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from £899 per person

Stevenson Trail - Stage 1 Auvergne

from £899

Stevenson Trail - Stage 1

In the footsteps of one man and his donkey


Le Puy to Chasseradès - Stage 1

In 1878, Robert Louis Stevenson published 'Travels with a Donkey', an account of his intriguing journey accompanied by his donkey, Modestine. Starting at the southern end of the Massif Central, this walk takes you across the Cevennes to the edge of the Midi.

What's Included

  • 6 days walking
  • 7 nights half board
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on any day of the week.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Le Puy day 1


    Le Puy has a wealth of religious history and several beautiful buildings including the cathedral and the Romanesque chapel of St Michel de L’Aiguille perched 80m high on a pinnacle of rock - the Rocher St. Michel.

    • Simple double bedroom
    • Dining area

    Hotel Bristol Le Puy-en-Velay

    The 3 star Hotel Bristol, located close to the historic centre of Le Puy-en-Velay, is a great base for discovering the town's historic buildings and fascinating museums. It is just a short walk to the Cathedral where there is a daily service of blessing the pilgrims. A pilgrim stamp and créancile - passport is available from the cathedral sacristy. The ancient town is set in a volcanic landscape, dominated by rocky peaks rising from the valley floor.  It is worth climbing the 267 steps to visit the one crowned by the Chapel of Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe.


    • Soundproofed rooms, some with air-conditioning
    • Flat screen TV with Canal + and Canal Satellite (3 channels)
    • Hairdryer and all hospitality products provided
    • Staff speak English
    • Good location for exploring the historic town



    A tasty buffet breakfast of croissants, pain au chocolat, crusty baguette, whole grain bread, toasts, crackers, cereals, plain and fruit yoghurt, ham, rosette, Cantal and Saint-Nectaire, plus butter, jams, spreads and honey.  A wide selection of beverages including tea, coffee, chocolate, cappuccino, hot milk and juices.

    Maître-Restaurateur, La Table de Félix offers a traditional menu featuring regional dishes sourced from local producers when possible.

    Sample menu
    Mesclun de salads
    Foie gras en chemise de pain d’épices
    Brochette de faux-filet
    Cantal AOP et Bleu d’Auvergne

  • 2

    Le Puy to Le Monastier day 2


    Today’s walk starts with a climb out of the valley, encircled by extinct volcanoes, and then descends to cross the infant Loire, passing through some enchanting scenery.

    • Hotel exterior
    • Traditional bar
    • Double bedroom
    • Double bedroom with open window
    • Traditional dining room
    • Traditional dining room

    Hotel Le Provence Le Monastier sur Gazeille

    This is a typically French modern hotel in the centre of a pretty country village, with a good restaurant focusing on regional cuisine. Rooms are very comfortable, all with free WiFi.


    • Swimming pool
    • Family run hotel
    • Attractive village centre location
    • Excellent restaurant



    There is an excellent restaurant serving fine, unpretentious food and making good use of local produce. The wine cellar is well stocked with some gems waiting to be discovered.

    12 mi
    (19 km)

  • 3

    Le Monastier to St. Nicolas day 3


    Stevenson bought his donkey, Modestine, in Le Monastier. Cross the Loire river at Goudet and rise out of the valley. The author got lost here; he missed the Lac du Bouchet because it is uphill of the hamlet within a flooded volcano cone.

    • Hotel exterior

    Auberge l’Arrestadou Le Bouchet Saint Nicolas

    This is a chalet-style modern hotel, run by the Villeseche family with a restaurant focusing on produce from their own farm. You will be very warmly welcomed into this rural community and get a real sense of the village and its way of life. 


    • Rural farm setting
    • Fresh, modern rooms
    • Hearty cuisine using locally sourced produce



    Sample Menu


    La traditionelle charcuterie de la ferme

    Le feuilleté aux cèpes



    L'agneau "Noire du Velay"

    Les Lentilles vertes du Puy

    Les Patates au four

    La Potée auvergnate



    Les tartes au fruits rouges (en saison)

    16 mi
    (26 km)

  • 4

    St. Nicolas to Pradelles day 4


    Continue through wooded valleys and rough pasture, along cinder paths and farm tracks. Everything is made of local granite, from the houses and bread ovens to the crosses.

    • Balcony exterior
    • Traditional double bedroom
    • Table with view over countryside
    • Hotel exterior

    Hotel de l’Arche Pradelles

    This friendly hotel can be found in the medieval centre of this charming village (classed as one of the most beautiful in France). Rooms here are very comfortable, all with free WiFi. The restaurant is excellent and breakfast is also served here. 


