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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • gites/refuges
  • 1 night tent
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 7 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 Vizzavona near the centre of the island.

Note: for safety reasons this trip cannot be operated for one person / solo traveller. Minimum two people 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. (We suggest buying picnic supplies in Calvi before setting out). 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. Overnight gite. Double room option possible* Walking: 11km / 6.9mi with approximate ascent 800m/2625ft, descent 540m/1772ft.

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. Overnight gite. Double room option possible* Walking: 9.5km / 6mi with approximate ascent 1300m/4265ft, descent 598m/1962ft.

Meals:  B,D

As the Cirque de la Solitude has been closed to the public since 2015, you will cross the Great Barrier Reef via Monte Cintu and through the Pointe des Éboulis. The route continues past the refuge of Tighjettu before reaching the sheepfolds of Vallone, where a cluster of shepherd huts await you with ample portions of home cooked food made from local products. Dinner at the shepherd hut in Vallone and an ideal setting with the backdrop of a starry sky for the night. Overnight: tent. Walking: Approximate ascent 1200m/3936ft, descent 800m/2625ft. Note: carry your overnight gear today as your main luggage is not available on this day - it is transferred Haut Asco to the accomodation in Verghio.

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. Overnight gite. Double room option possible* Walking: Approximate ascent 970m/3186ft, descent 1017m/3337ft. Note: luggage transfers are not available to the refuges (next 3 nights) - it will delivered to the accommodation in Vizzavona. You need to carry your overnight gear in your rucksack.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning pass Bocca San Pedru between the sky and the sea. Then magic happens after passing Bocca a Reta. To the east, the coastline stands out against the deep blue of the Mediterranean. On the other side, a glacial cirque is revealed which hides, in a green setting, one of the jewels of the Corsican mountains. Bordered by its pozzines (mountain waterhole), Lake Nino welcomes a herd of wild horses. Overnight: refuge (dorm) Walking: Approximate ascent 869m/2851ft, descent 689m/2260ft. Note: no luggage transfer days 5-7 and no access to your main luggage, carry your overnight needs in your rucksack. YOur main luggage is transferred Verghio to Vizzavona.

Meals:  B,L,D

Streams and rocky bars follow one another before you reach a plateau of pozzines. Then the Capitellu breach will offer you a breathtaking view of the Melu and Capitellu lakes. After some effort to reach Bocca Muzella (2206m), you will descend to reach a small plateau where the Petra Piana refuge is located. Overnight: refuge (dorm) Walking: Approximate ascent 670m/2198ft, descent 465m/1526ft. Note: no luggage transfer

Meals:  B,L,D

A rather short, aerial and panoramic stage between the massifs of Monte Rotondo and Monte d'Oro. Be careful however as there are some tricky passages in strong winds! On a clear day, you will have the chance to see the Gulf of Ajaccio. Meals are not included at this refuge - dinner, breakfast and a picnic lunch for tomorrow are payable locally. Overnight: refuge (dorm) Walking: Approximate ascent 560m/1837ft, descent 965m/3166ft. Note: no luggage transfer

Meals:  B,L

Last day on the northern part of the trail. A magnificent stage awaits you from the Onda refuge towards Vizzavona, passing through the magical Agnone valley at the foot of Monte d'Oro. After the Turtettu footbridge there is a multitude of small waterfalls and streams. Between forest and the clinking of water, you will make your way towards Vizzavona. Your luggage will be at the gite awaiting your arrival. Overnight: gite Walking: Approximate ascent 630m/2067ft, descent 1140m/3740ft.

Meals:  D

Trip concludes in Vizzavona after breakfast

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. 5 picnic lunches – they generally consist of sandwiches, salads, fruits, vegetables – depending on what products are available. 7 dinners – will also vary according to the fresh produce available.
  • 8 nights accommodation: 7 nights in gîtes d’etapes or refuges, 1 night in tent *Note that there is an option to have a double room in gites on some nights - a supplement applies. This option must be requested at the time of booking.
  • Luggage transfers: Calenzana - Bonifatu - Haut Asco - Verghio - Vizzavona - max 15 kg and one piece of luggage per person. Note there is no luggage transfer to Vallone (day 3) or to the refuges (day 5-6-7) - you need to carry your gear required in your rucksack (no access to your main luggage on these days)
  • Information pack - smartphone app with maps and route book per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Transfer from Calvi to Calenzana on day 1 by taxi

  • Travel to Calvi and from Vizzavona
  • Luggage transfer on days 3 & 5-7
  • Meals not noted as included, drinks
  • 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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