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  • France 
  • Stevenson 

The Route of Stevenson, Integral

Integral : From Puy-en-Velay to St Jean du Gard

From
1050€/person

Presentation of your trip

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.

The Chemin de Stevenson takes you through the volcanic landscape of the Velay, the rugged highlands of the legendary Gévaudan region, Mont Lozère and the ridges and valleys of the Cévenne des Camisards.

Following in Stevenson's footsteps, each day you will discover a different country, landscape and story...

  • DestinationFrance, Stevenson
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip14 days and 13 nights
  • ActivitiesHiking
  • Physical 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

Highlights

  • A legendary route
  • The Velay and its volcanic plateaux, forests and high-altitude pastures
  • The rural heritage of the Gévaudan villages and highlands
  • Mont Lozère (1699m)
  • The land of the Camisards, the ridges and valleys of the Cévennes

Complementary informations

  • 14 days 13 nights with 12 days of hiking
  • Self-guided circuit, with double bedroom or ‘gite’

Program

  • Day 1

    Arrival at Puy-en-Velay

      You arrive in the afternoon at Puy-en-Velay, which served as Robert Louis Stevenson’s first base in 1878 before he went on to Monastier-sur-Gazeille. 

      Before reaching your accommodation, let yourself be transported in this story-filled town. Walk through the medieval alleys of the old centre and do not miss the Cathedral with its magnificent Roman cloister, the Statue of the Black Virgin of Puy, and the chapel of St Michel, perched up high on an 80m peak.

    • Day 2

      From Puy-en-Velay to Monastier sur Gazeille

      • Distance : 19 km
      • Duration : 5h
      • Elevation gain : 550 m

      For your first stage, you leave Le Puy by climbing up to the Plateau du Pays Vellave, a volcanic platform at about 1000m altitude. From here you can admire panoramic views across the Puy-en-Velay valley. Heading south, you descend towards the River Loire, which you will cross in Coubon, before climbing up on to another plateau. In turn this leads you on to the Monastier sur Gazeille, «a small town of character», and the real starting point of Robert Louis Stevenson and his donkey Modestine’s adventure, in September 1878.

    • Day 3

      From Monastier sur Gazeille to Bouchet Saint Nicolas

      • Distance : 24 km
      • Duration : 6h30
      • Elevation gain : 600 m

      It was from here that Robert Louis Stevenson bought a donkey which he named Modestine, and with whom he set off for Saint Jean du Gard. Before rejoining the volcanic plateau, follow the Gazeille valley. You criss-cross many small villages before descending through gorges to the River Loire. Follow the river on to Goudet and the ruins of its former castle. Having passed through several hamlets and meadows, you arrive at Bouchet Saint Nicolas.

    • Day 4

      From Bouchet Saint Nicolas to Pradelles

      • Distance : 21 km
      • Duration : 5h
      • Elevation gain : 180 m

      Exiting the village of Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas, you come across an imposing wooden sculpture, depicting Stevenson and Modestine’s journey. Sticking between the Loire and Allier rivers, you pass through the villages of Landos and Arquejol before arriving in Pradelles, a small medieval town which has been officially named as one of the «most beautiful villages of France». A former trading centre for salt, oil and wine, Pradelles has many historic examples of medieval architecture: old ramparts, small streets, arcades and fountains.

    • Day 5

      From Pradelles to Cheylard l’Evêque

      • Distance : 22 km
      • Duration : 5h
      • Elevation gain : 300 m

      You start by crossing the River Allier, and passing through Langogne where you will discover its beautiful Roman church and its 85 carved granite capitals (carved column tops). The route then re-enters the province of Gévaudan from where the legendary «beast of Gévaudan» terrorised the inhabitants for over 100 years.

      On this stage of your journey, you will encounter moorland landscapes, marshes covered in heather and imposing granite rocks. Crossing Brugeyrolles and Fouzilhac, you arrive at Cheylard L’Evêque.

    • Day 6

      From Cheylard l’Evêque to La Bastide Puylaurent

      • Distance : 26 km
      • Duration : 7h
      • Elevation gain : 320 m

      This part of the route takes you to the Château de Luc, one of the region’s most significant castles from the Middle Ages. You then continue on to Laveyrune, Rogleton and the summit of Espervelouze (1225m), before arriving at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a Cistercian abbey where the monks produce wine. 

      Stevenson spent three days there!You then head on to La Bastide Puylaurent.

    • Day 7

      From La Bastide Puylaurent to Chasseradès

      • Distance : 12.5 km
      • Duration : 3h
      • Elevation gain : 300 m

      This short final day of hiking takes you up a forest track, offering a beautiful view of the surroundings as you cross the forest of Gardille to reach La Mourade (1310m). You pass through a wind farm before re-descending towards the pretty hamlet of Chasseradès.

    • Day 8

      From Chasseradès to Bleymard

      • Distance : 17 km
      • Duration : 5h
      • Elevation gain : 300 m

      The route starts by climbing up through the Lizard forests, towards the top of Goulet (1413m), offering a beautiful panorama over Mont Lozère. Following tracks alongside the streams that feed the Tarn river, you will eventually reach the hamlets of Alpiers and Le Bleymard. You are now at the foot of Mont Lozère.

    • Day 9

      From Bleymard to Pont de Montvert

      • Distance : 19 km
      • Duration : 5h30
      • Elevation gain : 650 m

      This is the stage with the biggest climb! Ascend Mont Lozère, on to the Summit of Finiels , passing through forests, moors and fields to arrive in Les Cévennes. An exceptional panorama opens up to you. The route continues on, down the southern slope, passing through the small hamlet of Finiels towards the Pont de Montvert, the village from which the Camisards uprising began in 1702.

