France self-guided walking trips, trails, themes


Valcèzard is the expanse of land lying between The Cèze and Ardèche rivers is known locally as Valcèzard. That is Val + Cèz + Ard. This territory is much more than just a fabrication by the local tourism department and has an identity all of its own that is more akin to that of Provence. It lies in Gard Provençal and it must be remembered that governmental administrative regions do not normally reflect historically-defined or distinct areas on the ground.

Trekking in France

Trekking in France with The Enlightened Traveller comprises full-day, hotel-to-hotel or inn-to-inn self-guided walking. You walk along a mix of long distance trails [GRs], regional routes [GPRs] or local paths [PRs]. Essential meals are included for your convenience, where no alternatives exist, as too are luggage transfers, unless you would prefer to omit these and backpack.

Trekking in France embraces longer, inn-to-inn walking tours that require higher levels of endurance and obviously more time.

St-Giles Way

St-Giles Way is the historical route that links Paris to Lower Languedoc. It links Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, which in the Middle Ages was a Mediterranean sea port. The much shorter ‘Regordane’, which is the term now used by the tourism authorities to refer tho the trail, ran from Luc Castle to Alès, the gateway to The Cevennes.

While St-Giles Way [or Chemin de Saint-Gilles] needs no introduction, the jury is still out as to the true origins of the name ‘Regordane’…

The Protestant uprising in Cevennes

The Protestant uprising in Cevennes took place three centuries ago. The rugged and isolated Cévennes hills in south-central France was the venue for a bitter conflict, the severity of which raised eyebrows among the landed classes and nascent bourgeoisie of Northern Europe and beyond. The Protestant uprising in Cevennes manifested itself as a religious war …

Reflections on the 130th Anniversary of The Stevenson Trail

A member of The Enlightened Traveller team walked the 252 kilometres of The Stevenson Trail as part of its 130th anniversary celebrations in 2008. Here are his considerations on what has now become a classic French trek. I decided it was easier to fly into Nimes, and make my way north on the Cévenol train, …

Multi-centre walking in France

Multi-centre walking in France involves day walks linked together from two or three bases. You thus walk for the best part of the day and enjoy an optimum mix of inn-to-inn and circular walks.

Multi-centre walking in France provides the benefit of not having to change hotels every night. Some hikers love the challenge and routine of getting up early, meticulously organizing that backpack and then moving on to pastures new. Others don’t, and these pages are for you others.

La Grande Motte

Grande Motte boasts 385 hectares of lawn and green space, over 43,000 trees, and 20 kilometres of pedestrianised pathways and trails that criss-cross and interconnect squares, avenues, seafront and port. Constructed with the good life in mind, it is not just a place to hang out in the summer, but a vibrant all-year-round town, boasting …

Cévennes Railway  – Le Cévenol

The Cévennes railway or ‘Le Cévenol’ links the cities of Nîmes (Gard) and Clermont Ferrand (Puy de Dôme) and has been in existence since 1870. It took six years to build and cost a staggering 520 million francs. Whether you are an avid train buff or simply a Francophile hiker in search of original walking holidays in France, this train journey is guaranteed to set your mind racing and heart pumping.