Hiking the North GR20 Trail in Corsica

Corsica | France
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go hiking in Corsica

  • Trip Highlight

    Hike the mythical GR20 and enjoy the atmosphere of this paradise island

  • Trip Highlight

    Abundant vegetation, incredible scenery, and stunning wildlife throughout

  • Trip Highlight

    Take a dip in the hot pools and explore the alpine terrain

Experience the mighty GR20 — join a guide for a fantastic hike from the North-West to the South-East of Corsica! From the Balagne region to the centre of Corsica, discover stunning gorges, alpine lakes, hot pools, and vibrant communities. Hiking one of the most difficult and spectacular long-distance treks in Europe attracts outdoor enthusiasts 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. This 10-day guided tour is a wonderful option for anyone wanting to learn more about the history, the geography of Corsica, and the way of life in the mountains. Let the atmosphere of mountain villages sink in and conquer the North part of this mythical long-distance hiking trail! Find out how to tackle Europe’s toughest hiking trail, Corsica’s GR20, from Anthony Laplagne, Corsica local and owner of Europe Active.

Season

June to September

Nearest city

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

Duration

10 days

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Itineraries

Book This Adventure

North GR20 10-Day Hiking Adventure

10 days

Accomplish a lot in a short amount of time! If you want to feel the thrill of hiking through Corsica but don’t feel ready for a 2-week hike, join your guide on this 10-day guided hike with luggage transfer. The north side of the GR20 is a great holiday both for intermediate and experienced hikers alike. Enjoy the magnificent landscapes and explore some of the most beautiful and wildest parts of Corsica, from the villages of the Balagne to the town of Calvi spectacularly set amongst brooding granite mountains. Follow the ancient track from the North-West to the South-East of the island, spend your nights in refuges or gites, discover ancient forests, valleys, and mountain peaks, and dip in the natural pools. This is one adventure you’ll remember for a lifetime!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Calvi

Arrive at the beautiful Calvi and spend a night in a hotel, prepping the mindset for the treks ahead.

Day 2: From Calenzana to Bonifatu

Meet your taxi driver in the morning and get transferred to the cozy village of Calenzana, the official start of the GR20. Walk through the Bonifatu forest, past epic viewpoints over the villages of the Balagne.
Walk: 4 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +700m, -500m

Day 3: From Bonifatu to Haut Asco

After a hearty breakfast, leave Bonifatu for one of the longest stages of the GR20. Once more you will cross several rivers before reaching the famous Spasimata bridge, 30 metres long and suspended above an amazing waterfall! Arrive at the summit of the Muvrella and its small lake. The vistas from the pass are numerous and divine. The route continues to the foot of the Monte Cinto, the highest summit of Corsica, where you will spend the night.
Accommodation: Gîte
Walking: 8 hours
Height gain and loss: +1300m, -600m

Day 4: From Haut Ascu to Vallone

After a hearty breakfast, continue with your travels and cross the Great Barrier Reef passing by the Monte Cintu and through the Pointe des Éboulis. From Bocca Minuta, descend to the small valley of Straciaconne where you may have the chance to observe wildlife — especially mouflons, a type of wild sheep native to the Caspian region. Have dinner in a shepherd hut in Vallone, set up camp, and enjoy the starry skies with your group.
Accommodation: Tent
Walk: about 8,5 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +1200m, -800m

Day 5: From Vallone to Verghju

Your setting for the day is the valley of the Niolu located at the heart of the island. As you walk past the foot of the most beautiful summits in Corsica, the Paglia Orba and the strange Capu Tafunatu, use the numerous photo-ops and soak in the atmosphere. If the weather serves you, you can get a stunning viewpoint over the gulf of Porto before plunging into the small valley of the Golo. Enjoy the phenomenal views of a series of natural pools as you walk towards the forest and the Castel di Verghio. Spend the evening with your group at the gîte.
Accommodation: Refuge
Walk: about 6 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +970m, -1020m

Day 6: From Vergju to the Manganu refuge

Today will be a long day for most, but it will be immensely rewarded by impressive scenery and amazing wildlife. Leave the refuge, pass Bocca a Reta, and enjoy the views of the deep blue Mediterranean seas to the east. On the other side, gaze upon a glacial cirque hiding one of the Corsican mountain’s hidden jewels. Head to Lake Nino, and meet a herd of wild horses.
Accommodation: Refuge
Walking: 8 hours
Height gain and loss: +870m, -690m

Day 7: From Manganu to Petra Piana

Walk along a stream and rocky bars before coming to a plateau of pozzines. Enjoy majestic views of the Melu and Capitellu lakes from the Capitellu breach. After reaching Bocca Muzella, descend to a small plateau, where you’ll find the Petra Piana refuge.
Accommodation: Refuge
Walking: 6 hours
Height gain and loss: +670m, -465m

Day 8: From Petra Piana to l’Onda

Take a short and panoramic walk between the Monte Rotondo and Monte d’Oro massifs. There are some tricky passages with strong winds, so watch your step! Take in the views of the Gulf of Ajaccio (if the day is clear).
Accommodation: Refuge
Walking: 5 hours
Height gain and loss: +560m, -965m

Day 9: From l’Onda to Vizzavona

It’s your last day on the northern part of the trail. Head to Vizzavona through the magical Agnone valley at the foot of Monte d’Oro. After crossing the Turtettu footbridge, marvel at the wealth of small waterfalls and streams. After some time among the woods and the waterfalls, arrive slowly to Vizzavona.
Accommodation: Refuge
Walking: 6,5 hours
Height gain and loss: +630m, -1140m

Day 10: End of your adventure

Finish up your hike in Vizzavona. Calvi, Ajaccio, and Bastia are easily reachable by train.

Hiking gear checklist
Download hiking gear checklist
Prepare for the trip.
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Check your inbox
Things to know

Things 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 from Calvi to Calenzana
    • Accommodations in gîtes, tents, and a hotel during the trip
    • 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
    • 5 dinners, 5 breakfasts, and 4 picnic lunches

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
    • Meals not included in the itinerary

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)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • The max guest-to-guide ratio for this tour is 12:1. It takes a minimum group of six participants for the tour to operate.
    • This tour is booked for a minimum of two people. Solo travelers should inquire about private tours.
    • The price decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family!

If your hiking party is larger than six people, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements. 

Min. age requirements:

    • Anyone over the age of 18 can join these day-hiking tours
    • 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 12, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposits and cancellation policy

If the reservation takes place more than 90 days before departure, a 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. For reservations less than 90 days before the departure, 100% of the total amount is paid upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • 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 minus a 100 € ($110 USD) per person set-up fee cost
    • For cancellations twenty-nine (29) to sixteen (16) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the full price of the trip. 
    • For cancellations fifteen (15) to two (2) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the full price of the trip. 
    • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

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 Sainte-Catherine Airport.

For the North GR20 Hiking Adventure, you will meet your guide in the morning of your first day in Calvi for your transfer to Calenzana. 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.

View FAQ

Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding
Trip inquiry for
Your next adventure
Where would you like to go and what would you like to to?

Choose an adventure

Choose location*

When would you like to go on a trip?

Choose a date

Group size*

How can we contact you?

Full Name*

E-mail*

Phone number

Anything else we should know?

What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? (optional)

57hours trip inquiry fail
Sorry, something went wrong!

Please try again, or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem.

57hours trip inquiry success
Your inquiry was successfully sent to the guides!
57hours trip inquiry email fail
Sorry, but your inquiry didn’t go through!

Please try again or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem.

Log in

Log in or sign up to save a trip to your bucket list

Saved to bucket list!
View list
Removed from bucket list
View list