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The Route of Stevenson by mountain bike

From Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-du-Gard


Presentation of your trip

What if your mountain bike could replace Modestine, Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous donkey?

From Le-Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-du-Gard, this mountain bike route follows in the footsteps of Robert-Louis Stevenson. It takes you over the volcanic hills of the Velay, the rugged highlands of the legendary Gévaudan, Mont Lozère and then the crests and valleys of the Cévenne des Camisards.
A 250km mountain biking adventure which alternates between valleys, volcanic plateaus and forests, crossing villages filled with history, before taking some height and passing over the tops of the Goulet, Mont Lozère and the Bougès Massif.
Finally, after some physically demanding climbs and pleasant descents, you arrive in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, just as Stevenson and Modestine did in 1878.

  • DestinationFrance, Stevenson
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip6 days and 5 nights
  • ActivitiesMountain Biking
  • Physical level
  • Technical level

Possible periods for this trip

  • Jan.
  • Feb.
  • March
  • Apr.
  • May
  • June
  • Jul.
  • August
  • Sep.
  • Oct.
  • Nov.
  • Dec.
Description of the tripProgramTravel conditionsDates and price

Trip details


  • A historical and mythical route, following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Diverse landscapes: volcanic plateaus, highlands, the Lozère, the Cévennes…

Complementary informations

  • 6 days, 5 nights, 5 days of biking
  • In double bedroom or ‘gite’


  • Day 1

    Arrival au Puy-en-Velay

      In the afternoon, you arrive in Puy-en-Velay, the first step for Robert Louis Stevenson in 1878, before he set off for Monastier-sur-Gaveille.
      Before heading to your accommodation, let yourself be transported in this story-filled town with a stroll through the medieval streets in the old centre. Don’t miss a visit to the cathedral with its magnificent Roman cloister, the Statue of the Black Virgin of Puy, and St Michel chapel, built atop an 80m rocky peak.
      Night in Puy-en-Velay.

    • Day 2

      From Puy-en-Velay to Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas

      • Distance : 41 km
      • Elevation gain : 1430 m

      For your first stage, you will climb up to the Plateau du Pays Vellave, a volcanic platform at around 1000m altitude, from where you can enjoy wide views across the Puy-en-Velay basin. Next, you head south, taking on a beautiful descent towards the Rivers Loire and Coubon, before climbing back up to the plateau towards Le-Monastier-sur-Gazeille, the true starting point of Robert Louis Stevenson and his donkey Modestine’s adventure, in September 1878. Following the Gazelle Valley, you reach the volcanic plateau once again. Then a very technical and narrow descent to Goudet before a slight portage in the following climb. You then cross through meadows to arrive in Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas. 
      Night in Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas.

    • Day 3

      From Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas to Laveyrune

      • Distance : 49 km
      • Elevation gain : 935 m

      Level 2 : 47km Alt+820m
      Level 3 : 59km Alt+1180m

      For this second stage, you finish your crossing of Velay to arrive in Gévaudan. Pass by Pradelles, a medieval village which has been officially named as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and Langogne, the entry point into the territory of the Beast of Gévaudan, which terrorised inhabitants for 100 years. Once you have arrived in Luc, which is home to one of the most significant châteaux from the Middle-Ages, you have another climb before descending once more, into the forest, towards  Laveyrune.
      Night in Laveyrune in a ‘gite’ (no double bedrooms on this day). 

    • Day 4

      From Laveyrune au Bleymard to Notre Dame des Neiges

      • Distance : 43 km
      • Elevation gain : 1270 m

      Today, starting from Laveyrune, you will pass over the summit of Espervelouze (1225m), the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges (where Stevenson spent three days), the Mourade (1310m), the Gardille Forest and Chasseradès, before a climb towards the hilltops of Goulet from where you will be lead on to Bleymard, at the foot of Mont Lozère. 
      This stage is physically demanding, with several steep but short climbs (Mourade and Goulet). 
      Night in Bleymard.

    • Day 5

      From Bleymard to Florac

      • Distance : 48 km
      • Elevation gain : 1170 m

      It’s the arrival in the mountains ! Today you will take a little more altitude as you arrive in the Cévennes by climbing Mont Lozère through forests, moors and grassy fields. A technical descent leads you to Pont-de-Montvert, an iconic place for the Camisards movement in 1702.
      You then cross the River Tarn before a physical climb up to the Bougès Massif (1421m) and, from there, a fast descent to arrive at the end of the stage in Florac.
      Night in Florac.

