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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 9-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.
Hike the mythical GR20 and enjoy the atmosphere of this paradise island
Abundant vegetation, incredible scenery, and stunning wildlife throughout
Take a dip in the hot pools and explore the alpine terrain
Arrive at the beautiful Calvi by plane, train, or ferry. From there, you will be transferred to Calenzana. Surrounded by olive trees, this cozy Mediterranean village marks the official start of the GR20 trail. From there, start your warm-up hike through a forest, past epic viewpoints and several river crossings, before reaching Bonifatu and admiring a dramatic view of the Corsican coast.
Walk: 4,5 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +800m, -540m
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.
Walking: 8 hours
Height gain and loss: +1300m, -600m
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.
Walk: about 8,5 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +1200m, -800m
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.
Walk: about 6 hours
Altitude gain & loss: +970m, -1020m
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.
Walking: 8 hours
Height gain and loss: +870m, -690m
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.
Walking: 6 hours
Height gain and loss: +670m, -465m
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).
Walking: 5 hours
Height gain and loss: +560m, -965m
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.
Walking: 6,5 hours
Height gain and loss: +630m, -1140m
Finish up your hike in Vizzavona. Calvi, Ajaccio, and Bastia are easily reachable by train.
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 you get on this adventure:
What’s not included:
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.
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
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 prices:
If your hiking party is larger than six people, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 12, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
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.
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.