The Cevennes is not the most famous French holiday region. The tourist interest in the Dordogne and Provence is many times greater. And that’s pretty strange because it is one of the most unspoilt and characteristic areas of France.
The Cévennes National Park covers 90,000 hectares. It is a low mountain range, with Mont Lozère (1700 m) and Mont Aigoual (1565 m) as its highest peaks. The landscape is rough and undamaged. Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort is located at the foot of this area. In the village you have a view of the hills of the Cevennes. It is an ideal walking area.
In 1878 the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson traveled through the area. He made the trip on foot and in the company of Modestine, his donkey. You can still read this enthusiastic travelogue in his fascinating book ‘Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes’.
One thing we can still learn from Stevenson: to explore this beautiful region, it is best to put on your hiking boots. Criss-crossing the landscape there are several grand randonnees so that you have quite a few combination options.
In 1978, the Grande Randonnee 70 was created, a 250-kilometer walking route that closely follows Stevenson’s travelogue. The tour is now more or less a tourist attraction in the area, complete with donors, guides, accommodations and restaurants.
Because the area is close to the Mediterranean Sea, the climate here is Mediterranean. That means: warm summers and short, cold winters. Thanks to these climatic differences, the Cévennes have a rich flora and fauna. In the spring you can enjoy the overwhelming splendor of flowers and the olfactory organs are stimulated by delicious herbal scents. The buzzard, kite and sparrow hawk float high in the air all year round and with luck you can find badgers, ermine and wild boar. The pride of the region is the ‘châtaignier’ or the sweet chestnut. You can find this tree species almost everywhere up to a height of seven hundred meters. From the middle of October the edible chestnuts are ripe and they are used in all kinds of regional dishes.
It also has a great advantage that the Cevennes are not yet flooded with tourism. You could say that the Cévennes is the Dordogne of the fifties and sixties, the region where France is still France. Les Trois Comtes is a great base for taking these walks. We are in possession of hiking maps and can help you further with good tips.