    • From Florac to Saint-Jean-du-Gard

      • Distance : 54 km
      • Elevation gain : 1285 m

      Follow the old railway through the Moment Valley towards St Julien d’Arpaon and Cassagnas. Via the Fontmort Forest and the Col de la Pierre Plantée, you cross the Cévennes National Park. Then, through the Gardon Valley and a few climbs up fast forest tracks to arrive at Saint-Etienne-Vallée-Française. 
      Further on, from the Col Saint-Pierre, you reach Saint-Jean-du-Gard via a final descent which is both very steep and narrow. You can carry your bike if necessary or this section can be avoided completely. 
      This final stage if very pretty, with several engaging sections with fast and technical descents. 
      Saint-Jean-du-Gard marks the end of your mountain bike trip, following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson.
      End of trip, option of a return transfer.

    • End of trip

    Travel conditions

    • Food

      This is not the time to go on a diet! Instead, it is an opportunity to taste local cuisine and specialities. The quality of your food is paramount and we take great care to ensure a good dietary balance, sufficient calorie intake and that each meal includes local specialities.You will eat in the hotel.

      Picnics (for lunch) are not included.

    • Formalities

      • A valid official ID.
      • We recommend travel insurance with repatriation included. 


      How to get there:

      By car: Access by the national 88 or 102. You can park your car for 7 days in one of the Puy-en-Velay car parks (about 25€ for 7 days).
      By train: Puy-en-Velay train station.
      By plane: Le Puy-Loude airport, then taxi to Le Puy-en-Velay.

    • Accompanying

      2 formulas to choose from:

      Mountain bike in freedom with carrying luggage by taxi: From 2 people.

      Equipped with the guidance material we give you: maps with highlighted route, GPS tracks in GPX format and roadmap, you leave
      alone to discover circuits designed by our team.

      Mountain bike with certified instructor with luggage carrying taxi: From 6 people.

      Accompanied by a professional mountain bike certificate, you ride without worrying about the route to follow. Our instructor, specialist of the region, guides you and gives you, if you wish, the right advice to make you outstanding mountain bikers. Thanks to his knowledge of the route, he adapts to your group to manage schedules and effort throughout the day. Freed from group management, your only concern is to please you on your mountain bike.

    • Options

      • Transfer back to Le Puy-en-Velay 
      • Picnic for MTB days (60€)
      • Customized program from the steps you choose yourself,
      • Additional accommodation before or after the stay,
      • Single room supplement.
    • Difficulty level

      The route is mostly running on more or less technical tracks with some passages in singles track.

      Physical level: 2/3

      You have a good physical condition and regularly practice mountain biking. From 41 to 55 km per day with maximum positive gradients of 1430m.


      Technical level: 2/3
      You master well the braking in descent and the trajectory of the bike. You will ride on paths or paths sometimes rolling, sometimes technical (steeper, with small obstacles).

    • Attendees

      Departure from 2 people for the freedom formula with carrying luggage every day by taxi.
      Departure from 8 people for the formula with instructor.

    • Accommodation

      Double room formula:
      - in double/ triple room in lodging of stage, bed and breakfast or hotel with bathroom and toilet in the room most of the time. On certain stages and according to availability, you may be offered sanitary facilities on the landing, either private or shared with other rooms. We will then inform you about this. Sheets and towels are provided. One night in a dormitory in Laveyrune (no double room on this stage).
      - Gîtes d'étape: you will stay in basic accommodations, most often in dormitories, which will make you fully live the adventure of Robert-Louis Stevenson. One night in a hotel in Florac.

    Dates and price

    Free departure from

    Price TTC per person

    Freedom package with luggage carried by cabs - stopover gîte
    Registration at 2 people540
    Registration at 3 people510
    Registration at 4 people500
    Registration at 6 people480
    Formula with qualified instructor and luggage carrying by taxi
    Registration at 6 people760
    Registration at 8 people680


    • Transfer back to Le Puy-en-Velay: with Vtt 90€/pers, without VTT 70€/pers
    • Picnic for MTB days (60€)
    • Customized program from the steps you choose yourself,
    • Additional accommodation before or after the stay,
    • Double room option (to be added to the basic rate): + 80€/pers
    • Single room supplement (to be added to the double room rate): 100 €/pers

    The price includes

    • The reservation of accommodation,
    • IGN maps with highlighted plot, map holder,
    • The detailed guidebook,
    • GPS electronic tracks (in .gpx format),
    • Half board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 6,
    • The daily transport of luggage

    The price does not include

    • Drinks,
    • Picnics,
    • Personal expenses,
    • Personal ATV equipment (helmets, gloves),
    • Mountain bikes,
    • Transportation to the meeting point,
    • Insurances
    • Transport back to the starting point
    • GPS (if requested) and GPS holder


    The destination

    • Stevenson

      From Puy-en-Velay to Saint Jean du Gard, follow in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson and his donkey Modestine, who walked this route in 1878.

      See more trips

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