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Corsica: The GR20
15 days from
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At a glance
Corsica's legendary long-distance trek
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
What's included
  • All breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 12 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leaders throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners are included. Breakfasts include tea or coffee, bread and jam. Packed lunches vary between accommodations, but usually include bread, cheese, ham and a pasta salad. Dinners normally include a hot simple three course meal. Please note that it can be difficult (but not impossible) to cater for vegetarians on the GR20. The gites are in isolated places and depend upon local produce. You should be able to get cheese sandwiches for lunch and often omelettes or basic pasta dishes are available for the evening dinners. Please bring a good supply of protein (nuts and seeds) to keep up your energy levels if this concerns you, as this may be lacking. No other dietary requirements will be able to be catered for.

Day 1
Fly to Bastia
Fly to Bastia. Transfer to Calvi.
Day 2
Transfer to Calenzana and walk to Bonifatu
Transfer to Calenzana, south east of Calvi, a quiet little village surrounded by the olive trees that are native to the area. This is our start point for the walk up to Bonifatu. Our route takes in several river crossings and offers some great views over the characterful towns of Balagne. This offers an excellent warm up for the GR20 and gives us our first glimpse of the Corsican coast.
Day 3
A long but rewarding walk from Bonifatu to Haut Asco.
After breakfast we leave Bonifatu and tackle one of the longest sections of the GR20. River crossings are again a feature, before we reach the famous Spasimata footbridge. The setting here is quite dramatic, as the bridge is 30 metres in length and suspended above a waterfall, offering a fantastic photo opportunity. Using fixed cables we head over the Spasimata slabs and arrive in the Muvrella (Mouflon) Valley, where the passes provide some excellent viewpoints of a region home to, not surprisingly, a large population of Mouflons which we may spot during the week. Our destination is the foot of Monte Cinto, the highest summit in Corsica, where we spend the night.
Day 4
Lac d'Argentu; optional ascent of Monte Cinto
Today you can chosse either to rest and relax, or to walk to Lac d'Argentu (2400m), a beautiful glacial lake at the foot of the north face of Monte Cinto with great views of the mountain itself, and return to Haut Asco for the night. There is also an optional ascent of Monte Cinto (2706m) for wonderful views over the surrounding valleys and, on a clear day, much of Corsica.
Day 5
Traverse the Cirque de Solitude; descend towards Vallone.
The legendary 'Cirque de la Solitude' offers one of the most impressive landscapes of the GR20. A system of ladders and chains renders this technical route passable and memorable for visitors, and leads us on past the Tighjettu Refuge and to the sheepfolds of Vallone. Here we find small shepherds' huts offering hearty portions of home cooked food.
Day 6
Climb to the Refuge Ciotulu I Mori; descend by the Golo River
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 rocky climb up the Bocca di Fuciale. The climb is soon rewarded as we head up and over the saddle towards the Ciotulu I Mori Refuge, beneath the distinctive Paglia Orba peak. From here there are great views down towards the Golo Valley. At this point the path becomes much easier as we wind our way down the valley, past the many rock pools on the Golo River, which are perfect for a quick dip. The final stretch takes us back through the woods and up to Castel di Verghio.
Day 7
Verghio to Lac Nino and the Sega refuge
Our route today is relatively long, but is a real treat. Leaving Verghio the route gradually climbs out of the shadows of the lush forest. The morning's effort is rewarded by the descent to one of the best known lakes in Corsica, Lac de Nino, complete with its little ponds (pozzines). The setting is superb, with views of the mountains often complemented by the grazing horses, cows and pigs that often visit the lake. The path continues to follow the river and the tempting bathing pools, and leads us to one of the most attractive refuges on the island.
Day 8
Walk from the Sega Refuge along the Tavignano River to Corte
After tearing ourselves away from the natural pools near the refuge, we make our way down the Tavignano gorge, to Corte. This stage offers more opportunities en route for bathing in the crystal clear waters of the Tavignano river. We have dinner in a traditional restaurant in Corte and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 9
