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Corsica | France

Hiking the GR20 Trail in Corsica

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Season

June to September

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Nearest city

Corsica is less than 1.5 hours away from several major cities in France by plane

57hours Icon duration

Duration

13-14 days

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Skill level

Advanced

Alpine terrain on a paradise Mediterranean island

Considered as one of the most difficult and spectacular long-distance treks in Europe, GR20 attracts hikers from all over the world looking for a worthy challenge. This 180km-long trail winds through the jagged spine of Corsica’s mountains, revealing spectacular scenery and amazing views over the dramatic coastline. Join your guide on this classic trek from south or north of the island and enjoy vistas of stunning granite peaks soaring to over 2600m. As a guided tour, this is a wonderful option for anyone wanting to learn more about the local fauna and flora, the way of life in the mountains for the shepherds and how they make the local cheese. Not only will your guides provide you with a degree of safety, but they will also enrich your experience of the trail and Corsica! Let the atmosphere of mountain villages sink in and conquer this mythical long-distance hiking trail!

Most Popular Itineraries

Comfort GR20 Hiking Adventure

$2050 per person · 13 days

Conquer steep ascents and plunging descents on this 180km trail that follows the granite backbone of mountains that divide the island in two, many of which soar above 2000m altitude. Join your guide on the mighty GR20 from the north-west to the south-east of the island, starting your tour from beautiful Calvi! Explore the stunning nature from the Balagne region to the centre of Corsica, discover stunning gorges, and enjoy the views over emerald alpine lakes. This challenging adventure also includes luggage transfers and a selection of the best accommodation available, providing you with all the comfort along the way.

Standard GR20 Hiking Adventure

$1720 per person · 14 days

Enjoy two weeks of hiking along one of the most beautiful European hike-thrus and explore the best that the Corsican mountains have to offer. Starting from Ajaccio, hike northward and cross the famous needles of Bavella, marvel at the plateau du Cuscione, and climb Monte Renoso, the highest summit in the south of Corsica at 2352m. Enjoy the views over Lake of Bastani, Restonica River and the Tyrrhenian Sea, and visit the local shepherd’s villages. The south side of the GR20, being considered easier, is still a great holiday for experienced hikers. Even though the relief is less abrupt than in the north, the landscapes remain magnificent and varied. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure is open both to individuals travelling alone or anyone wanting to join a guided group.

Things you need to know

Covid measures in Corsica

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Corsica, please refer to the Corsican Official Tourist website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically-trained, wilderness guide
  • Transportation across the island
  • Accommodations during the trip in hotel, gites and equipped tents
  • Luggage assistance — you will carry a day pack for a few days at a time and have access to your main bag on several evenings to restock
  • Breakfasts
  • Picnic lunches
  • Dinners

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to and from Corsica
  • Transfers not included in this itinerary (including transfers due to bad weather or physical ailments)
  • Entrance fees to sites
  • Optional activities
  • Drinks

How fit do I need to be?

GR20 is an advanced hike, meaning full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Although it is becoming more and more popular, it remains one of the most difficult treks in Europe. To overlook this could put inexperienced walkers in danger. Do not overestimate your skills, and prepare for the trip. The GR20 is for hikers in very good physical shape who already have the experience of high mountain trekking over several days. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

It is recommended to do aerobic exercises at least 3 times a week. It is good to get in some hill walks on rough, uneven terrain, to build up ankle strength. Train to walk downhill, get used to knowing where to put your feet. Aim to progress walking downhill at a reasonable pace — two walking poles will reduce the shock on your legs.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry items for a few days of hiking (around a 40L bag)
  • Duffle bag with all the remaining items and clothing (max. weight 15 kilos)
  • Trekking poles — optional (but recommended)
  • Headlamp
  • Compact sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Snacks and electrolytes
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops for beaches, river wading, or for wearing in the evening
  • Hiking socks
  • T-shirt and shorts (depending upon the likely weather)
  • Light trekking trousers (not jeans)
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • A warm sweater, polar or fleece
  • Puffy jacket or equivalent mid-layer
  • A good quality waterproof shell — GORE-TEX recommended
  • Waterproof pants
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunhat
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Camp towel
  • A small Tupperware box (for stews or salads), a plastic mug, a spork
  • A waterproof plastic pouch for documents and identity papers
  • A small first-aid kit
  • Swiss army knife
  • Sunglasses
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Corsica’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Corsica, this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

What about group sizes and pricing?

The standard tour is private and the dates can be customized according to your needs. The comfort tour is not private and you will be joining other participants. All pricing is per person.

The minimum group size on these GR20 hiking tours is six guests and one guide, but larger groups can be accommodated. If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What is the minimum age requirement?

  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions. When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.

Do I need an insurance policy?

We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Cancellation policy

With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.

For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

Thanks to new low-cost airlines, Corsica is now accessible from several major cities in France in less than 1.5 hours. To be as close as possible to the departure of the GR20, we advise you to go to Calvi (for the North) and Figari (for the South). If possible, it is also wise to choose two different airports in Corsica for your GR20: if you start your hike in Calenzana, it is best to land in Calvi or Bastia. When you finish your hike in Conca, you should then choose Figari or Ajaccio Airport.

For the Standard GR20 Hiking Adventure, you will meet your guide in the morning of your first day in Ajaccio before transferring to the col de Bavella. For the Comfort GR20 Hiking Adventure, your trip will start in the morning of your first day from Calvi. The exact location will be determined in communication with your guide. From there, you’ll head straight to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.

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