Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes' 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 Cévennes region on the edge of France's Massif Central. The route is ideal for both first-time trekkers and more experienced hikers, covering around 272km of gently undulating countryside from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Alès. It can be completed in under a fortnight.
The trail is presented in 12 stages of 16 to 30km, 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 Cévennes: 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.