Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes 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 Cevennes region on the edge of France's Massif Central. The route is ideal for both first-time trekkers and more experienced hikers, covering around 272 km of gently undulating countryside from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Ales. It can be completed in under a fortnight.
The trail is presented in 12 stages of 16 to 30 km, 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 Cevennes: 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.
About Robert Louis Stevenson
When to go
Travelling to and from the trail
Food and supplies
What to take
Maps and waymarking
Using this guide
Stage 1 Le Puy-en-Velay to Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille
Stage 2 Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille to Le Bouchet-St-Nicolas
Stage 3 Le Bouchet-St-Nicolas to Langogne
Stage 4 Langogne to Cheylard-l’Évêque
Stage 5 Cheylard-l’Évêque to La Bastide-Puylaurent
Stage 6 La Bastide-Puylaurent to Le Bleymard
Stage 7 Le Bleymard to Le Pont-de-Montvert
Stage 8 Le Pont-de-Montvert to Florac
Stage 9 Florac to Cassagnas
Stage 10 Cassagnas to St-Germain-de-Calberte
Stage 11 St-Germain-de-Calberte to St-Jean-du-Gard
Stage 12 St-Jean-du-Gard to Alès
Appendix A Useful contacts and information
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Campsites
Appendix D French–English glossary
Nike Werstroh and Jacint Mig met on a long coach journey and soon became inseparable. Travelling quickly emerged as their favourite activity and now wherever they go they try to find the best trails. They love to share their passion for walking with others. Nike went to journalism school and Jacint is a keen photographer. They live in Surrey.