Things to do in the Languedoc: Mountain Sports: Walking, Hiking, Trekking
There are some 6000 kilometres of maintained, marked out
pathways in the Languedoc. These include coastal paths,
mountain tracks, and gentle walks through gorges, valleys,
rolling hillsides, vineyards, ancient villages and ruined
castles. Apart from some of the higher mountain tracks they
can be walked all year round.
An important pilgrim route, the Via Tolosana (marked in blue on the right) led through Arles, St-Gilles, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and Toulouse and crossed the Pyrenees to join other routes at Puenta-la-Reina, thence to Santiago along the Via Compostelana to Santiago de Compostela.
Another route, the Regordane (marked in green), led from Le Puy-en-Velay to St-Gilles, by way of the Cévennes, Alès and Nîmes. Some pilgrims came only as far as St-Gilles, the fourth most important pilgimage destination in Europe. Others went on to Santiago de Compostela along the Via Tolosana possibly taking a detour to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (While Compostela claimed the relics of St-James, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer claimed the relics of his mother, Mary)
|Pilgrims and hikers still walk these ancient pigrimage routes. Click on the following external link for more information on walking the Regordane
The Stevenson Way (GR 70)
This walking trail goes from Le Monastier, near Puy en Velay (Le Puy on the map above) in the Haute Loire to St Jean du Gard in The Cevennes, a distance of 156-miles/252 kms. It was walked by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1878, and inspired him to write Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879). That book is a classic of travel literature and set the standard for modern travelogues.
The Grande Rondonée 70 has become increasingly popular with hikers wishing to retrace the route Stevenson took. For an insight into walking the trail, see Reflections on the 130th anniversary of France’s Stevenson Trail .
To walk the trail itself visit Trekking the Stevenson Trail
| Some recommended Maps and guide books:
Les sentiers d'Emilie en pays Cathare, Rando
Editions : walks without difficulties.
Balade Occitane, GR 7, édition FFRP.
Le Sentier Cathare, Rando Editions : from the
Sea to Montségur
Grande randonnée dans les Pyrénées audoises et
les Corbières, Edition Randonnée Pyrénéenne
Les plus belles balades dans l'Aude, Edition
Création du Pélican
Randonnées dans les PO, collection 100 Rando.
Cartes de Randonnées, edited by Rando Editions
Carte Série Bleue de l'IGN. Detailed map. www.ign.fr
Sur les traces des Cathares, le chemin des Bonshommes,
guide de la FFRP, Topo-guide GR 107.
Sentier de St Jacques de Compostelle, Le chemin
du Puy. Topo-guide GR 65.
Pyrénées Ariégeoises, Topo-guide GR 10.
L'Aude Pays Cathare à pied, Topo-guide PR.
Tours des Pays Cathares, Elisud nº 40 : by
foot or mountain bike
Le Guide Rando, le plaisir de la balade.
Circuits pédestres et VTT, Aude Sentier Cathare,
Hiking around Florac, at the heart of the Cevennes
National Park. Vast spaces of the Causses and the secret
valleys of the Cevennes, to the forests of the Mont Aigoual
and the extraordinary granite formations of the Mont Lozère.
days of hiking in the Cevennes National Park, organised in
Six different hikes around the Mont Aigoual, the Bougès, the Causse Méjean and Causse Sauveterre, and the Gorges of the Tarn:
The Mont Lozere,
The Grands Causses,
Les Hautes Cevennes,
The Stevenson Trail,
Around The Aigoual.
Package includes printed maps and special guide booklets, accommodations and all meals (including one at midday on day 6), and personal transport. (Baggage transport from stop-over to stop-over)
Also: Group trips with a mountain guide. Trips with a particular theme can be organised.
Also: Individual trips. Three different trips are available: Le Mont Lozere, Les Camisards, Les Trois Roches.
Contact: Cévennes Evasion,
5, Place Boyer, 48400 Florac
Tel & Fax: 04.66.45.18.31 from France. +184.108.40.206.18.31 from abroad.
Walking in Cathar Country.(8 nights) Self-guided. Start any date 1 Apr
to 15 Nov. The itinerary looks interesting, but don't rely
on the organisers for historical information. For more information
visit http://www.discoverytravel.co.uk/ (select
Walking in France, then Cathar Castles).
Traveller is family run organisation catering for the
discerning visitors, with an emphasis on learning, walking,
recreation, and regeneration. Venues include Camargue-Provence,
Gardens of Languedoc, La Grande Motte, Le Cevenol, Provençao,
Secrets of the Cevennes, Upper Ceze Valley, Valcezard and
Uzege. Looks interesting and different.