Camping in the Cevennes: in the footsteps of Stevenson

Camping dans les Cévennes Cevennes National Park

The Cévennes stretch from the Lozère to the Gard, with a few incursions into the Ardèche and the Hérault. This mountainous chain forms the link between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean world. Like a border between the two sides of the Cévennes, the Mont Aigoual (1567 metres) stands on the border of the Lozère and the Gard and offers, on a clear day, very beautiful views of the mountains and the Mediterranean. This low and medium mountain range is carved out of beautiful deep valleys, dotted with charming villages of authentic character. It is a region of wide open spaces and preserved nature. Moreover, since 1970, a large part of the Cévennes has been integrated into the Cévennes National Park, which covers 2700 km². In addition, since 2011, a large part of the Cévennes has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) was not mistaken, as he travelled through the Cévennes with a donkey in 1878. A journey that he recounted in his book Voyage avec un âne dans les Cévennes. Today, the GR70 takes up this route through the Cévennes. A very beautiful itinerary which you can use as inspiration during your camping holidays in the Cévennes.

Discover our campsites in the Cévennes

Camping in the Mont Lozère massif

It is in Lozère that the Cévennes have their highest point. In the Mont Lozère massif, the Finiels peak rises to 1699 metres. Although the sides of the massif are wooded, its heights are covered with heather. During the summer, the heather forms a mauve carpet as far as the eye can see. The ascent of the Finiels peak will require some effort, but what a reward at the top! The Finiel peak offers a sumptuous panorama that encompasses the Cévennes valleys and, if the sky is clear, the Mediterranean and the Alps in the distance. If this part of the Cévennes is especially renowned for its natural riches, its heritage also deserves your attention. The medieval village of Génolhac in the north of the Cévennes is well worth a visit during your camping holiday in the Lozère in the Cévennes. The narrow streets of this 11th century village tell the story of the Camisards. In the 18th century, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, Protestant peasants from the Cévennes went to war against the government. There are many memorial sites in the Cévennes that proudly bear witness to this fight for freedom.

Camping around Mont Aigoual

The other summit of the Cévennes is the Mont Aigoual. This peak reaches 1567 metres. It is the link between the Grands Causses and the Cévennes. As on the Mont Lozère, its wooded slopes contrast with its bald summit topped by a weather observatory. It must be said that the Aigoual is situated on the watershed between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the first rocky buttress on which the clouds coming from the Mediterranean crash. Besides, Aigoual means “water” in Occitan! So many reasons to set up a weather observatory here. From the tower of the latter, you can enjoy a superb panorama. Mount Aigoual is a protected natural area and an invitation to practice outdoor sports. With the Pôle nature 4 saisons du massif de l’Aigoual, you will have access to a wide choice of activities to try during your camping holidays in the Gard or in Lozère. Interpretation trails, mountain biking, horse riding, orienteering or geocaching in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

At the foot of Mont Aigoual, from the village of Meyrueis, you can visit the Jonte gorges, which have their source on its slopes. Less known than their neighbours of the Tarn in which the Jonte flows, these gorges are just as much worth a visit. Especially if you like bird watching. Many vultures nest in their cliffs. The subsoil is also worthy of interest with the magnificent Dargilan cave and its 2000 m² petrified waterfall, unique in the world.

Following the Corniche des Cévennes road

To drive from the Lozère part of the Cévennes to their southern slope in the Gard, nothing beats the Corniche des Cévennes road between Florac and Saint-Jean-du-Gard. This road was built at the request of the king during the Camisard war in order to monitor troop movements. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that it offers so many beautiful views of the Cévennes valleys. Don’t miss those of Saint-Laurent-de-Trêves, the Col des Faïsses or the Col de Saint-Pierre which are among the most beautiful. If you have time, stop in the picturesque medieval village of Barre-des-Cévennes.

Camping in the Cevennes in the Gardons valley

The Corniche des Cévennes road leads you to Saint-Jean-du-Gard following the route taken by Stevenson and his donkey. You are now in the Gardons valley. The Gardons are in fact 7 rivers which constitute a complex hydrographic network. They have their source in Lozère and cross the Gard before flowing into the Rhône. They are often named after villages built on their banks: Gardon de Saint Jean du Gard, Gardon de Sainte Croix Vallée Française, Gardon de Saint Martin de Lansuscle, Gardon de Saint Germain de Calberte, Gardon de Saint Etienne Vallée Française, Gardon de Mialet, Gardon d’Anduze and Gardon d’Alès. Between Anduze, Miallet and Saint-Jean-du-Gard, there are many opportunities for fishing and swimming in white water. No doubt you will appreciate the pure waters of the Gardons to refresh yourself during your camping holidays in the Cévennes and the Gard. The Cévennes steam train from Saint-Jean-du-Gard to Anduze is an original way to discover the landscape of this beautiful region. This authentic steam train will take you on a journey through time, stopping off at the Bambouseraie in the Cévennes. This is an opportunity to visit the largest bamboo garden in Europe. This botanical garden is home to more than 1000 varieties of bamboo, trees and remarkable plants. A real haven of greenery and tranquillity.

To learn a little more about the Cévennes, the Maison-Rouge, in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, is a museum dedicated to the Cévennes identity. Housed in a former spinning mill, it looks back at the Cévennes of yesterday and today.

A show to admire at night while camping in the Cévennes

One of the advantages of camping is living in the open air. A real plus in the Cévennes. Indeed, once night falls, a real spectacle is offered to you. Since 2018, the park has been labelled an International Starry Sky Reserve. With 3,560 km², it is even the largest of the 13 European reserves. Thanks to this label, a sustainable and non-polluting public lighting system has been put in place, allowing you to fully enjoy the magnificent starry skies during your camping holidays in the Cévennes. The show at the door of the caravan!

Our campsites in the Cevennes

A selection of campsites for holidays in a caravan, tent or camper van in the Cévennes.

Written By

It is because we love traditional camping that we thought of this site. Because we sometimes regret that the rental accommodations now occupy so much space on campsites, we wanted to highlight the sites where tents, caravans and motorhomes are still the majority. And to offer all those who share our love of the outdoor life, a site with travel ideas, technical advice and above all a choice of campsites where it is good to come and put up your caravan or tent.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *