Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 is unquestionably a classic French walk. A literary trail of international standing, it arguably serves as the benchmark for all other walking tours worldwide.

Grasp the opportunity to walk the original recreational hike in the safe hands of The Enlightened Traveller – recommended by many, including the legendary British broadsheet, The Times, Forbes Traveler and The Sydney Morning Herald .

Hidden Gem. Imagine going back in time, to less crowded world, full of outstanding beauty, welcoming people, and remarkable food – that is the Chemin Stevenson. The diversity of scenery and hiking challenges, the gracious fellow hikers, old villages offering top class country fair, that is the Chemin Stevenson. Be ready to be challenged and be ready to sit by a high mountain pond enjoying the most vibrant strawberries you have ever seen. This is a not miss experience.
Thank you Enlightened Traveller!”

- Harold G, a lawyer from New Jersey, 20th June 2023 - see the reviews at the foot of the page

When Robert Louis Stevenson walked through France’s Cévennes in 1878, he ignited a curiosity that has since become a national treasure: The Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70. The route was originally way-marked with the blue and white St Andrew’s Cross. It was re-branded in red and white in the nineteen-nineties as a ‘sentier de grande randonnée,’ Le Chemin de Stevenson/GR70.

The Cévennes’ most famous hiking trail, you will find various ways of walking the Stevenson Trail on this page: walk half, the ‘Best of,’ the ‘Very Best of’ or even trek it with a donkey. And why not personalise the experience by adding an extra night or two or packed lunches? Let us be your guide!

Stevenson Trail - Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 10-night tour flyerStevenson Trail - Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 12-night tour flyer

We are already taking bookings for 2024. The pent-up demand post-Covid is extremely high and customers are booking earlier and earlier each year. Reserve your places NOW to avoid disappointment.

For concise Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 tour details, download the appropriate tour pdf. Run your cursor over the image to download either the 10-night [left] or the 12-night [right] version to suit. Alternatively, click through the sub-headings in the right-hand column for detailed information and read the summary and model itinerary below.

Visit our Instagram page to view day-by-day photos of the Stevenson route. 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.

Please check out the independent customer reviews for the Stevenson Trail at the foot of the page. And you can view a customer’s YouTube video on his experience with us under ‘Further Reading’ below.

Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 links Le Monastier in the Haute Loire, to St Jean du Gard in south-eastern Cévennes. A distance of 156 miles/252 kilometres, the trail was walked by Robert Louis Stevenson one hundred and forty five years ago. The experience inspired him to write his first book: Travels with a Donkey in Cévennes (1879).

That ground-breaking work is considered a classic of outdoor literature which set the standard for travelogues. Moreover, Stevenson is, in many ways, the pioneer of the whole modern hiking movement: his book was the first to present hiking as a recreational activity. Just travelling on foot for its own sake.

Stevenson Trail – The Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 is now one of the top-ten walking holidays in France. It is particularly popular with lovers of literary trails and history buffs wishing to retrace the footsteps of the eminent Scot.

If you love classic, inn-to-inn walking tours, this hiking trail is guaranteed to delight. It takes you through deepest rural France and across four ancient and natural ‘regions’: Velay, Gevaudan, Mont Lozère and Cévennes. If you only ever do one such self-guided walking tour in France, our customers say it that this is the one to do.

Stevenson Trail France map

    10-night tour:

  • Per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room:
    £1220.00 Pounds Sterling or €1425.00 Euros

  • 12-night tour:

  • Per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room:
    £1415.00 Pounds Sterling or €1650.00 Euros
  • Rated a ‘world’s top travel adventure’ by Forbes Traveler- who recommend The Enlightened Traveller – see ‘yellow highlighted’ link below.
  • Enjoy sub-alpine to Mediterranean flora and volcanic plateau to schist valley topography.
  • Hike the best of the Cevennes’ valleys and hill-crests, incl. Mont Lozere – 5573 ft/1699 m.
  • Personalise the trip to suit your needs.
  • Visit fascinating and historic villages en route.
  • 10 or 12-night, moderate self-guided tour
  • Several options exist to reduce the challenge: a 13-nighter cuts Day 2 in half; walk just the northern or the southern half, the ‘Best of’ or the ‘very best of’ – see other Moderate Stevenson formats below or ask us for details.
  • Start any day, mid-April to mid-October.
  • Tour starts in Le Puy-en-Velay and finishes in St Jean du Gard, near Alès.
  • Best access: Lyon airport or SNCF, with onward train to Le Puy via St Etienne.
  • Welcoming mix of ‘2-star standard’ hotels, inns and auberges.
  • Optional end-of-tour transfers back to Le Puy – please ask us for details.
  • We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
  • 10 or 12 nights’ bed and breakfast (B & B) in ‘2-star standard’ hotels and auberges and all hotel taxes
  • 8 or 10 evening meals respectively – leaving you free to choose where to eat dinner in le Puy and St Jean – options abound and are listed in the tour dossier.
  • Luggage transfers¹ and transport integral to the programme, incl. transfer from Le Puy to Le Monastier, where the trail starts.
  • Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
  • 1:50,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier – 1:25,000 scale maps are available at a supplement – please enquire.
  • 7/7 emergency telephone help-line service with native-English speaking backup.

