Robert Lewis Stevenson, famous writer and traveler, made famous a hiking trail located in the heart of the Cévennes.
About 200km of walking
Following a romantic failure, Robert Lewis Stevenson feels the need to isolate himself and then undertakes a journey in the south of France, accompanied by a donkey named Modestine. This trip, he tells it in the book “Journey with a donkey in the Cévennes“. In his story, Stevenson recounts his crossing of the Cévennes on foot, undertaken in the autumn of 1878, with the donkey Modestine as his only traveling companion. Despite a difficult start, Robert Lewis Stevenson ends up forging very strong emotional ties with the animal. From Le Monastier in Haute-Loire, their journey will last 12 days and will end in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, after about 200 km of walking. Stevenson’s objective was twofold: to forget his heartache and go to meet the country of camisards.
A travel diary published in 1879
His travel diary was published in 1879 under the title of “Voyage avec un âne dans les Cévennes”. This book has made it possible to retrace his route, which has now become the Chemin de Stevenson (GR 70), thus offering hikers the possibility of following in the footsteps of the Scottish author-adventurer in love with France.
Author known for his adventure and fantasy stories, Robert Lewis Stevenson will be remembered for his many books that have become essential such as “Treasure Island” published in 1883 or “The strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” released in 1886 .
I had sought adventure all my life, passionless adventure, as it happened to heroic travelers in the early days; and to find myself thus, in the morning, in a lost and wooded corner of Gévaudan, disoriented, as foreign to what surrounded me as the first man abandoned in the land, was to see, fulfilled, a part of my waking dreams. Robert Louis Stevenson.
So if you want to follow in the footsteps of this writer, discover the four territories that make up this hiking trail, which stretches from the south of the Massif Central to the deep Cévennes.
With its 250 km and its exceptional diversity, your route promises to be rich in surprises…
4 routes between Auvergne and Languedoc-Roussillon
A soft colorful mix between small volcanic reliefs and high agricultural plateaus. On one side the fields of green lentils, on the other the small stone walls seem to want to organize the landscape by highlighting each pasture. In the middle of this green countryside, the lava gives the hamlets its red and black colors and the Loire meanders quietly adding its touch of blue.
A legendary country where the small valleys welcome wild forests lit by pastures and marshes where the silence lets guess the murmur of the many streams and where the carpets of moss invite you to rest. Until the smell of raspberries and birches together awaken all the senses.
A strange bare massif, dotted with granite chaos with rounded shapes and punctuated by numerous cool springs. A country in its own right where broom intoxicates spring itself and where purple heather and blue bilberries later announce the end of summer. At the top of Finiels, time necessarily stops for every traveler, leaving the eyes to enjoy the pleasure of running from the Alps to the Pyrenees. The strength of the place then inevitably permeates the whole body of the walker before pushing him towards the blue volutes of the famous Cévennes.
Deep and luminous at the same time, the Cevennes valleys gently invite you to idleness, to the nonchalance of the South. Shale trails glide through chestnut forests, plunging down to refreshing rivers before reaching sun-kissed peaks. The slates gradually give way to tiles on the roofs and each small village crossed has its stories to tell, in exchange for yours of course.