Walk of the Week: Stevenson's Trail
In September 1878 the young writer Robert Louis Stevenson embarked upon an epic 12 day, 156 mile journey of adventures through rural France. Immortalized in his classic, ''Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes'', today you can take on the route with more certainty and comfort. Just bring that same sense of adventure.
In a Nutshell
A delight! Idyllic rural French landscapes, great food....
- Distance: 130 miles for the modern version of the route, over 12 nights.
- Grading: Moderate - Strenuous. Some of the paths are pretty steep but very worth the rewards. Being a GR route (GR70) much of the route is well waymarked.
Where is it?
Spend a night in Le Puy-en-Velay (a fascinating Medieval town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) before a short transfer to start the trail at St-Martin-de-Fugéres in the Haute Loire, south-central France. Walk south into the Cévennes National Park where you can expect amazing panoramas of the ‘Sea of Mountains’ in the Cévennes throughout. Finish the walk by toasting Robert Louis Stevenson in St-Jean-du-Gard, where he caught the stagecoach.
Why walk it?
If you have any interest in literary history, you'll love this trail, but beyond following in the footsteps of a literary icon, the trail offers the chance to explore the unexplored. To visit the real rural France. Stay in delightful villages and tiny hamlets, enjoying the hospitality (and great food) of charming family run establishments. Enjoy invigorating walking which might quite literally take your breath away, but will reward you with some quite stunning landscapes.
Planning to walk the Stevenson's Trail?
We suggest a 12 night itinerary for the Complete Stevenson's Trail, or if you are short on time you can walk the north or south sections individually. April - Cotober is the best time of year, however be warned that July & August can be very hot so you need to start your days early to avoid the heat. There is a wonderful buzz about the towns in mid-summer though with their many markets and festivals.