Walking the watershed - Stevenson Way South

Stevenson Way South

Stevenson Way – Southern Half is your chance to enjoy the second half of Stevenson’s classic trail in a format classified as ‘moderate’. Start in Chasseradès and finish in St-Jean-du-Gard near Alès en Cevennes, any day from mid-April to mid-October, whilst we transport your luggage.

And see why The Times recommends us as your hosts for the trip.

Dear Enlightened Traveller Team, A fantastic week along the Stevenson Way – southern half! Thank you so much for all your impeccable arrangements. We enjoyed the variety…not only of the walk, but also of the accommodation!”

- John & Shona of London via postcard from St Jean du Gard.

Stevenson Way South: Mt. Lozere & CevennesConcise details on the Stevenson Way – Southern Half tour can be obtained by downloading the tour pdf [right]. Alternatively, read the tour description below and click through the sub-headings in the right-hand column for information on access, accommodation, availability, content and prices.

See main Stevenson Trail tour page for tour feedback and customer reviews.

Visit our Instagram page to view day-by-day photos of each tour. This feature is under construction and new photos are being added on a daily basis. Thanks for your patience and do check back to see our updates.

Stevenson Way – Southern Half retraces the steps taken by the Scot from Chasseradès in Lozere to St-Jean-du-Gard in Cevennes Gardois, over Mont Lozere and into the schist valleys of Cevennes; the most remote parts of The Hexagon that have recently achieved UNESCO World Heritage status – a journey of 112 kilometres or around 69 miles.

You will enjoy fabulous scenery and hearty fare in the best accommodations the trail has to offer. If you have never walked a long distance path before, or are new to hiking in France, walking the Robert Louis Stevenson Way is your ideal introduction.

One of the best walking holidays in France, Forbes Traveller considers it to be in the world’s top-ten most famous travel adventures. But don’t rush it: choose Stevenson Way – Southern Half, followed or preceded by Part One, and enjoy the hiking experience of a life-time and at your own pace.

Finally here on the Stevenson Way – Southern Half: calling all train buffs, can we have your attention please! The inward train journey is by Le Cévenol mountain railway line. Affectionately known as the ‘line of 100 tunnels’, this is France’s only-remaining working mountain railway line, boasting spectacular aquaducts and enchanting tunnels. When we first rode it in 2005, the lights would go out as you entered each tunnel – the kids loved it! Progress has made it a lights-on experience now, but the views are eternally spectacular. All in all, arguably the best prelude to a walking tour anywhere in the world – get on it!

Stevenson Way - Southern Half map

Stevenson Way - Lozere & Gard map

  • £895.00 Pounds Sterling or €1075.00 Euros
  • [Per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
  • A ‘world’s top-ten most famous travel adventure’ by Forbes Traveler– who recommend The Enlightened Traveller – see ‘yellow highlighted’ link below.
  • Our tour is recommended by The Times: click here for details.
  • Enjoy sub-alpine to Mediterranean flora and volcanic plateau to schist valley topography.
  • Hike the best of the Cevennes’ hill-crests and Mont Lozere – 5573 ft/1699 m.
  • Visit fascinating and historic villages en route.
  • 7-night, moderate self-guided tour
  • Start any day, mid-April to mid-October.
  • Tour starts in Chasserades and finishes in St Jean du Gard, near Ales.
  • Access via Le Cévenol mountain railway line from either Nimes or Clermont-Ferrand – ask us for the latest timetable.
  • Welcoming mix of ‘2-star standard’ hotels and auberges.
  • We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
  • 7 nights B & B in ‘2-star standard’ hotels and auberges and all hotel taxes
  • 6 evening meals – leaving you free to choose where to eat dinner in St Jean – several options are available.
  • Luggage transfers¹ and transport integral to the programme.
  • Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
  • 1:50,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
  • Emergency telephone help-line service with 7/7 native-English speaking back-up from 8 ’till 8.

¹ You are entitled to take one piece of luggage per person weighing up to 13 kgs. Supplements are payable for extra or overweight luggage.

Note: we are able to arrange for your excess luggage to be securely stored for the duration of your tour and delivered to the final hotel before your departure. Please ask us for further details of this service if it is of interest to you.

Not included:
Remaining meals and all drinks and extras;
personal expenses;
entrances into any optional cultural visits and venues;
hiking, personal and travel insurances;
travel to Chasserades and from St Jean du Gard.

      Access is by Le Cévenol mountain railway line to La Bastide PuyLaurent [affectionately known as the ‘line of 100 tunnels’] followed by a short onward train (or SNCF bus) to Chasserades.