    • Attractively located hotel, with easy access to this charming village
    • Comfortable modern rooms
    • Excellent restaurant



    There is a fine panoramic dining room - a great spot to enjoy spectacular sunsets. Meals here make good use of local produce and are accompanied by fine wines.

    16 mi
    (26 km)

  • 5

    Pradelles to Cheylard L’Evêque day 5


    Today’s undulating walk crosses the remote and vast plain of Margaride. The church bells here, like so many in the region, are not housed in a tower. This makes them louder, so in times of inclement weather the bells used to be rung to guide lost souls to the safety of the village.

    • Hotel exterior

    Auberge le Refuge du Moure Cheylard l'Eveque

    In the heart of the Mercoire forest, on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic trail, is the Refuge du Moure, an 18th century house built of granite with local-style 'lauze' roof. Comfortable, cosy rooms, decorated in warm colours and some with patchworks made by your hosts. Genuinely warm welcome.


    • Warm and friendly welcome
    • Locally sourced food
    • Magnificent location



    The passing seasons influence the hotel's chef to create delicious original meals, using local herbs such as marjoram, sage and cardamom. There are some delicious fish dishes, and also local veal served with mushrooms, or pork with elderberry. Desserts include tarts made with wild raspberries and blueberries from the surrounding forests. Breakfasts are generous buffets. 

    10 mi
    (16 km)

  • 6

    Cheylard L’Evêque to La Bastide day 6


    Follow on the route of the Roman road that leads to Marseilles, via Regordane and enter the upper reaches of the attractive Allier valley.

    • Dining room

    Hotel la Grande Halte La Bastide St. Laurent

    This is a friendly hotel located on Stevenson's route.  Rooms are comfortable (all are en suite) and there is free WiFi. For more active guests, there is a small gym. La Bastide is a pleasant small town which has been visited by pilgrims and shepherds over many hundreds of years.


    • Friendly small hotel in good location
    • Comfortable well equipped bedrooms with free WiFi
    • Restaurant with terrace



    Sample Menu


    • Medaillon de Bloc de Foie Gras
    • Salade Gourmande
    • Panache de la Mer
    • Grenouilles a la Provencale



    • Truite aux Amandes
    • Coq au Vin Maison
    • Confit de Canard



    • Fromage blanc et son coulis de fruits rouges
    • Fondant a la creme de marrons
    • Coupe de glaces au choix

    12 mi
    (19 km)

  • 7

    La Bastide to Chasseradès day 7


    You climb today to the highest point of this stage, opposite the source of the Allier. As you ascend over the Mourage hill you cross the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, then head down the valley to pretty Chasseradès.

    • Hotel exterior

    Hotel des Sources Chasseradès

    A friendly, family run hotel situated at the heart of the dramatic Margeride region, and close to the sources of the Allier, Lot and Chassezac rivers. This really is a delightful location offering a calm and pleasant stay.


    • Warm and friendly welcome
    • Good regional food
    • Quiet location



    The proprietor, a member of the "Tables Gourmandes" association, prepares a range of local specialities which discerning food-lovers will particularly appreciate.

    Sample Menu


    • Salade des Sources
    • Charcuterie de Pays
    • Assiette de saumon fumé
    • Omelette aux champignons de saison
    • Cuisses de grenouilles persillade
    • Tête de Veau ravigote
    • Ecrevisses à l'Amoricaine
    • Escargots - ma façon


    • Boeuf bourguignon aux cèpes
    • Entrecôte grillée
    • Confit de canard
    • Poulet aux écrevisses
    • Viande du jour


    • Dessert aux choix (nougat glacé, coupe de glace, créme caramel, dessert du jour)

    8 mi
    (13 km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday


    Add a night's B&B in Chasserades. Please call for details.


    You can choose to combine this first stage with the second stage. Please call for details.

Customer Reviews

100% rating based on 1 review

Recent reviews

  • Service rating : Travel pack was very complete, but was received with less than 2 weeks before the start of the trip. Could have been received earlier (say 4 weeks).
    One of the reservations was lost by the hotel, but there was ultimately no problem.
    Overall, the trip was outstanding. Hotels and dinners were great.
    Product : Outstanding.

    5 out of 5

Pricing & Enquiry


Prices vary according to travel method. Select your preferred option to get an updated price. For full pricing details, click here.

  • From £899 per person

  • Outward Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at Clermont Ferrand, arrive Le Puy en Velay late evening. Hotel is within easy walking distance.

    Return Transfer to Chasseradès station not included, change trains at Nîmes and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

Booking Enquiry

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