¹ You are entitled to take one suitcase per person weighing up to 13 kgs – i.e., no suitcase must exceed 13 kgs. Supplements apply for 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.

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 Le Puy and from St. Jean du Gard.

    These details are for information purposes only, non-contractual and subject to change.
    Please see:
    the TER Site here (Regional railways).

  • Nearest airport or SNCF station is Lyon [3 hrs on TGV/High Speed Railway from Paris or Lille] with onward train journey to Le Puy via St Etienne (2 hrs 20 mins by Regional Railway/TER.).
  • Next-best access is via Nimes or Montpellier airports, with onward TGV to Lyon – 30 and 60 minute journeys, respectively.
  • Alternative option is via Clermont-Ferrand gare SNCF or airport, with onward TER regional train to Le Puy via St Etienne.
Departure from the tour from St Jean du Gard.
  • There are buses to Alès (Lines L72 and L81, except for Sundays) that depart from The Post Office and take about an hour to get to Alès Gare SNCF station. You can download the timetable here.
  • Onward trains from Alès to Nimes take 40 minutes. Find the train times here.
  • There is also a direct bus to Nimes and you can download the Line 112 timetable here, by clicking on the department called GARD..
  • Alternatively, your hosts in St Jean can arrange a taxi to Alès for you – either upon arrival or in advance. Their contact details are provided in the tour dossier.
  • An optimum mix of comfortable, family-run,’2-star standard’ hotels or equivalent chambres d’hotes, inns 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. Chambres d’hotes and auberges tend to function around one common meal of which all guests partake. Vegetarians have an alternative dish. All showcase ‘produits du terroirs’ typical of the regions through which you walk.
  • Warm summers; mild and sunny spring & autumn
  • Good choice of trail for July & August, as you walk at a cooler, average altitude of 900 to 1000 metres (3000+ feet). This is except for the final two (or three) days in the Cevennes valleys.
  • Enjoy sub-alpine to Mediterranean flora and volcanic plateau to schist valley topography.
  • Cross four ‘natural’ historical regions – Velay, Gevaudan, Mont Lozere & Cevennes.

Stevenson Trail - Robert Louis Stevenson trail GR70: Lozere Gard Upper Loire Ardeche map

Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 brings you wholesome food, or ‘produits du terroir’, as you traverse La France profonde. You stay in the best and most welcoming accommodation there is at every stage of the way.

This is in stark contrast to Robert Louis Stevenson, who slept out in a proto-type sleeping bag that he engineered himself. It was rather heavy, thus his decision to trek with a donkey. We transport your luggage for you, so all you need to carry across Auvergne and into Occitanie is your light daypack.

Stevenson Trail – The Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 is much more than just a great walk – it sets the standard that all other pretenders have to match.


Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70

Distances, elevations and timings are approximate. Note that the twelve night version cuts Days 6 and 9 in half, leaving just one long day – Day 8.

Day 1: Arrival in Le Puy en Velay and hotel check-in. A visit to Le Puy merits at least a half day, so get there early! Night in Le Puy.

Day 2

Le Puy to
Le Bouchet

[15 miles-24 kms, 6.5 hrs, +460 ms -175 ms]

Across Haute Loire

Taxi transfer (20 kms) to Le Monastier and the start of the trail. This is where Stevenson himself started his voyage – not from Le Puy. You commence with a short and relatively steep descent into the Upper Loire Valley. Then climb over 400 metres, through charming hamlets and across volcanic plateau before arriving at Stevenson’s first overnight stop.

Night in Le Bouchet St Nicolas.

