The way of Stevenson (GR 70) is a hiking trail starting from Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-du-Gard or even Alès. You will follow the tracks of Robert Louis Stevenson, by the vast volcanic plateaus of the Velay and the uplands of Gévaudan to then cross the Mont Lozère (1699 m) and the crests and valleys of Cévennes.
The way of Stevenson is 272 km long and can be done in about 12 or 13 days. Below, a few photographs which will definitely make you want to cross this amazing itinerary, one of the most beautiful of Massif Central.
Below, we suggest you some examples of stopovers on the way of Stevenson from 2 to 6 days of hike. However, if you want to cross the path in its entirety, 12 to 13 day will be necessary.
… In 2 days, crossing of the Gévaudan
… In 3 days, crossing of the Velay
… In 5 days, crossing of the Cévennes
… In 6 days, crossing of the Montagne du Goulet and the Mont Lozère
Warning!! Due to some sever weather conditions, this itinerary can be difficult in some places. See our article about it.
We advise you to get the TopoGuide FFRandonnée of the Way of Stevenson which contains all the useful information to prepare your trip: the detailed geographical mapping on IGN maps, the mileage and time of walk, a description of the path, step by step, the accommodations and services along the way, some cultural and thematic information.
Being available in the TopoGuide, the IGN maps at the scale 1: 25000 aren’t compulsory to follow the way of Stevenson. However, IGN has published a map of the whole itinerary, scale 1: 100 000, which offers a significant global view of the entirety of the way.
A hiker’s stopover booklet is available for this long-distance hike. It’s a little notebook that one can make stamp at each stop one makes along the way, in the accommodation, as a proof of passage. It’s also a souvenir of your trip…
Many accommodations and services are available along the way of Stevenson GR 70. This itinerary is quite frequented, thus, we advise you to book in advance your first nights. If you’re looking for accommodation on the Stevenson, consult our list of accommodations by following the opposite link.
Making carry your luggage on the Way of Stevenson is perfectly possible! Indeed, our partner carriers can take care of picking up your luggage directly from your accommodation to your next stop. They can also bring your back to Le Puy-en-Velay or your starting point.
Your budget will mainly depend on your choice of accommodation. Of course, the less expensive solution is the campsite but your backpack will be heavier! Indeed, you will have to carry tent, portable stove… Many stopover gîtes, bed and breakfast or hotels are available along the way of Stevenson. Depending on their quality and the services they offer you could spend between 30 and 60 euros per day per person.
The way of Stevenson (GR 70) crosses the regions of Haute-Loire, Lozère and Gard. It starts from the Rue du Bessat, in Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire). To come to Le Puy-en-Velay, you have many possibilities:
Winters can be harsh with a significant snow cover on the plateau of the Velay and the Mont Lozère. The fog can also greatly reduce the visibility. Therefore, we advise you to do not walk this hiking trail during the winter season.
Important: before leaving on your trip, always check the weather.
The way of Stevenson is an itinerary certified of “sentier de Grande Randonnée” (long-distance hike) by the Walking French Federation: the GR 70. It is then marked in white and red by the Walking Committees it crosses: Haute-Loire, Lozère and Gard.
If you wish to support the work of markings of the Walking Committees’ teams, you can sign up for:
Robert-Louis Stevenson has begun this journey across the Cévennes in the autumn 1878. One of the reasons which spurred him to do this trip is his meeting, two years before with an American, Fanny Osbourne, painter. The latter is forced to go back to California with her children. Robert-Louis Stevenson then decides to go alone in the Cévennes.
Coming from a Protestant Scottish family, Robert-Louis Stevenson is also passionate about the revolt of the Camisards (French Protestants, called “Huguenots”), which had grown years ago in the Cévennes. This is undoubtedly another of the reasons that led him towards these maquis.
Stevenson looks like the traveler of today, but in a little bit more loaded! Around a hundred of kilos of equipment, with notably an ingenious multi-use sleeping bag made from a waterproof tarpaulin on the outside and of wool inside. A way to spend some nights outside with no fear of the cold!
It’s from carrying this heavy pack that Stevenson met the famous Modestine in Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille. He bought this jenny, “puny and not bigger than a dog” for 65 French francs and a drink of cognac!
Stevenson transcribed his journey in a book renamed “Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes”, then will write other famous novels such as: “Treasure Island” and “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.
On the way of Stevenson, today named GR 70, you will also discover the Huguenots and all those who found shelters in the Cévennes in the forties.
With a donkey or not, you will be immersed in the landscapes and atmospheres that Robert-Louis Stevenson discovered more than 130 years ago.