Sprawling over the border of the Auvergne and Languedoc-Roussillon are the Cévennes, a part of the Massif-Central protected by National Park status. This wild, rugged landscape seems barely to have been touched by time: wild boar wander through forest clad mountains that rise to meet the sky, while ancient villages nestle into valleys bisected by graceful rivers. It’s through this region that Robert Louis Stevenson journeyed with his donkey, Modestine, in 1878.
The Cévennes’ residents are a renowned Protestant population who have inhabited the area since the 16th century. Their presence is apparent in the abbeys and churches that punctuate the terrain, buildings that bear testament to years of persecution. The area is also characterised by its stone houses, châteaux and silkworm nurseries, the latter of which are combined in Le Château des Roure, an impressive 15th century castle that houses a silk museum.
Offering some challenging but hugely rewarding walking and cycling, as well as some more gentle routes, the Cévennes is a remarkable and breathtakingly beautiful place.