The Regordane way

Encountering countries, people and their history
Chateau De Portes November 2022Chateau De Portes November 2022
©Chateau De Portes November 2022|Olivier Octobre

In the kingdom of France, the crests of the Massif Central were the route to the Mediterranean, and Saint-Gilles was the port of embarkation for the Holy Land. The Camin Romieu (Chemin de Romes) and the Camin Régourdan (Chemin Régordane) carried the quest of thousands of men through the greatest pilgrimages of Christianity.

GR 700

The Régordane trail

Also known as the Chemin de Saint Gilles, this route links Le Puy en Velay in the Haute Loire, to the town of Saint Gilles in the Camargue, south of the Gard.

This path, which follows the geological Villefort fault, favored natural travel from north to south from very early on. The only route linking Paris to the Mediterranean, both a pilgrimage path and an essential trade route, it experienced a major boom in the 12th century.

Local lords and bishops competed for the many tolls along the way, sources of highly lucrative revenue. The path then teemed with pilgrims and monks on their way to the Abbey of Saint Gilles, founded by the healing monk renowned for his many prodigies. Through its centuries-old existence, le chemin de Régordane abounds in historical and cultural riches.

The trail is punctuated by wonders: the cathedral of Le Puy en Velay, the arenas of Nîmes, the abbey church of St Gilles and the landscapes of the Cévennes. 10 days of hiking over 240 km with more accessible and easier passes than the Stevenson path, with its highest point at 1200m.

Imbued with Christian fervor and devotion, the Régordane path is less frequented than the Stevenson path, with which it shares common stages. Lovers of spirituality and nature, fellow walkers in search of a little peace and quiet, you’ve found your hiking trail!

1 historic route

240 km from Puy en Velay to Saint Gilles du Gard

Emprunter la voie Régordane, is to rediscover these paths to spirituality, but also to cross lands populated by legends: those of William of Orange and the Charroi de Nîmes, Mandrin’s brigands, the Beast of Gévaudan, Monsieur Seguin’s goat or Peter and the Wolf.

The Régordane invites the traveler to encounter countries, Men and their history. A path of freedom, a path of tolerance, it commits us to listening attentively to the terroir. Monuments, humble or prestigious heritage, landscapes shaped by man, tales, are all bearers of meaning for our time. It’s up to us to question along the way the multiple signs of this age-old dialogue to understand identities, discover differences.

This itinerary, from Le Puy en Velay Cathedral to the Constance Tower, concentrates on its edges ancient and medieval civilizations, Cevennes culture, Saracen influence, resistance, crusades…

The Fédération Française de Randonnée’s topo-guide Le Chemin de Régordane – GR700 will guide you all the way.

Idée de séjours

From Génolhac to Vézénobres,3 days on the Régordane trail.

  • Day 1 Génolhac – Portes: 14km
  • Day 2 Portes – Alès: 24 km
  • Day 3 Alès – Vézénobres: 13km

This Cevennes section of the Régordane trail offers beautiful scenery and allows you to encounterarchitectural treasures and places steeped in history. From Génolhac to Vézénobres, from the Cévennes highlands to the garrigue, you’ll travel from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution. From the narrow streets of the medieval towns to the remains of the mines around Alès, from Romanesque churches to temples, you’ll crisscross the eras. A must-see: the imposing silhouette of the 11th-century château de Portes.

The association

Today, the Voie Régordane is being reborn thanks to an association that has been working for over fifteen years to promote this major route for the Cévennes.

Go to the association’s website to best organize your hike.

On site