Renowned for being Europe's most challenging trekking route, this version of the GR20 takes out the toughest climbs and longest traverses, leaving you to enjoy the beauty of this wild and rugged island at a more leisurely pace.

Shorter itinerary
Trek the highlights of the GR20
Scenery
Enjoy the wild scenery of the Corsica island
All inclusive
From arrival to departure in Corsica, we take care of all logistics. You simply enjoy your holidays!

CORSICA HIGHLIGHTS GR20 HIKING ROUTE

All the highlights of Corsica's famous GR20 hiking route

From 1,615.00€
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Advanced tech level

 

Fitness level 4/5

 

10 hikers maximum

 

6 days of hiking

 

7 nights (hotels, hostels and camping)

 

All meals included

 

Max altitude - 2225m

Starting in the 18th century village of Vizzavona, this trek explores the northwest region of Corsica; where you will find the most interesting and beautiful parts of the GR20 hiking trail condensed into a shorter itinerary than the original 180km route.

You will encounter rugged mountains, lush valleys, dramatic ridges and deep glacial lakes as you hike just over 80km from Canglia in the heart of the island to Bonifatu in the northwest.

This is an authentic Corsican experience where you will stay in small family-run hostels and rural gites; sampling local cuisine and enjoying the peace and serenity of the Mediterranean backcountry.

The route unravels north through the granite peaks, rocky trails, scented forests, remote goat farms, and ancient villages that personify the unique character of Corsica.

Incredible views and unforgettable experiences await you at every turn of the trail.

Dates

Corsica Highlights GR20 Hiking Route dates - 2020

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
July 12, 2020
2
1,615.00€
July 26, 2020
1,615.00€
August 16, 2020
1,615.00€
August 30, 2020
1,615.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival Day

We start our trip with a transfer from Bastia airport to our hotel in Vizzavona, where we can relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this small but historic village. You will get to know your hiking companions over dinner in a hotel, and be briefed on the trip ahead. We will not have access to our luggage for another 3 days, so we will pack our rucksacks with everything that we need before we set off in the morning.

Day 2 - Canaglia to Petra Piana

Our first day on the trek starts bright and early with a transfer to the little hamlet of Canaglia in the Manganellu Valley. A gentle start leads us along a pretty path through pinewoods and flowing rivers. The trail winds its way up amongst aromatic alder forests to reach the Refuge de Petra Piana, a distinctive triangular in a stunning location at 1840m. We should arrive here by late afternoon, allowing us to relax and set up camp before dinner, then watch the sun go down over the valley.

Distance: 12km

Ascent: 1000m

Descent: 0m

Hiking Time: 5 hours

Day 3 - Punta Mezzella to Refuge de Manganu

Leaving Petra Piana behind, we hike onwards and upwards with fantastic views of the beautiful lakes and gorges of the Restonica Valley. We climb up along a high ridge to reach the Breche de Capitello, a lofty mountain pass with magnificent views that just keep getting better as we cross the wide expanse of the Campotile Plateau. We spend the night camping beside the Refuge de Manganu, a typical stone hut with natural bathing pools nearby.

Distance: 12km

Ascent: 600m

Descent: 800m

Hiking Time: 7 hours

Day 4 - Lac de Nino to Castel di Vergio

We start the day with a flat walk across the plateau to the old shepherds hut at Vaccaja, before a gentle incline leads us up through beech woods and across open meadows to reach Lac de Nino. This glacial lake is surrounded by lush grassland, which is a popular grazing area for ponies, goats, and even wild boar! From the lake we continue upwards to the Col a Reta, enjoying excellent views of Paglia Orba and Monte Cinto along the way. Once at the col, we drop down and follow a ridge to Col Saint Pierre, descending gradually to Castel di Vergio, a small ski resort in winter where we have the luxury of a hotel bed for the night and access to our luggage.

Distance: 17km

Ascent: 600m

Descent: 800m

Hiking Time: 7 hours

Day 5 - Castel di Vergio to Bergerie de Vallo

The shady forests at the start of today's route soon give way to high granite cliffs as we approach Les Bergeries de Radule, a cluster of old stone huts surrounded by waterfalls and secluded rock pools. Corsica's longest river, Le Golu, leads us up through the valley to a stream where we can dip our hot feet in the cool water before we head up to the ridge line and look across to the west coast of Corsica. Our highpoint of the day is the Ciotulu di Mori, a high altitude mountain refuge at 1991m. A steep descent takes us down through a dramatic landscape of towering granite and gnarled old pine trees to reach the Viru stream and the Bergerie de Vallone. We'll set up camp nearby and enjoy dinner in the bergerie restaurant, maybe enjoying an evening swim in the nearby river.

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 950m

Descent: 900m

Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 6 - Vallone to Haute Asco

Our biggest day in terms of ascent starts with hiking from Bergerie de Vallone up to RefugeTighiettu, perched on the edge of the rocks at an altitude of 1683m. Striking northwest, we continue through the rugged rocks of the Crucetta valley up to Bocca Crucetta at 2450m. We have a brief descent before traversing and then climbing back up to cross Monte Cinto via a ridge near to Pointe des Eboulis at 2600m. A long descent takes us to a well-earned night in the former ski resort of Haut Asco, where we stay in a wonderfully atmospheric old hotel. Take a look at the black and white photos of early mountaineers exploring the region long before we discovered the area. Not only are we reunited with our luggage tonight but we also have hot showers, comfortable beds and a bar to look forward to!

Distance: 13km

Ascent: 1300m

Descent: 1300m

Hiking Time: 9-10 hours

Day 7 - Haut Asco to Bonifatu

Our last day on the trails starts with a craggy route that climbs steeply up through a forest and across boulders to the magnificent ridge of Bocca di Stagnu at 2010m, from where we have a great view of Monte Cinto, Corsica's highest peak at 2706m. Pressing on, we pass beneath the peak of Muvrella and cross another col to enjoy a stunning view of Calvi. It is mostly downhill from here, via the lake of Muvrella and down the side of a steep rocky gorge - fixed chains and a suspension bridge across the river provide an exciting climax to our trip! From here we have one last climb up to the Refuge de Carozzu at 1270m before we leave the official GR20 trail and head west through the forest of Bonifatu all the way down to a roadside gite at 550m. We will be picked up from here and driven to Calvi, where we can relax and check into our hotel.

Day 8 - Departure Day

The trip ends after breakfast in Calvi, when you will have chance to say goodbye and swap contact details with your hiking pals. There will be a single timed transfer to take you to the airport.

Level Requirements

This trip does not require any prior alpine experience other than mountain hiking and good physical fitness. This is a challenging but non-technical alpine trek involving 4-10 hours of walking per day, on average, for 6 days. The route is by no means flat and you should be able to manage ascents/descents of up to 1000m in a day, often over exposed and rocky terrain. Your luggage will be transported but you will carry a daypack with your personal equipment and lunch (a well packed rucksack should not exceed 8kg). On some days you will be required to carry your sleeping bag and overnight essentials.

Equipment

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Thin gloves

Thin gloves

Sun hat

Sun hat

Hiking boots

Hiking boots

Hiking trousers

Hiking trousers

T-shirts

T-shirts

Shorts

Shorts

Long sleeve shirt

Long sleeve shirt

Causal shirt or t-shirt

Causal shirt or t-shirt

Technical gear

Trekking poles

Trekking poles

Other essentials

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Water bottle - Ideally two 1L bottles

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Headlamp with fresh batteries

Washbag and toiletries

Washbag and toiletries

Towel

Towel

Earplugs

Earplugs

Sleeping bag comfort rating 0°C

Sleeping bag comfort rating 0°C

Water purification tablets

Water purification tablets

Antibacterial handwash

Antibacterial handwash

Tupperware lunch box (0.6 litre)

Tupperware lunch box (0.6 litre)

Fork & spoon

Fork & spoon

Pen knife

Pen knife

Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

Insect repellant

Insect repellant

Basic first aid kit

Basic first aid kit

Included or not

Included

Guide Fees

6 days of guided hiking by a qualified mountain leader.

