Walking Holidays in the Cevennes
In the autumn of 1878, the Scots writer Robert Louis Stevenson, author of ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Kidnapped’, set out from Le Monastier in the Auvergne to walk a trail south across the Cevennes accompanied by ‘a small grey donkey called Modestine, the colour of a mouse with a kindly eye’. It took this pleasing pair eleven days to complete the trip, and the book that Stevenson wrote about their journey, ‘Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes’ has since become a travel classic.
Stevenson should have put the Cevennes ‘on the map’, but despite his account of his travels through this beautiful region, it remains little known.
Stevenson's Trail or RLS Trail
The walks, on the route known as the RLS Trail or the Stevenson's Trail, start near Le Puy en Velay in the Auvergne, in the extinct volcanoes to the north of the Massif Central and follows a winding route southwards across the more mountainous Cevennes on the eastern flank of the Massif Central. This is the only inhabited French National Park.
The region that Stevenson chose for his journey boasts great natural beauty and is almost totally unspoilt. Depopulation, as drastic as that in Stevenson’s native Scotland, has left a region full of sad romantic ruins. Whilst the Cevennes always provide fairly rugged terrain and the walk does cross two significant mountains, Mont du Goulet (1497m) and Mont Lozere (1699m), the walk itself is not unduly demanding. Stevenson’s route can still be followed today without drastic modification. Inns, where Stevenson stopped, still exist and at Notre Dame des Neiges, the monks are still praying and brewing! We have taken the liberty of replacing Modestine, Stevenson’s donkey, with less troublesome methods of baggage handling during your walking holidays!
Our WALKING Holidays in the Cevennes