Free day in Corte
A well-earned day of rest marks the transition from the GR North to the GR South. We have the chance to spend much of the day soaking up the lively atmosphere of Corte, the ancient capital of Corsica. Take your time to discover the citadel, perched high upon a rocky crag, a defiant spectacle of Corsican patriotism. Visit the Museu dia Corsica, which charts the fascinating and turbulent history of the island, as well as spend time wandering round the many shops, caf�s and restaurants.
Day 10
Vizzavona to Bocca Palmente and Capanella
A private transfer will take us to Vizzavona where we begin the trek with the Pass of Vizzavona and the stiff but steady climb to Bocca Palmente, where the view is splendid along the eastern plains and back to Monte D'Oro. Next, after passing the crest, we discover several sheepfolds and have a glimpse of Monte Renoso, tomorrow's objective, before finally arriving at the sheepfolds of Capanelle.
Day 11
From Capanelle to the Plateau of Gialgone; optional ascent of Mt Renoso and on to Col de Verde
From Capanelle, we make our way to the picturesque sheepfolds of Traghjete before trekking on towards the Plateau of Ghialgone. We cross the footbridge of I Spiazzi (another bathing point). Our final descent of the day lies under the shadow of the rarest and most majestic Corsican fir trees, before reaching the Col de Verde. For those feeling adventurous there is an opportunity to climb Monte Renoso, the highest point of southern Corsica at 2352m. We pass Lac Bastani before reaching the summit where we are rewarded with views back to Monte Cinto, Paglia Orba and Monte Incudine.
Day 12
Descent from the Col de Verde to Cozzano
We start the day with a climb towards the refuge of Prati, which is perfectly positioned for beautiful views across to the massif of Renosu. The view is at its best when we reach the crest. From here the view stretches out across the Ligurian sea and the Italian island of Elba (weather permitting). After easy scrambling through a landscape of rocky slabs with some exposure for approx. 2 hours, we make our descent through the forest before reaching Cozzano, a village in the heart of Corsica.
Day 13
From Cozzano climb to Bocca di L'Usciolu an on to Sheepfolds of Bassetta
Our morning is devoted to the climb towards Bocca De Surraghedu. After 1000m of difference in height, we embark on the Arete a Mondi, a beautiful rocky crest with fantastic views. After easy scrambling with some exposure for approx. 2 hours we start our descent through a forest of centennial trees. The path finally descends and the vegetation becomes dense. After the crossing of a stream, we arrive at the sheepfolds of Bassetta.
Day 14
Ascend the Plateau Coscione to the Asinau Valley and on to Bavellato Bavella
This is the longest and hardest day of the trip, but the end of this superb trek is in sight. Continuing on the GR20 from Bassetta, we cross the Plateau Coscione where streams wind their way through small valleys and climb steadily towards the col below Monte Incudine. On a clear day we see Monte Cinto and Paglia Orba behind us, and Sardinia in the distance in front. From here we descend to Asinau to reach our final destination, Bavella and its famous �Aiguilles� (or �needles�), which dominate the landscape of the Alta Rocca. There couldn�t be a more fantastic place to finish this memorable walk!
Day 15
Fly to London
Transfer to Bastia. Fly to London.
Prices & Availability
GR20 September 2015 4/5

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? After a challenging climb to the top of a pass, finally arriving and feeling as though we were on top of the world looking down on creation. All the usual daily stresses a million miles …

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The GR20 is notoriously difficult due to the lack of water and extremely poor accommodation in extremely overcrowded mountain huts (with up to 150 people in one room) along the route. This new itinerary takes away the hassles as we stay in privately owned refuges, allowing us to enjoy the beautiful walking.

We spend 3 nights in a 2* hotel in twin or double room with en suite facilities. 9 nights in private gîtes with dormitories (4 to 16 beds), hot showers and toilets. There is only 1 night in an official GR20 refuge with 6 to 8 people per room, hot shower and toilets, as well as 1 night at a shepherd's hut in tents of 2 (simple toilets and shower available). Please be aware that facilities will be basic and normally on a shared basis (except at the hotel). Hot showers should be available at each accommodation, but water may be limited and demand high.

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