian cannons taken in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855). Fountain Crozatier is also worth visiting in the centre of town. Accommodation: Stay in a comfortable 3* hotel a few minutes walk from the train station. All rooms are ensuite.

Meals:  D

Taxi transfer (included) from Le Puy to Le Monastier where the Stevenson trail starts. Take a moment for a look around Le Monastier before you start the walk. You could visit the Abbey Church with its 15th century organ or the Chateau, part of which is now the Municipal Museum and the Town Hall. You walk on via the village of St. Martin de Fugeres to Goudet where we cross the River Loire. From here there's only half the day's distance left to cover through the Velay hills. Accommodation: Stay in a welcoming auberge in this tiny village. The restaurant serves traditional regional specialities.

Meals:  B,D

Before you reach your goal for today, walk through Landos, Arquejol and Pradelles. This last place is an old fortified village that overlooks the Upper Allier Valley. It used to be an important stopping place for merchants importing goods from the South of France. The rest of the day is downhill to Langogne, on the banks of the River Allier. Accommodation: we use a charming, centrally-located hotel offering ensuite accommodation, a terrace and a restaurant.

Meals:  B,D

A series of paths past mills and wayside cavalries brings us to the ruined village of Fuzilhac. Of this region Stevenson wrote, "Moor, heather marsh, tracts of rock and pines, woods of birch, green and stony cattle tracks wandered in and out...." Little has changed. Pass through the village of Cheylard and the Chabadoures ravine on to La Bastide Puy Laurent a tiny village with approx. 200 inhabitants. This is a long day and you won't get much of a chance to visit the abbey of Notre Dame des Neiges, where Stevenson spent several nights. If you would like to add a rest day to the tour we suggest La Bastide, from which it is an easy day walk to the abbey. Alternatively, it is possible to break up today's walk with an overnight in the village of Cheylard l'Eveque after 16km. This will also give you enough time to see the abbey. The walk from Cheylard l'Eveque to La Bastide Puylaurent is 20km. For full details see trip code JCV. Accommodation: A simple, convivial 1* hotel. All rooms are ensuite and there is a restaurant.

Meals:  B,D

Head south away from the river through woods and past dolmens to reach Chasserades. A walk over the Montagne du Goulet ridge brings us to Le Bleymard. This small village rises to an altitude of 1087m and will surprise you with its heritage, Chapel of Saint Jean du Bleymard, Priory of Saint Jean du Bleymard, known as Peytavin House and beautiful old houses with slate roofs of Tournel. *Note that it is possible to shorten today's walk by a taxi dropping you off further up the route. Accommodation: Overnight in a high standard 2* hotel traditionally appointed, with ensuite facilities and a fine pine beam and stone restaurant surrounding a large hearth.

Meals:  B,D

Continue south along an old drovers road, over the Col de Finiels, past the Chalet du Mont Lozere. The col with its fine viewpoint over the Cevennes, makes a delightful lunch stop. There is an opportunity in clear weather to reach the Sommet de Finiels (1698m), the highest point in the Lozere range. We descend to Le Pont de Montvert. Accommodation: A 2* hotel, which sits on the riverbank of the Tarn. All rooms are ensuite and have a balcony. The restaurant serves regional specialities.

Meals:  B,D

From Le Pont de Montvert walk south along the Martinet valley and ascend the ridge of the Montagne du Bouges. From here continue along the crest of the two valleys of the Tarn and Mimente. At the end of the ridge descend into Florac. You can discover the region's history and geology at the imaginative exhibition house in the old chateau. The town itself is quite small, but has two large open squares with restaurants and a few shops. The quaint boulevards of the old town offer a tempting array of cafes. Accommodation: Stay at a 3* hotel in the centre of town. All rooms are ensuite and the property includes a traditional restaurant, landscaped gardens and a swimming pool.

Meals:  B

Depart Florac for your onward journey.

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in country hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • Luggage transfer
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • City tax
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX Tracks will be sent to you

  • 1 dinner & lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Guide: this is a self-guided holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Excess luggage


moderate to challenging


‘Moderate – Challenging’ (grade 4). This is a walk for fit and experienced walkers. The grade reflects the length of the days and the roughness of the terrain. The longest days can only be practically shortened by taxi in most cases. Day Stages: up to 35km (22miles) per day over hilly terrain.

Departure dates

Daily from 1 May to 4 Oct


11-day version available (code JCV).

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementGBP£230
  • Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£270
*Prices listed are per person

Walking in the Cevennes Trip reviews

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