A question? Maybe the answer is below...
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1- Are there guides available to accompany hikers?
2- Can I bring my dog?
3- Can I camp where I like along the trail?
4- Can I follow the trail from the south to the north?
5- What is the best season for the walk? (landscapes, flora…)
6- Is accommodation available all year round?
7- Can I follow the trail on a horse or a mountain bike?
8- For those not walking is it possible to follow the itinerary by car?
9- If I want to skip a stage is there transport available to move on to the next stage?
10- Where can I find a list or programme of events?
11- Can I have my baggage transferred from one stage to another?
12- From what age can children do the whole walk?
13- What is the average walking speed of a donkey?
14- What load can a donkey carry?
15- Can donkeys carry people, a child?
16- Where can we find information about R.L. Stevenson along the trail?
17- What equipment is recommended?
18- Is the GR70 exactly the trail followed by Stevenson in 1878?
19- In which season is the trail the quietest?
20- Can certain sections of the trail be followed on skis or rackets in winter?
21- What is the average height differential of the stages?
22- Which is the longest stage?
23- Can I find supplies at every stage along the trail?
24- What landscapes are there along the trail?
25- Is the topographical guide sufficient or is it recommended to have other maps too?
26- Is it possible to follow the trail staying just in guest houses? Or just in camp sites?

 


 
1- Are there guides available to accompany hikers?
Yes there are. This is the best way of exploring the area in depth and finding out all about its natural, historical and cultural facets. Contact details are available in the section "Organising your hike – Professional services".
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2- Can I bring my dog?
Absolutely. Two precautions should be taken though: ensure that your dog is welcome where you are staying (the section 'Organising your Trip - accommodation shows which structures accept dogs with a special logo) and you must respect the Cévennes National Park regulations which require that dogs are kept on a lead in the central zone of the park (PnC regulations – central zone).
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3- Can I camp where I like along the trail?
Camping outside campsites is prohibited throughout France and can be punished by a fine in the central zone of the Cévennes National Park.

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4- Can I follow the trail from the south to the north?
Yes, no problem. Many people find it very pleasant to meet walkers going in the opposite direction given that the majority follow the trail from the north to the south. Also, if you are walking at the end or beginning of the season there can be up to 15 days' difference between the flora development (e.g. the vegetation may be well advanced in the south section in early April whereas the same phase will only happen at the end of April in the northern sectors, you can therefore follow the vegetal development as you travel north).
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5- What is the best season for the walk? (landscapes, flora…)
There is naturally a highly subjective element in appreciating different seasons but we do recommend two periods in particular: May/June for the explosion of colour and vitality in the vegetation (e.g.: the narcissus in the Gévaudan and Mont Lozère at the end of May, the colourful and heady broom covering Mont Lozère at the end of May and in early June…) and also for long daylight hours and higher accommodation availability ahead of the summer holiday tourist peak season; and also September/October for the splendour of autumn colours which transform the Gévaudan and the Cévennes into a mini-Québec and for the fact that this period is often accompanied by mild weather and the peak tourist season is over. Certain sectors also present special interest in other periods, the Mont Lozère, the Bougès and the Cévennes are cloaked in purple heather at the end of August; the snow is generally over by March but may persist in some years, as it did in 2010 in the Velay and Mont Lozère sectors. In fact, the Stevenson trail is very different in every season!
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6- Is accommodation available all year round?
Some places are open all year, but most close for part of the winter season. The section on "Organising your Trip - accommodation" mentions the opening times for each structure, Most are open from Easter to All Saints Day.
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7- Can I follow the trail on a horse or a mountain bike?
There are no significant problems with regards to following the trail on a horse or a mountain bike. We have not yet compiled specific information for these methods of transport but there are four sectors which we bring to your attention:

- the descent between Prémajoux and Goudet (Haute Loire) is very steep and narrow
- the climb to the Finiels summit from the former Col de Finiels is prohibited (central zone of the Cévennes National Park) but you can go directly towards Finiels by going straight on from the former Col (indicated by piles of stones)
- the climb from Pont de Montvert to Cham de l’Hermet is very steep with large stony outcrops. This section is prohibited for mountain bikes by the Cévennes National Park.
- the descent from Col St Pierre to St. Jean du Gard is very steep and narrow in sections.e.

