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Stevenson's Trail North

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.7 Read 20 reviews
  • Walk Stevenson's Trail North from village to village through tranquil landscapes
  • Ancient narrow and cobbled streets of Le Puy en Velay, a World UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Fields of colourful wildflowers, outstanding vistas and off-the-beaten-path trails
  • Picnic lunches of crusty baguette, local cheeses and a full-bodied vin rouge
  • Pass bright green fields of Puy lentils to isolated and charming villages and hamlets
Walk the northern section of the Stevenson's Trail through peaceful countryside. As you trek the trails of these quiet landscapes, which are mostly free of other people and offer serenity and a time for reflection, follow Robert Louis Stevenson's literary history. Whether you are wandering through the many quaint villages and towns, eating relaxed picnic lunches of baguettes with local cheese, enjoying the outstanding views of rolling and forested hills, or saying a hearty "bonjour" to the locals you are sure to create lasting memories. You will also be lucky enough to be walking through the Ardeche region, which is located on eastern edge of the Massif Central and specifically through the Parc Naturel Regional de Monts d'Ardeche.

What To Expect

This moderately rated walking tour is perfect for literary fans, Francophiles and for those just looking to get away from it all. Following the trails in this part of rural France and in the Cevennnes, can feel like taking a step back to a simpler time. You really will be walking off-the-beaten-path with time to reflect and absorb these dramatic landscapes.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers, Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Personal Growth
  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This tour is rated moderate because some of the daily walks are relatively long over rough tracks and the terrain is very hilly in some parts. You will need to be in good physical condition to complete the walks on this itinerary. The trails follow ancient footpaths, sheep tracks and drove roads over basalt, granite, schist and limestone and in some sections the rocks can be loose underfoot. You will therefore need to be surefooted. Where possible the route avoids paved roads.

Navigation

You will be following the GR70, (GR - Grande Randonnée or main walking routes) which is clearly waymarked with the famous red and white stripes, whether on a passing tree, rock, or post. We supply a detailed guidebook and the route is also in the Macs Adventure Smartphone App so navigation is generally easy. Heavy rains, winds and fog do sometimes affect sections of the trail, and in the winter higher ground can be snow-covered at the beginning and end of the walking season.

Accommodation Information

The accommodation is a mixture of B&B’s, auberges and small hotels. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional hospitality. Occasionally, due to availability and the nature of this walk, there may not be accommodation right on the path - in which case you will be collected and transferred to your accommodation for the night, or in some cases, it may be the same hotel you stayed in the night before.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.

We also welcome solo walkers on the Stevenson's Trail. Whereas solo walkers are usually a solo supplement which is higher than a single supplement, the cost of this tour is the same. So as a solo walker you are simply paying a supplement ot have a single room, making this tour very inexpensive for solo customers.

Meals

The delicious French food and wine available locally is undoubtedly a highlight of this holiday. The price of your tour includes continental breakfast each morning with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, homemade jams, local bread and either yogurt, cheese, fruit or ham depending on local availability. Dinner is included also is usually served from 7.30pm onwards. and consists of the meal of the day. Most accommodations do not offer a choice of menu unless you pay a supplement.

Lunch is not included, however, all your hosts will prepare a packed lunch if you let them know a couple of days in advance for 7-10€ approx. pp. or you can pick up a crusty baguette, some fantastic local cheese, sweet ripe fruit and picnic en route. Be sure to depart in the morning with a full water bottle.

Included
  • Overnights in B&B’s, auberges and small hotels
  • Daily breakfasts
  • Daily dinners
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfers as per your itinerary
  • A detailed information pack including route notes and maps
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks on the Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App
  • 24/7 Emergency support from our local partners and UK office
Excluded
  • Lunches, snacks or drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel to/from the start and end locations
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
Extras
  • Additional nights' accommodation

When To Go

This tour is available to start on any day between mid-April to the end of October. Spring in Southern France is delightful, but a late winter will mean snow on the highest points of the route and blustery gales! April, May and June are absolutely lovely and the wildflowers are at their best. September & October are special as the landscape takes on its an autumnal pallet of reds and golds, you can gather chestnuts in the south and the panoramic views have lazy late summer feeling, while we can get some spectacular thunderstorms rolling over. July and August can be very hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day, although the towns are bustling.

Getting to the Start

Lyon Airport is the closest airport to Le Puy-en-Velay. From the airport, there is a fast train link (30 mins) to the main train station Gare de Lyon Part-Dieu and from here you can take a TGV train to Le Puy via Saint-Etienne-Châteaucreux to downtown Le Puy, which takes around 2.5 hours. For more information on train times and schedules please visit the SNCF website.

It is also possible to reach Le Puy by train from Nimes, Clermont Ferrand and Montpellier.

When making your travel plans, if you can avoid travelling on a weekend or a public holiday then this will make it easier for you, as making connections on French trains on these days is much more difficult.

If you wish to drive you can leave your car in Le Puy en Velay in the underground car park in the Place du Breuil which is open every day expect Sundays and public holidays from 6:30am to 8pm. However you can leave your car there for many days and it costs around €22 for one week and the parking is secure. More information is provided in your information pack. After you have finished your tour you can return to Le Puy en Velay by the transport company, La Malle Postal. If you want to do this you need to book as early as possible as they can get very busy during the height of the season. We can also provide a private transfer if you wish.

Getting from the End

You can catch a train from Chasserades to the nearby station of La Bastide St Laurent and from here take another train to Clermont Ferrand. You can also reach Nimes by train from Chasserades and if you wish to carry on to Lyon, you can change trains in Nimes.  Please check the SCNF website for further information on exact time trains and schedules

Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation to your next overnight stop. The weight of your bags is restricted to 15kg per bag, this is due to the health and safety regulations of the bag transfer company, and also takes into account the many fragile bridges that they need to cross which have weight limits. If you bag weighs more than 15kg, or if you have more than one bag then there is the possibility that you will have to pay a supplement.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Le Puy-en-Velay and overnight Day 2 Walk Le Puy-en-Velay to Le Monastier Sur Gazeille 12 miles / 19 km Day 3 Walk Le Monastier to Le Bouchet St Nicolas 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Walk Le Bouchet St Nicolas to Langogne 17 miles / 27 km Day 5 Walk Langogne to Cheylard L'Eveque 10 miles / 16 km Day 6 Walk Cheylard L'Eveque to La Bastide Puylaurent 16 miles / 26 km Day 7 Walk La Bastide Puylaurent to Chasserades 8 miles / 12 km Day 8 Onward travel

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