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What a wonderful adventure to follow the 252-kilometre itinerary walked by Robert Louis Stevenson, accompanied by his donkey, Modestine! From the volcanic plateaux of the Velay to the south of Auvergne as far as the Cévennes, crossing the gorges of the wild River Loire, what a fund of exquisite tales related by the author who was to make his name with his famous book, "Treasure Island".
The Stevenson Trail, or GR70, is a footpath 252 km in length that you can walk with or without a donkey in 12 stages and 10 days from Le Puy en Velay to Alès, if you go all the way. Of course, you can just follow the trail for a few kilometres if you are so inclined. You will pass through 4 distinct zones: the Velay, the Gévaudan, the Mont Lozère and the Cévennes. Here we invite you to discover the first part of the trail, devoted to the Velay.
From Le Puy en Velay to Monastier sur Gazeille
the Trail begins in the town of Le Puy-en-Velay and takes you first onto a plateau dominated by old volcanoes with rounded shapes, known locally as "gardes", and then descends again into the valley of the Loire to Robert Louis Stevenson's actual departure point: Le Monastier sur Gazeille.
From Le Monastier sur Gazeille to Le Bouchet Saint-Nicolas
Leaving Monastier, the path climbs back up onto the plateau before dropping down again into the Loire Valley at the extraordinary village of Goudet; it then strikes off towards Ussel and Les Bargettes before reaching Le Bouchet Saint-Nicolas.
From Le Bouchet Saint-Nicolas to Landogne, via Pradelles
This day's walk will give you the opportunity, as you pass through these villages, to discover various testimonies to country life in the old days: numerous roadside crosses, washing places, ox-shoeing frames, communal bread-ovens, meeting houses, and more. Pradelles, classified among the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (France’s Most Beautiful Villages), is worth the detour before you continue on your way towards the Lac de Nassauc at Landogne, where you may feel like having a swim.