- The last section St. Jean du Gard - Alès is very difficult (rocks and steep climbs), we recommend the secondary route used by walkers with donkeys.

Downlaod the detailed documentation

In the above cases, and depending on your level of expertise, you can use the road or take a different path before returning to the trail. The topographical guide is equally useful for cyclists and riders.
You should check ahead that the accommodation you choose has facilities for bikes or horses. With regards to horse accommodation, check for the logo in the section "Organising your Trip - accommodation".

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8- For those not walking is it possible to follow the itinerary by car?
Although you cannot follow all of the paths you can access all of the stopover points by car. The topographical guide shows the corresponding roads. See the section "Organising your Trip – TopoGuide and maps".
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9- If I want to skip a stage is there transport available to move on to the next stage?
Some stages offer a bus or train service to another stage, but not all of them. Consult the section "Organising your Trip - Access". You can also call a taxi, the contact details are given in the same section.
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10- Where can I find a list or programme of events?
Our "Events" section shows some of the events available along the trail, but not all. For more detailed information, consult the tourist information offices for each sector. Contact details are available under "useful information".
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11- Can I have my baggage transferred from one stage to another?
Those who wish to walk without a heavy load will be delighted. It is possible to set off with the strict minimum and use a baggage transport service. There are several such service providers along the GR70 and their contact details are in the Baggage transport section. They will collect your baggage in the morning and drop it off at your destination before your arrival.
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12- From what age can children do the whole walk?
Some families have completed the trail with a baby. Also, donkeys can be provided with saddle packs made into very comfortable seating/sleeping places for young children. Otherwise, it is down to an individual choice in relation to personal endurance and the difficulty of each stage.
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13- What is the average walking speed of a donkey?

Our friendly companion travels at an average speed of 3km/h. But much like humans, there are some that go slower and others that go faster. You should tell the donkey carer exactly how you like to walk and he/she will try to find the best suited animal.

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14- What load can a donkey carry?
The load can vary depending on the individual donkey and its age. On average the capacity is 40kg. For more information "Travels with a donkey".
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15- Can donkeys carry people, a child?
This is one of the major advantages of walking with a donkey. In addition to the sheer pleasure of its company, they can be used to offer an occasional respite for the youngest walkers. But do be careful to respect the load capacity (approximately 40kg)! For more information: "Travels with a donkey".
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16- Where can we find information about R.L. Stevenson along the trail?
The exhibition entitled Travels with Robert Louis Stevenson created by the Association presents the writer's lifelong adventures. It is present on an itinerant basis all along the trail (and beyond). See the programme.
The Association also accompanies local initiatives relative to providing information about the Scottish writer, his adventures and his works. At present two stages offer collections relative to Stevenson: the municipal museum at Monastier sur Gazeille where there is a room dedicated to Stevenson. The town hall lobby at Le Monastier also presents a series of press cuttings relative to peoples’ experiences along the trail. At Saint-Jean-du-Gard, the Vallées Cévenoles museum presents information about Stevenson and the period of his travels.

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17- What equipment is recommended?

Standard walking equipment, in other words a good pair of walking shoes or boots, waterproof clothing, sun hat, sun cream, a first aid kit (insect bites, blisters, disinfectant…), the topographical guide for the GR70 (ref. 700) or IGN maps, drinking water… and not forgetting the essential: a copy of Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes for reading at the end of every stage in parallel with Stevenson’s adventures back in 1878!

