Robert Lewis Stevenson is famously linked to the South of France from his Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879).
At the age of 29, he went on a 190-km (120-mile) hike through a very poor and remote part of the Cévennes.
It took him 12 days, with no marked hiking trails and often no trails at all, with an extremely contrary and stubborn donkey as travel companion. The end of his Travels was at Saint Jean-du-Gard, in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region of the South of France.
Robert Lewis Stevenson was born in Edinburg, Scotland on 13 November 1850. He died in Vailima, Somoa on 3 December 1894. In his 44 years he wrote some of the world's true classics: Treasure Island, Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Stevenson later made frequent trips to France, with lengthy stays in the area of the forest of Fontainebleau, staying at Barbizon, Grez-sur-Loing and Nemours. He also visited Paris frequently for the galleries and the theatres.
A canoe trip in Belgium and France in 1876, with his friend Sir Walter Simpson, was the basis of his first real book, An Inland Voyage (1878). Sometime in the years between 1880 and 1887 Stevenson wintered in the French-Swiss Alps and in the sunny South of France. In the south he stayed at the Chalet de Solitude in Hyères .
Travels With a Donkey, Route
Stevenson's complete route with his donkey was:
Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille, St Martin-de-Fugères, Goudet, Boucher-St-Nicolas, Lac du Bouchet, Pradelles, Langogne, Cheylard-l'Evêque, Luc, Chasseradès, L'Estampe, Le Bleymard, Pont-de-Montvert, Florac, Cassagnas, St Germain-de-Calberte, St Etienne-Vallée-Française, St Jean-du-Gard.
Stevenson Route Map