Day 3

Le Bouchet to

[12 miles-19 kms, 5 hrs, +285 ms -375 ms].

To the Granite Cité

The ascents and descents are less steep today, but the walking is far from flat. Climb to the volcanic plateau from the Arquejol Viaduct before descending through forest to the granite ‘City of the High Prairies’.

Night in Pradelles.

Day 4

Pradelles to Cheylard l’Eveque

[14 miles/23 kms, +662 ms -740 ms, approx. 6 hrs]

Mercoire Forest

A gentle descent to Langogne takes you into the home of the ‘Beast of Gevaudan.’ Traverse forest and charming hamlet en route to the medieval village of Cheylard, repleat with church, chapel and abbey.

Night in Cheylard.

Day 5

Cheylard l’Eveque to La Bastide

[12 miles-19 kms, 5 hrs, +240 ms -380 ms]

Lake Gardille

Climb through Gardille forest and lunch beside its eponymous lake. Then push on to Luc castle. Follow the medieval Regordane Way alongside the Cevenol railway. Then cross the Allier River en route to your historic coaching inn.

Night in La Bastide Puylaurent.

Day 6

La Bastide to
Le Bleymard

[18 miles-28.5 kms, 7.5 hrs, +610 ms -550 ms]

The Watershed

Climb to Chambonnet Plateau, cross the Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed, and head down valley to picture-postcard Chasseradès. Enter the Cévennes proper and enjoy a fine walk alongside the fledgling River Lot.

Night in Le Bleymard.

This LONG DAY can be halved by opting for our 12-night version

Day 7

Le Bleymard to
Pont de Montvert

[10.25 miles-16.5 kms, approx. 6.5 hrs, +630 ms -824 ms].

Mont Lozere

A memorable ascent to Mont Lozère and Le Pic de Finiels (1699 ms), the highest point in south-central France. A short and relatively-steep descent is followed by a gentle hike to Finiels. Then follow a picturesque trail into Camisard Country and Le Pont de Montvert.

Night in Pont de Montvert or nearby – if the latter, a short return transfer is included.

Day 8

Pont de Montvert
to Florac

[17.5 miles-28 kms, 7 hrs, +545 ms -875 ms; short cut at 24 kms]

Signal du Bouges

The day is blessed with memorable views over the ‘blue waves’ of the Cevennes hills.  Walk mountain crest and watershed, crossing from Mediterranean to Alpine flora and back again.

Night in Florac.

The one unavoidable LONG DAY – opt for the final short cut!

Day 9

Florac to
St Germain de Calberte

[18 miles-28.5 kms, 7 hrs,
+470 ms -263 ms].

The Mimente Valley

Enter the steep-sided, red rock Mimente Valley. Pass the ruins of the château at St. Julien d’Arapon and enjoy the tunnels of the old railway line. Arrive in the hamlet of Cassagnas, a Camisard stronghold with no Catholic church. Then follow Pierre Plantée Pass past several menhirs and chestnut groves, the traditional staff of life in the Cevennes.

Night in St Germain.

This LONG DAY can be halved by opting for our 12-night version

Day 10

St Germain to
St. Jean du Gard

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

Corniche des Cevennes

Your last-day’s trekking has you walking up to the Corniche des Cevennes. Climb to a 360-degree belvedere for those last-gasp photos. Then descend sharply to the Gardon Valley, where you have earned the right to dip your feet in the cool river waters. Once in town, chill out beside the heated outdoor pool or enjoy the delights of this fine market town: castle, museums and plenty of cafes and restaurants.

Night in St Jean.

Day 11: Departure day – end of Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Route GR70 – Breakfast and onward travel. Optional bus (not on Sundays) or taxi transfer to Alès or Nimes – or return transfer to Le Puy. Please ask us for details.

Other Moderate Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 formats to consider are:

Independent testimonials about walking The Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70 with The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:

2024 Stevenson Trail – Robert Louis Stevenson Trail GR70
4 Our Rating
Customer Score 4.6 (48 votes)
  • A modern literary classic through deepest rural France
  • Cross four 'natural regions' and the Atlantic/Mediterranean watershed
  • Good choice of trail for summer - average altitude is 900 to 1000 metres (3000+ feet).
  • One long day - but the fine views make you forget it!
  • The Cevennes' heat in July and August - opt for the shorter days of the 12-nighter!
  • The most popular times to walk the trail are May & September - book early!
A journey across four historic regions, each with its own architecture, cuisine, flora and topography."
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