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18- Is the GR70 exactly the trail followed by Stevenson in 1878?
The stage which differs significantly from the trail followed by Stevenson is between Pont de Montvert and Cocurès. The GR today follows the high roads which offer magnificent views over the Cévennes whereas Stevenson actually went down into the valley and followed the river along to Cocurès. This path has since been replaced by a road and would be much less pleasant to follow today. The GR 70 also misses out the Notre Dame des Neiges Abbey (close to La Bastide) but there is a variation which enables walkers to reach this point, which was a major stage in Stevenson’s story, notably his meeting with the monks.
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19- In which season is the trail the quietest?
The economic impact study carried out by the Association ‘Sur le chemin de R.L. Stevenson’ and the Traces Tpi consultancy between April and October 2010 highlighted the fact that higher numbers of walkers are present on the GR 70 in May and September without there being a significant difference between these two months.

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20- Can certain sections of the trail be followed on skis or rackets in winter?
It is not impossible, but the signposting sometimes disappears under the snow as do the paths themselves. This method should be reserved for walkers who know the lie of the land and are experienced with winter conditions. Also, most of the accommodation is closed during this period!
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21- What is the average height differential of the stages?
In the Organising your Trip section there is a graph for each sector which illustrates the profile of the trail. Also, the topographical guide indicates the precise altitude for each stage and provides a very clear view of the height differentials. These are the key figures, but there are sometimes major differentials within each stage:

# Le Puy – Le Monastier : + 305 m
# Le Monastier- Le Bouchet St Nicolas : + 95 m
# Le Bouchet St Nicolas – Langogne : - 110 m
# Langogne – Cheylard L’Evèque : + 210 m
# Cheylard L’Evèque – La Bastide Puylaurent : - 101 m
# La Bastide Puylaurent – Chasseradès : + 126 m
# Chasseradès – Le Bleymard : - 81 m
# Le Bleymard – Le sommet de Finiels : + 630 m
# Le sommet de Finiels – Le Pont de Montvert : - 824 m
# Le Pont de Montvert – Florac : - 329 m
# Florac – Cassagnas : + 147 m
# Cassagnas – St Germain de Calberte : - 204 m
# St Germain de Calberte – St Jean du Gard : - 300 m
# St Jean du Gard - Alès : - 63 m

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22- Which is the longest stage?
St Jean du Gard – Alès is the longest at 30.5km but you can stop over at Mialet or Brugairolles which both offer attractive guest houses or alternatively you can cut out 3km by taking the PR 12 between Mialet and Alès. Le Pont de Montvert – Florac is also a long stage at 28km. Here again you can break the journey with a stop at the guest house in Mijavols which is slightly off the trail, giving two 15km days. You can also stop over in Cocurès for a comfortable night at La Lozerette! A third solution is to avoid Cocurès and Bédouès and head directly to Florac along the GR 68, which gives a shortcut of some 3km.
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23- Can I find supplies at every stage along the trail?
Caution, at some stages there are no shops or bakeries. You will need to anticipate your purchases for a picnic or ask your host to prepare a packed lunch (check under Accommodation and catering). Villages and hamlets with no shops: Goudet, Luc, Cheylard l’Evêque, Mirandol, Le Bonnetès, Les Alpiers, Finiels, Mijavols, Cocurès, Malafosse et Brugairolles.
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24- What landscapes are there along the trail?
Please consult the section on "Organising your Trip".

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25- Is the topographical guide sufficient or is it recommended to have other maps too?
The topographical guide is largely sufficient at a scale of 1/50 000 combined with the signposting along the trail. If you want to follow the trail in more detail though, the relative maps for the GR 70 are detailed in "TopoGuide and maps".

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26- Is it possible to follow the trail staying just in guest houses? Or just in camp sites?
This is possible (unless your daily distance travelled is not sufficient to reach the next guest house), the section on "Accommodation and catering" will enable you to select accommodation per type of structure. But please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any problems with setting up your trip.
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