Tucked away in south central France, the Cevennes National Park is home to the beautifully rugged shale, granite and limestone peaks and valleys that make up the Cevennes Mountains (go figure). The fact that its sparse population happens to be predominantly Protestant has led many to correlate the religion's rigorous work ethic with the park's rough and unforgiving surroundings. But we digress.
If you come expecting the height and popularity of the Alps (or even the Pyrenees), you'll have another thing coming. Instead, this beautiful, rugged, rarely trodden French terrain has a mild Mediterranean climate, and tops out at a modest height of 1,702 meters (Mont Lozere). This doesn't mean it lacks in adventure possibilities, mind you. Just for starters, there's the 250+ km Robert Louis Stevenson trail, on top of over 3,000 km of other marked hiking and mountain biking paths you can explore. Canoeing and kayaking more your style? Rent one for a day (the town of Florac is a good place to start) and take a ride down the Tarn, which splits the park's cliffs and gives paddlers a truly beautiful tour between the mountains. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to check out our links for more detailed information and enjoy one of France's truly off the beaten path experiences.