Hike through the Cévennes in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson
South-central France is harboring a secret—an Eden-like landscape of rivers and lakes, thick forests, and dramatic pinnacles. Though Robert Louis Stevenson immortalized this region in his classic story Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes,it’s remained well off the beaten path. Join us on a journey to the hidden corners of the Massif Central, from ancient villages undiscovered by tourists to high plateaus carpeted with wildflowers.In the company of Laurent Langoisseur, Stephane Berger, Florence Simond (our most popular Alps guides), you’ll enjoy spectacularly scenic hikes each day, with plenty of time for a leisurely picnic lunch or browsing a farmers market. Beginning in lovely, historic Lyon and ending in the medieval jewel of Avignon, this itinerary will leave you truly enchanted.
6 Days of moderate hiking.
- Discover the historic treasures of Lyon and walk the 800-year-old ramparts of Avignon
- Unravel the secrets of the Massif Central, from flower-strewn meadows to ancient villages
- Walk in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson on this journey from the Velay to the Cevennes
Duration: 8 days Start Location: Lyon, France End Location: Avignon, FranceDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Ariive in Lyon, France
Arrive in Lyon and transfer to your four-star hotel. Afternoon tour of historic Lyon with a local guide. Evening orientation and welcome dinner.
Day 2 : Hike to Arlempdes
Transfer to the Monastier sur Gazeille (2.5 hours), and begin hiking over a lush plateau to the Velay village of Goudet. Descend towards the scenic village of Arlempdes overlooking the Loire River. Transfer to the Hotel Domaine des Barres in Langogne. (7 miles hiking)
Day 3 : Hike to Le Cheylard l'Evêque
Depart from the hotel on an easy trail to St Flour and the beautiful beech forest of Mercoire. Descend to the village of Le Cheylard l'Evêque and its lovely chapel — a perfect location for lunch. Afternoon transfer to Le Bleymard (35 minutes) and the Hotel La Remise, or take an optional hike from the Lot River spring to our hotel. (8 miles hiking)
Day 4 : Hike to the Top of Mont Lozere
Morning transfer (20 minutes) to the Col de Finiels. Hike up and along the wide Mont Lozere ridge to the Laubies summit before descending to Barandon Lake. A 25 minute transfer takes us to the Hotel La Lozerette in Cocures. (12 miles hiking)
Day 5 : Hike to the Heart of Cevennes National Park
Morning transfer to Pont de Montvert (20 minutes), near the heart of the Cevennes region. Hike up to the Col du Sapet for a picnic lunch. Short afternoon transfer to Florac in Cevennes National Park. Visit the town and return to the Hotel La Lozerette. (7 miles hiking)
Day 6 : Hike to Germain de Calberte
Morning transfer to Cassagnas (30 minutes). HIke up to the Col des Laubies and Col de la Pierre Plantée, continuing to the town of St Germain de Calberte. Afternoon transfer to Mialet and the Hotel Le Pradinas on the Gardon River. (7.5 miles hiking)
Day 7 : Uzes – Pont du Gard – Avignon
Morning transfer to the lovely town of Uzes (1.5 hours). Explore this charming cobblestone village, and wonderful farners' market. Continue to the famous Pont du Gard and Avignon. Farewell dinner and overnight in a lovely hotel.
Day 8 : Depart from Avignon, France
After breakfast, transfer to the TGV train station.
DATES: Best time to go: May, October Departures: May 3 - 10, 2015 May 26, 2015 - Jun 2, 2015 Oct 1 - 8, 2015
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Laurent Langoisseur hails from Normandy, France, having grown up in Argentan (a small village that became famous in August 1944, “tournai sur dives”). At the age of 12, Laurent read La Grande Crevasse by Roger Frison-Roche, and became fascinated by the guiding and climbing descriptions of the Chamonix-Mont Blanc area. At 16, Laurent visited the area and was hooked. At 19, Laurent joined the French alpine troops, and after a year of service, moved to Chamonix. In 1991, he obtained his European Mountain Leader certification, and in 1995 he was awarded the coveted patch of the Compagnie des Guides. An avid sports enthusiast and inexhaustible hiker, Laurent has hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc close to 100 times. He is also an accomplished mountaineer, having summited Mont Blanc three times, as well as several other mountains over 13,000-feet. When he is not hiking and climbing, Laurent can be found running long distances for fun. Laurent recently completed a 48-mile race in 6 hours; and has also finished 48 miles in 9 hours with 10,000’ of ascent/descent. Laurent has been guiding for MTS since 1995, and is a senior guide on our Tour du Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc Express, Mont Blanc to Matterhorn (Haute Route), GR5, Gran Paradiso, and French Riviera trips, as well as any other trip we can get him on! His knowledge of the culture, history, plants, birds, and the name of every single peak and glacier along the trail is a wonderful complement to his guiding skills. When he isn’t guiding for us, he teaches First Aid and Mountain Rescue to mountain and hiking guides; and during the winter, he’s a ski patrol monitor in the mountains above Chamonix.
Stéphane is a true man of the mountains, with a Savoyard father and Swiss mother. He grew up in Chamonix, then left the valley to follow his first love, architecture. But the call of the wild proved too strong: numerous travels in North Africa, Siberia, and the Himalaya opened a new door to him—the profession of hiking guide. Nowadays Stéphane lives in a chalet in Chamonix from where he escapes frequently to travel the mountain areas of the world. “Steph” has now been a member of the Compagnie des Guides for many years, with over 100 trips to the Alps under his belt.
A native of Chamonix, Florence is a descendant from two of the area’s oldest families. After growing up in the Chamonix Valley, “Flo” spent several years in the south of France, and then traveled abroad to South America and Asia. She returned to her ancestral home, where the mountains now form an integral part of her life. She has led nearly 50 trips to the Alps, not counting how many times she has done this trip for her own fun! In addition to being an accomplished hiking guide, Flo is a skier and climber. As a member of the Compagnie des Guides, she follows in the footsteps of her forefathers.
Native from Chamonix, Fabienne comes from a family of mountaineers and farmers. Her grandfather was a recognized mountain guide. A former cross-country ski champion, she raced in several Europa Cups, and has been coaching the Chamonix cross-country Ski Club for the last 20 years. Very involved in the city life, she has a passion for the history of the valley and the surrounding mountains. A guide since 1993, she is also keen in botany and proud to share her love and knowledge of the Mont-Blanc massif.