GR-70 Hike the Stevenson Trail, South Central France RLS-70
GR 70 Hiking
Hike The Stevenson Trail,
South Central France
In 1878 Robert Louis
Stevenson walked trails in
South Central France, south
of Lyon that had been long a
pilgrimage route through
France and over the Pyrenees
In Spain the trails go west to
the coast at the site of Saint
James (Santiago) de
This trail is now the Grande
(Long Trekking) hiking trail
which connects to the other
trails that continue south over
the Pyrenees to Spain.
France Self Guided Hiking Vacation,
South Central France, Trekking
Speed limits will be clearly marked and the Rotary will be a welcome site with its directions to various
towns. Gassing up is similar to US with credit card and automatic shut-off at modern pumps. Car rental are
available in all large cities and at many TGV Train Stations..
Information for those renting a vehicle in Provence
Shop for your rental car online well ahead of your trip and choose diesel (more economical) or gas, luggage
space,(important) standard or automatic,(important) two door, four door and other options. See renting a
vehicle in Provence
Self Guided Tours of the GR 70.
Hike The Stevenson Trail on a 12 Day
Inn to Inn Walk Through Central France.
The Stevenson trail became popular after
articles appeared in the past 30 years by
hikers who had followed Stevenson's
route and written about it. The trail
became a GR trail ten years ago. The
trail is well marked but not heavily
promoted by the local villages (see
For This Hike In South Central France you can make all your arrangements or you
can Hire Tour Guides who will book the inns and make other arrangements for
Stevenson was without guides and he found the local people unhelpful.
Stevenson's book has inspired many others who hike along his path. In the last
ten years this trail has become popular with hikers who wish to follow Stevenson's
route. The trail is now organized although in a few places it deviates form the
Train service reaches Le Puy en Velay,
The best time for this hike is between March and November. The high elevation
portions could have snow in winter. The trails and accommodations could be
crowded from mid June to mid September.
The tour guides provide the lodging and information about meal options or you can
make these arrangements on your own. This is a self guided hike, once the hiker
reaches the trail. The trails are well marked, some, having been used since roman
times, are still marked with Roman stones. Shepherds commonly use the trails
accompanied by their Pyrenees mountain dogs when they move their flocks to
seasonal grazing land.
The trails continue south
over the Pyrenees to
Robert Louis Stevenson came to the French village of Le Monastier-
sur-Gazeille to prepare for his hike south. In Le Monastier he
purchased the burro named Modestine to use as a pack animal. He
then set out south along the trail now called the Grande Randonnee–
70 or the RLS-70 towards the town of La Bastide-Puylaurent. He
traveled in the later part of September. He continued south, stopping
in several more villages for an overnight stay before he reached St
Jean du Gard in the Parc Cevennes in early October. He had
traveled for 12 days and covered nearly 140 miles. A year later, at
age 28, he published a book about his travels and it was a success.
Travels With A Donkey In The Cevennes, his second book, had
launched his celebrated writing career.
Trails continue south to the
Self Guide or Guided
Hikers start in the village of Puy en Velay in
3000 foot mountains, through villages, and
into the Parc Nacional des Cevennes. The
hike ends in the town of St. Jean du Garde
in the Sevennes.
Stevenson started in Le Monastier and
hiked about 120 miles during his 12 days.
That remains a god target for the modern
hiker, who will do about 12 to 16 miles a
day through the Auvergne, Cevennes, and
Tour guides can arrange for transportation and for parking of a guest's vehicle or independant travelers can
make these arrangements via email to the inns. You can make your arrangements for lodging at inns located in
small villages along the way.
These sites are a good place to start a search for information
Take a guided tour of the GR70 trail
through France. This 12 day guided
walk follows the Robert Louis
Stevenson Trail, the RLS 70, from the
Upper Loire Valley to the Parc Nacional
des Cevennes near Montpellier in
The GR-70 Hiking Trail, The Stevenson Trail of South Central
France can be walked to Ales.
The trail is now the Grande Randonnee, GR70 (Long Trekking)
hiking trail which continues south over the Pyrenees to Spain.