The Chemin de Stevenson is a nature lover’s delight and the vast landscapes and panoramic vistas are ample reward for what is often a tiring, and occasionally difficult, walk.
If you long to follow in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson along the 270-kilometre (169-mile) path from Le Puy-en-Velay to Alès, you’ll encounter gentle slopes, endless ridges and relentless hills! Rarely flat, the Chemin de Stevenson (also known as the GR 70) is not a relaxing walk—but it is grand and spectacular!
When Stevenson set out in September 1878, accompanied by his donkey Modestine, he could not have imagined that a century later, the path would be named in his honour and thousands of walkers would be inspired to follow in his way.
Walk through bucolic farmland, the forest of the Cévennes National Park and along high ridges
As Stevenson walked, he collected his thoughts in his daily journal and later shared his experiences in the book Travels with a Donkey. Soon after, he wrote to a friend: “The journey which this little book is to describe was very agreeable and fortunate for me. After an uncouth beginning, I had the best of luck to the end. But we are all travellers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world—all, too, travellers with a donkey: and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend. He is a fortunate voyager who finds many. We travel, indeed, to find them. They are the end and the reward of life. They keep us worthy of ourselves; and when we are alone, we are only nearer to the absent.”
Visit Le Bleymard, Abbaye Notre-Dame des Neiges and the ‘most beautiful village’ of Pradelles
Robert Louis Stevenson completed his journey from Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille to Saint-Jean-du-Gard in eleven days, covering a distance of 225 kilometres (140 miles). Now extended at both ends to link Le Puy-en-Velay to Alès, I recommend a slightly slower pace of fourteen days.
No matter how fast—or slow—you choose to travel, you’ll find everything you need to plan an itinerary to suit you in the I Love Walking in France – GR70 Chemin de Stevenson guidebook.
Presented in a light, easy-to-read format and illustrated with dozens of photos, this comprehensive guidebook covering distances, accommodation, suggested itineraries, practical tips on transport options, market days, available services and much more makes planning a breeze.
“Everything was complete, easy to read and makes me want to do the same hike again!”
“Melinda has done a wonderful job in recreating Stevenson’s walk. It brought back so many wonderful memories of the beautiful land and the friendly people we met along the way.
I especially enjoyed reading about Robert Louis Stevenson in the notes.
Everything was complete, easy to read and makes me want to do the same hike again!
I do remember, I believe on day 2, I thought – there is no way this is an easy to moderate hike but as the days went on and I became stronger, the days flew by and I was disappointed when it was over. This hike is definitely for the more “trained” hiker!” Debby Sutherland
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often is the guidebook updated?
I Love Walking in France guidebooks are updated in January/February each year.
If you purchase a guidebook but are not able to complete the walk before the new edition is released, let me know at [email protected] I will email you a discount code to download the updated guide at no cost!
Updates to content which occur throughout the year are listed at the bottom of this page.
Is the guidebook available in paperback as well as PDF format?
No, the guidebook is only available in PDF format.
Once the purchase is complete, you’ll be redirected to a web page containing a link to the guidebook. Download the PDF file by clicking on the link and saving the file to your device.
This provides easy access to website links so that booking accommodation, checking bus timetables and confirming the opening hours of Tourist Offices and other attractions is a breeze!
What’s in the guidebook that’s not covered on the website?
It’s true, you’ll find a lot of information here on the website, including:
- What to expect on the walk
- Map of the path and its location in France
- My suggested itinerary, including tips for sightseeing and market days
- A list of all the towns and villages where you’ll find accommodation and the distances between them
- Practical tips for walking safely and considerately
Inside an I Love Walking in France digital guidebook, you’ll also find—
- A complete packing list covering all the essential items you’ll need to take and a few optional extras
- Useful French phrases to help you book a taxi, book a room, ask about breakfast, order dinner, buy a train ticket and understand directions
- Dozens of photos
Each village has a dedicated section covering:
- Population (because a village of 35 will not have an ATM not matter how badly you need one)
- Accommodation—hotels, chambre d’hôtes, gîtes and campgrounds… including website links
- Available services—cafés, bakeries, grocery stores, doctors, pharmacies, banks and ATMs
- Train and bus services, including website links to check or download timetables
- Taxi phone numbers
- Tourist Office location and website
- Market days and other festivals
- A brief history of the village and details of museums, churches and other attractions
Does the guidebook include walking notes?
No. For up-to-date information on routes and elevations, I recommend carrying a TopoGuide, the guidebook published by FFRandonnée, the organisation that maintains all walking paths in France. (TopoGuides include topographic maps showing the path, nearby roads and villages and the lay of land. You’ll find a description of the TopoGuides and a comparison with the Miam Miam Dodo guidebooks here, including instructions for navigating the French online book stores.)
Who is this guidebook for?
I love Walking in France guidebooks are for those wanting a broader experience of the French joie de vivre beyond the chemin—those wanting to travel a little slower and take the time to explore historic chapels, climb the tower of a ruined châteaux, visit local museums, plan their day around the fresh food market and, of course, to savour the delicious food and wine for which France is, quite rightly, famous.
If you prefer to travel simply and lightly—camping whenever possible, perhaps preparing your own meals each night and focusing mostly on the trail—you’ll find everything you need in the TopoGuide.
Do you have a refund policy?
Bien sur! If you are not completely happy with your I Love Walking in France guidebook, please email me at [email protected] within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
“Look no further for the ideal English-language guide to the Chemin de RL Stevenson [GR70]”
“Melinda Lusmore’s latest guidebook provides a wealth of up-to-date information on distances, where to stay [with contact information and links to websites], where to eat, services you can expect to find in towns and villages along the path including doctors, pharmacies, ATMs, taxis and bus services.
Aside from all this practical information, and a real highlight for me, is the thoughtful writing that integrates the experience of Robert Louis Stevenson  and passages from his book ‘Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes’.
That’s not to overlook the selection of beautiful photos throughout the guide showcasing the stunning landscapes of the Cevennes, they are enough inspiration on their own!
Look no further for the ideal English-language guide to the Chemin de RL Stevenson [GR70]. I highly recommend this guidebook.” Bronwen Perry
All the hard research and planning has been done for you. All you have to do is make some bookings, then go and walk it.
“In 2014 I completed the first few stages of the Chemin de Stevenson before an injury forced me to go home early. Now that I’ve read Melinda’s guide book, I am seriously thinking about going back to finish it.
All the hard research and planning has been done for you so all you have to do is make some bookings, then go and walk it.
Inspirational! ” Richard Winter
The GR70 Chemin de Stevenson (2022 edition)
115 pages covering 270 kilometres (169 miles) over 14 days of walking.
Terms and Conditions – As the author and a fellow traveller, I understand that you might share this book with other people, and with your travelling companions in particular, in the same way that you share a physical book. By purchasing this guidebook, you agree not to mass broadcast, email or upload this book to a peer-to-peer site.
Revisions to the Chemin de Stevenson guidebook
Le Prévôté (Le Puy-en-Velay) – website link corrected
Abbaye Notre-Dame des Neiges – bookings for 2022 (2 May – 14 October) have reopened