Trekking the Robert Louis Stevenson Trail
The GR70 through the Cevennes/Massif Central
Guidebook to the GR70 through France's Velay and Cévennes regions, which follows in the footsteps of author Stevenson and his faithful donkey, Modestine. At 272km, this long-distance trail from Le Puy to Ales is ideal for people new to walking holidays, and promises an interesting journey with an historical and literary flavour.
SeasonsFrom around Easter to October (since much of the accommodation closes over the winter months); July and August can be very hot so it is best to avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
CentresLe-Puy-en-Velay, Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille, Pradelles, Langogne, Le Bleymard, Le Pont-de-Montvert, Florac, St-Jean-du-Gard, Alès
DifficultyMost of the trail is on easy terrain, but some sections are longer and therefore more demanding, so a certain level of fitness is required. The GR70 trail is well signposted and it is a great long-distance trail for first-time and experienced hikers alike.
Must SeeRiver Loire, River Gardon, Mount Lozére, Cévennes, Massif Central, River Tarn, Camisards history, Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes'
Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes' is a classic of travel literature. The GR70 long-distance trail is based on the author's route, allowing walkers to follow in the footsteps of Stevenson and his four-legged companion Modestine through the beautiful Cévennes region on the edge of France's Massif Central. The route is ideal for both first-time trekkers and more experienced hikers, covering around 272km of gently undulating countryside from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Alès. It can be completed in under a fortnight.
The trail is presented in 12 stages of 16 to 30km, each with clear route description and mapping, an elevation profile, notes on local points of interest and a brief account of Robert Louis Stevenson's experiences on that section of the route. There is useful advice for planning your trip - including when to go, what to take and how to get there - and accommodation listings.
Following drove roads, bridleways and footpaths, the GR70 showcases the landscapes of the Cévennes: wildflower meadows, rolling hills, chestnut woods, limestone gorges and meandering rivers. Characterful villages provide accommodation and other services and offer an opportunity to sample the delicious local produce. There are also glimpses into the region's fascinating history, from pre-historic burial sites to locations associated with the eighteenth-century Protestant Camisards who resisted religious persecution. While many things have undoubtedly changed since Stevenson's visit, the area retains its authentic rural charm and you will soon discover just why Stevenson found it so appealing.
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Nike and Jacint met many years ago on a long coach journey as they both travelled into the unknown to build a new life in a different country. It wasn't long before they became inseparable. Travelling quickly emerged as their favourite activity and now wherever they go they try to find the best trails. They would love to share their passion for walking with others.Nike went to journalism school and Jacint is a keen photographer. They moved from London to Surrey where they can enjoy the countryside and hills.View author profile
Nike and Jacint met many years ago on a long coach journey as they both travelled into the unknown to build a new life in a different country. It wasn't long before they became inseparable. Travelling quickly emerged as their favourite activity and now wherever they go they try to find the best trails. They would love to share their passion for walking with others. Nike went to journalism school and Jacint is a keen photographer. Nike and Jacint live in Guildford and when they are not walking in one of their favourite mountain ranges somewhere in Europe, they enjoy exploring the diverse trails in the Surrey Hills close to their home. And when they are not out walking they offer a personalised travel planning service, details of which can be seen on Nike and Jacint's website: www.trailnotes.co.uk.View author profile
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