    • From Nimes Gare SNCF, the inward journey takes approx. 2 hours and is a spectacular ride.
    • via Clermont-Ferrand [airport or SNCF], with onward train taking approx. 3 hours. Note that Clermont-Ferrand is accessible directly by rail from Paris on the same cross-county or ‘TER’ line.

    Please see:
    the TER Site here (Regional railways).

Please ask us for the latest Cévenol timetable.

  • A mix of comfortable, family-run,’2-star standard’ hotels or equivalent chambres d’hotes and auberges.
  • En-suite facilities.
  • Evening meals follow a fixed menu format for all half-board guests and do not include drinks. Most hotel menus provide a meat or fish dish, plus a vegetarian option; whilst chambres d’hotes and auberges tend to function around one common meal of which all guests partake, bar vegetarians, who would have an alternative dish. All showcase ‘produits du terroirs’ typical of the regions through which you walk.
  • Warm summers; mild and sunny spring & autumn
  • Enjoy sub-alpine to Mediterranean flora and volcanic plateau to schist valley topography.
  • Cross two ‘natural’ historical regions – Mont Lozere & Cevennes.

Stevenson Way – Southern Half: Tour Itinerary.

[All distances, elevation gains/losses and times are an approximation]

Day 1: Arrival in Chasseradès via Le Cévenol mountain railway line to La Gare SNCF de la Bastide PuyLaurent [affectionately known as the ‘line of 100 tunnels’]. Short onward train to Chasseradès.
Night in Chasseradès.

Day 2

Chasseradès to Le Bleymard.

[10.5 miles-16.5 kms, 5 hrs, +280 ms/-390 ms]

Lot Valley

You climb into Goulet Forest, and enter the Cevennes proper with some great views, before following the Lot from near its source to Les Alpiers and onto Bleymard.

Night in Bleymard.

Day 3

Le Bleymard to Pont de Montvert.

[11 miles-18 kms, 6.5 hrs, +630 ms -824 ms].

Mont Lozere

A memorable ascent to Mont Lozere, and the highest point in south-central France, Le Pic de Finiels (1699 ms). Then it’s a steep descent followed by a gentle hike to Le Pont de Montvert and into Camisard Country.

Night in or near Pont de Montvert.

Day 4

Pont de Montvert to Florac.

[15.5 miles-25 km, 7 hrs, +545 ms -875 ms.]

Signal du Bouges

The longest day is blessed with some memorable views over the waves of Cevennes hills as you walk mountain crest, crossing from Mediterranean to Alpine flora and back along the watershed.

Night in Florac.

Day 5

Florac to Cassagnas.

[11 miles-16.5 kms, 5 hrs, +200 ms -50 ms].

The Mimente Valley

You walk the fabulous Mimente Valley trail, and pass the ruins of the château at St. Julien d’Arapon en route to the village of Cassagnas, a former Camisard stronghold.

Night in Cassagnas.

Day 6

Cassagnas to St Germain de Calberte.

[8.5 miles-15 kms, 5 hrs, +270 ms -260 ms].

Pierre Plantée

You climb to Pierre Plantée Pass at 891 ms and past several menhirs and chestnut groves, the traditional staff of life in the Cevennes, before arriving at character-full St Germain.

Night in St Germain.

Day 7

St Germain to St. Jean du Gard

[13 miles-21 kms, 6 hrs, +350 ms -900 ms]

Corniche des Cevennes

Your last-day’s trekking has you walking the Corniche des Cevennes and climbing to a 360 degree vantage point for those last-gasp photos. The sharp descent to the Gardon Valley is a fitting finale and you have earned the right to chill out beside the heated outdoor pool or enjoy the delights of this market town, with castle, museums and plenty of cafes and restaurants.

Night in St Jean.

Day 8: Departure day – Enjoy your breakfast and Bon retour et a la prochaine! Optional return transfer to Le Puy at tour’s end or bus [not Sundays] or taxi transfer to Ales – please ask us for details.

Independent testimonials about walking the Stevenson Way with The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:

Stevenson Way South: Mt. Lozere & Cevennes
3.9 Our Rating
Customer Score 4.5 (2 votes)
  • A modern literary classic through deepest rural France
  • Cross two 'natural regions' and the Atlantic/Mediterranean watershed
  • Marvel at the 'rolling blue hills' of Les Cévennes.
  • One long day - but the fine views make you forget it!
  • The heat of the Cevennes valleys in July and August
  • The best times to walk the trail [May & September] are the busiest
The more challenging southern half is a journey across two historic regions, each with its own architecture, cuisine, flora and topography."
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