    • Day 10

      From Pont de Montvert to Florac

      • Distance : 28.5 km
      • Duration : 8h
      • Elevation gain : 550 m

      The longest stage of your hike takes you across the River Tarn to climb the third highest massif of the Cévennes National Park: Bougès (1421m) stands in the heart of the Camisards. Following the Col du Sapet and Bedouès, then along the River Tarn, you finally arrive at Florac, the ‘capital’ of the Cévennes.

    • Day 11

      From Florac to Cassagnas

      • Distance : 18 km
      • Duration : 5h
      • Elevation gain : 150 m

      Following the old railway through the Mimente valley, you reach St Julien d’Arpaon and its famous castle. You then arrive at Cassagnas.

    • Day 12

      From Cassagnas to Saint Germain de Calberte

      • Distance : 15 km
      • Duration : 4h
      • Elevation gain : 370 m

      This short stage takes you across the Cévennes National Park, through the Fontmort forest and down towards the Col de la Pierre Plantée, before arriving at Saint-German-de-Camberte.

    • Day 13

      From Saint Germain de Calberte to Saint Jean du Gard

      • Distance : 22 km
      • Duration : 5h30
      • Elevation gain : 375 m

      The last leg of your hike following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson takes you first to Saint-Etienne-Vallée-Française to cross the Gardon valley. Passing by the Col de Saint-Pierre, you continue your crossing of the Camisards, before finishing your hike with a descent into Saint-Jean-du-Gard, a typical village of the lower Cévenoles valleys, and the place where Robert Louis Stevenson ended his adventure.

    • Day 14

      Saint Jean du Gard

        End of the trip after breakfast.

      • End of trip

      Travel conditions

      • Key information and support

        You can go on your own, as a couple, with your family or with friends. We'll look after your accommodation, meals, luggage transfer and group.You have a good experience of hiking. From one stage to the next, you follow the maps and detailed digital roadbook that we have carefully prepared for you.Going on your own means hiking lightly, at your own pace, and taking full advantage of the pleasures of nature without worrying about the logistics of your stay. 

        It also means being free to interpret and imagine what the landscapes have to say.

      • Formalities

        • A valid official ID.
        • We recommend travel insurance with repatriation included. 
           
      • 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, a sufficient calorie intake and that each meal includes local specialities. 
        You can dine at your accommodation or in the associated restaurants. 
        Picnics (lunch) are not included. Available as an additional option.
         

      • Difficulty level

        This hike is aimed at adults who are in good physical condition. You should be able to walk for 4 to 7 hours per day (for queries concerning younger people, please contact us directly). The chosen route does not present any technical difficulties. You must be able to orientate yourself using a map and a TopoGuide.

        The footpaths are well signposted. 
         

      • Accommodation

        The whole of your stay is ‘half-board’ (dinner, overnight accommodation and breakfast included). There are two options to choose from:

        • Accommodation in a ‘Gite’ : Gites are selected specifically for their warm welcome and friendly atmosphere. More often than not, you will share a dormitory of 4-6 beds. Sheets and towels are not provided (ensure that you include them in your luggage).
        • ‘Selected’ Accommodation: Accommodated in a private double or triple room in a ‘gite’, bed and breakfast or hotel, normally with a private ensuite bathroom and toilet. On certain stages, and according to availability, you may be offered sanitary facilities (private or communal) which are accessible from the landing or hallway. We will inform you of the type of facilities available. Sheets and towels are provided.
      • Luggage

        Two options to choose from:

        • With luggage transfer: You only need to carry what is needed for the day and your picnic. Your other luggage is transported by vehicle. Please respect the luggage limit of one bag per person, maximum weight of 13kg/bag.
        • Without luggage transfer: you carry all of your belongings throughout the trip with no organised luggage transfer by vehicle. 
           
      • DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT

        Puy-en-Velay
        First day of the circuit: we recommend arriving on Sunday. The start of the hike will be on Monday.

        How to get there :

        • By car : Access via the Route Nationale 88 or 102. You can park your car for 7 days in one of the car parks in Puy-en-Velay (around 25€ for 7 days).
        • By train : Puy-en-Velay SNCF station.
        • By plane: Arrive at Le Puy-Loudes Airport, then take a taxi to Puy-en-Velay.
           
      • Options

        • A single bedroom if the ‘Selected Accommodation’ option has been chosen.
        • Return to Puy-en-Velay by shuttle bus. 
        • Rental of a GPS device with the saved route
        • Trip without any luggage transfer
           
      • Attendees

        From 2 people.

      Dates and price

      Free departure from

      Price TTC per person

      Freedom package with luggage carried by cabs - stopover gîte
      Registration at 2 people1090
      Registration at 3 people1070
      Registration at 4 people1060
      Registration at 6 people1050
      Freedom package with luggage transfer by cab - hotel
      Registration at 2 people1300
      Registration at 3 people1280
      Registration at 4 people1270
      Registration at 6 people1260

      Options

      • Single room supplement, if selected: 270€/pers.
      • Picnics on hiking days: 144€/pers
      • Return to Puy-en-Velay by shuttle bus: 70€/pers
      • GPS rental with recorded tracks (50€)
      • Stay without luggage transfer: - 90€/pers

      The price includes

      • Half board accommodation for hikes.
      • Luggage transportation (only if Luggage Transfer option is selected).
      • IGN map with rote highlighted, topo-guide and map holder.
      • GPS tracks in GPX format.
      • Organisation and logistics costs

      The price does not include

      • Drinks.
      • Picnics.
      • Insurance.
      • Personal expenses and visits to monuments.
      • The return transfer.

      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.

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