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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • nights in dormitory style 'gîtes d'etapes' or refuges
  • 1 night tent
  • 1 night 2 star hotel
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 4 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

Price

$1450USD

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Overview

Trip Code: GRN

Trip highlights


  • A great opportunity to walk the northern section of the famous GR20
  • Experiencing the stunning landscape and diverse flora and fauna
  • Meet with shepherds or other hikers en route
  • Enjoy the freedom of travelling light with all of your logistics taken care of
  • Delighting in the warm hospitality of the accommodation providers

The Grand Randonnee (GR) 20 is considered to be Europe's most challenging long-distance walking trail. Established in 1972 the route traverses the interior of Corsica for 200km, crossing granite mountains and rugged alpine terrain with opportunities to view stunning snowcapped peaks. The outstanding feature of the walk is the diversity of terrain, from lush forests of pine and beech to narrow trails through towering pinnacles, to high windswept plateaus. On some stages you will be required to climb ladders and scramble steep rock to ascend the granite passes, however the 360 degree views are worth the effort. At night enjoy the warm hospitality of the gîtes d’etapes or mountain refuges where like-minded walkers can share their experiences of the day. This trip is an ideal challenge for fit walkers with map reading skills and good outdoor experience in mountainous terrain but is unsuitable for vertigo sufferers. Stunning gorges and alpine lakes are included in this challenging hike from Calvi in the north of Corsica to Corté near the centre of the island.

Note: for safety reasons this trip cannot be operated for one person. A minimum of two people are required.

Trip Grading

challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

The trip begins in Calvi from where you will have a transfer organised to Calenzana. This little village surrounded by olive trees, is where the hike begins. The walk today is spectacular, with several river crossings as well as magnificent viewpoints of the typical towns of the Balagne region. It is an excellent warm up for the GR20 offering superb views of coastal Corsica. 11km / 6.9mi with approximate ascent 800m/2625ft, descent 540m/1772ft. Double room option possible*

Meals:  D

After breakfast, you will leave Bonifatu for one of the longest days of the week. You will cross several rivers before reaching the famous footbridge of Spasimata, which is 30m long and is suspended above a waterfall that has the honour of being on many postcards of the GR20. The trail takes you to the Valley of the Muvrella (mouflons – a type of wild sheep) and its small lake. The viewpoints are numerous and are particularly impressive from the passes. You will arrive at the foot of Monte Cinto, the highest summit of Corsica, where you will spend the night. 9.5km / 6mi with approximate ascent 1300m/4265ft, descent 598m/1962ft. Double room option possible*

Meals:  B,L,D

Since the Cirque de la Solitude has been closed to the public from 2015, you now cross the Great Barrier Reef by the itinerary of Monte Cintu and through the Pointe des Éboulis. From Bocca Minuta, you descend to the small valley of Straciaconne, where you may have the chance to observe mouflons (a type of wild sheep), which are numerous in this region of Corsica. Dinner at the shepherd hut in Vallone and night in a tent. An ideal setting with the backdrop of a starry sky for the night. Approximate ascent 1250m/4100ft, descent 1200m/3936ft. Overnight tent – carry only gear for the night today with your main luggage transferred to the next accommodation.

Meals:  B,L,D

After waking up to views of the surrounding mountains, the day begins with a gentle walk through a forest of giant Laricio pines before a long climb up the Bocca di Fuciale. The climb is soon rewarded as you reach up and over the saddle towards the Refuge of Ciotulu i Mori, where the view expands down towards the Golo valley. From here, the path becomes much easier, as you wind your way down the valley, past the many rock pools on the Golo river, which are fantastic for swimming. The final stretch takes you back through the woods and up again to Castel di Verghio. Approximate ascent 971m/3186ft, descent 1017m/3337ft. Double room option possible*

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning you continue through the forest with some slight ascents. As you climb, the trees become scarce and you approach the Lake of Nino and its pozzines (a series of ponds surrounding the lake). This is one of the most well known lakes in Corsica. The surroundings are superb, with fantastic views of the mountains, and horses, cows and pigs can often be seen grazing around the lake. From here, the view is spectacular taking in the part of the mountains that you have already crossed. The path continues and takes you to one of the most beautiful refuges on the island. Approximate ascent 600m/1969ft, descent 640m/2100ft. Overnight dorm - carry only gear for the night today with your main luggage transferred to the next accommodation. *It is not possible to purchase your meals in advance for this night. You can purchase dinner locally at Sega Refuge, as well as your breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

Meals:  B,L

After a final dip in the natural pools near the refuge you will begin the walk alongside the Tavignano River to Corte. During the walk there will be plenty of opportunities for swimming in the river. Approximate ascent 720m/2362ft, descent 1400m/4593ft. Overnight Hotel on twin share basis. Note: This last day's walk is not on the GR20, but is a stunning and worthy hike in its own right. Dinner is not included, but there are restaurants within easy reach of the hotel.

Meals:  Nil

From Corté you can either continue with the GR20 South by taking the train to Vizzavona or your trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. 4 picnic lunches – they generally consist of sandwiches, salads, fruits, vegetables – depending on what products are available. 4 dinners – will also vary according to the fresh produce available.
  • 4 nights accommodation in gîtes d’etapes, 1 night in tent, 1 night in a simple hotel on a twin share basis in Corte.
  • *Note that there is an option to have a double room for an additional 3 nights. A supplement applies. This option must be requested at the time of booking.
  • Luggage transfers (except day 3 & 5 where main luggage gets transferred ahead and you carry only what you need for 2 days) - max 15 kgs and one piece of luggage per person.
  • Information kit including detailed maps and route notes per room booked.
  • Emergency hotline
  • Transfer from Calvi to Calenzana on day 1 by taxi

  • Travel to and from Corsica and the end and start point of the walk
  • Luggage transfer on day 3 & 5
  • Drinks and dinner on days 5 and 6, lunch on days 1 and 6, breakfast on day 6
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of excess luggage and parking
  • Transfers and alternative accommodation which may be required in the event of bad weather
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided trip
  • Travel insurance

Grading

challenging  

CHALLENGING– GRADE 5 This trip requires a good to excellent level of fitness and you should be an experienced hiker, comfortable in alpine terrains through varying weather conditions. It is a requirement of participation that you are able to orient yourself in mountains with a map scaled to 1/25000th. The trip involves 4.5 to 8.5 hiking hours per day on sometimes difficult trails. The route is the hardest long distance trail in Europe. Certain sections need to be scaled using ladders, bridges and chains. There is much rock scrambling and ascents are up to 1400 metres and very steep in parts. There are sections throughout which would not be suitable for sufferers of vertigo.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Jun to 15 Sep

Notes

DN1
A double room option for 4 nights is available and a supplement applies.
DN2
This trip is not suitable for solo travellers. Please contact our team for alternate tour suggestions.
Note:
Walk timings noted do not include rest breaks. The Cirque de la Solitude has been closed since 2015 - at this stage it is not expected to reopen for hikers (subject to change without notice).
DN4
Discounts apply for groups of 4 or more travelling together.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1450USD

Options & Supplements*
  • 4 nights double room supplement (Bonifatu, Asco, Verghio and Vizzavona)USD$190
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Corsica & GR20 Walking Tours | UTracks Active Travel

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