Accommodation

7 nights accommodation (3 nights hotel, 4 nights camping/gite/hostel)

Food & Drink

All meals are included on this trip, including packed lunches. You are advised to bring extra trail snacks and carry plenty to drink each day.

Airport transfer

One time minibus departure from the airport at pre-set time on day 1 of the trip. 

Transport

All necessary transport as in the itinerary.

Luggage Transport

Transport of luggage between accommodation.

Not Included

Insurance

Travel insurance including a mountain search and rescue insurance is mandatory on all our trips (we can organise the mountai search and rescue insurance for you on request). We highly advice to have a policy covering the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation. When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

Airport transfers

 Other than the single group transfer to Calvi on Day 1

Miscellaneous expenses

Expenses such as drinks, snacks, etc. 

Early departure

Any costs incurred should you depart the trip early

Practical Information

Accommodation

The first night of this trip will be one of the three nights spent in hotels. There will be another three nights camping, and one night in a gites/hostels. The camping grounds are all near to refuges where we will have access to toilets and washing facilities (albeit some with cold water only). Dinner will be prepared at the refuge and eaten in the communal dining area. Tents are stored at the refuges and we each put up our own on arrival. Accommodation is usually on a twin room (or shared tent) basis, but you may occasionally find yourself sharing a triple or quadruple room. Solo travellers will always be accommodated with room/tent mates of the same gender.

Food

All meals are included for the duration of the trip. Breakfast is usually the continental style of bread, jam and tea/coffee. A daily packed lunch is usually a sandwich or pasta/rice/lentil salad with additional bread, cheese, meat and fruit. For this you will need to bring a lunchbox (approx 0,6 litre capacity) and cutlery - a penknife is a useful item to have. Dinner is a simple but filling home-cooked meal; usually a starter of soup or cold cuts of meat, followed by a hearty hot dish such as pasta, and often accompanied by cheese and bread. A daily trail snack is also included but it is a good idea to carry extra energy-rich foods such as nuts and dried fruits to keep your energy levels consistent.

Dietary Requirements

The nature of this trip means that much of our accommodation is in remote places with limited resources. A vegetarian diet can be catered for by prior arrangement but it will be basic and omelette or pasta dishes will be the staple evening meal - you may wish to supplement by bringing nuts and seeds to ensure that you are getting sufficient protein. Unfortunately other dietary requirements cannot be catered for.

Water

The tap water is generally clean and safe to drink, but check with your trip leader before filling your bottles. There may be days when you will need to refill from rivers or streams, so a filter bottle or purification tablets are a good idea. Please invest in a reusable bottle that you can carry for the entire trip, rather than single-use disposable bottles.

Spending Money

You should make an allowance for additional snacks, drinks, purchases, and the final airport transfer. Wine, beer and soft drinks can be bought at most of the refuges but they can sometimes be expensive. Approximately 200€ should be sufficient but ensure that if you need to exchange currency you do so at the start of the trip, as there will be no opportunity to do so once the trek has begun.

Baggage Allowance

You will need a backpack of around 45 litres as well as one piece of luggage. The size of your luggage will depend on the baggage allowance of your airline. Your luggage is transported for the duration of the trip and you must carry your own backpack each day. You will have access to your luggage on 4 nights, for the remaining 3 nights you will need to carry your sleeping bag and any other overnight items in your backpack throughout the day.

Early Departure Cost

The challenging nature of this trek means that the IML mountain guides reserve the right to remove anyone from the trip who is compromising the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the group or who is putting themself at risk. In this instance, you will only be asked to leave the group where there is closed road access to return either to Calvi or Bastia and your luggage will follow you as soon as possible. From this point onwards, you will be responsible for your expenses although assistance will be offered in making travel and accommodation arrangements. Depending on the circumstances, any extra costs may be covered by your travel insurance.

Insurance

You will require adequate travel insurance to cover you for possible medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation; it should also be valid for the activities and altitude involved in this type of trip.

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