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On the trail of the GR20: sportive version

13 days / 12 nights
Corsica - GR20 - full GR20 - Independent walking
Without guide - Comfort - No Luggage transfer

price from
~724 £ [820 €]

Considered as the most difficult and technical long-distance walk of Europe, the GR20 attracts walkers from all over the world looking for a challenge.

This self guided circuit will allow you to discover the most wild and most beautiful landscapes that Corsica has to offer.

This particular route, designed by us, allows you to enjoy the GR20 with greater comfort; we use better accommodation than that traditionally used for the GR20 and we propose the greatest number of luggage transfers.

You will need a sleeping bag. Tents are provided when necessary. We strongly advise you to buy the correct IGN maps for this trip to complement the printed map sections that we provide as part of the package.

Your day by day program

1
From Calvi to Bonifatu

Your trip will start in the morning from Calvi. Calvi is accessible by plane, train or ferry. A transfer to Calenzana is then organised for you. South-east of Calvi, this little village sits quietly within an area abundant with olive trees. From here you will start your hike to Bonifatu, which lies high up in the forest. This stage is characterised by several river crossings as well as magnificent views of the typical towns of the Balagne. It is an excellent warm up to the GR20 offering superb views towards the Corsican coast.
Food: D
Accommodation:Gîte (double room available).
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: About 4h05.
Height gain: + 800m Height loss: -540m

2
From Bonifatu to Haut Asco

After breakfast, you will leave Bonifatu for one of the longest stages along the GR20. Once more crossing several rivers before reaching the famous footbridge of Spasimata, which is 30 metres in length and suspended above a waterfall (a great location for photos). You will arrive in the Valley of the Muvrella (mouflon) with its small lake. The viewpoints are numerous and divine from the passes. The route continues to the foot of the Monte Cinto, the highest summit of Corsica, where you will spend the night.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte (double room available).
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: About 8h00.
Height gain: +1300m Height loss: -598m.

3
From Haut Asco to the sheepfolds of Vallone

In this dream setting, you may have the chance to observe mouflons, which are numerous in this region of Corsica. To avoid the Cirque de la Solitude, closed to the public since 2015, you cross the Great Barrier Reef by the itinerary of Monte Cintu and through the Pointe des Éboulis. The route continues passed the refuge of Tighjettu before reaching the sheepfolds of Vallone, where a cluster of shepherd huts await you with ample portions of home cooked food made from local products.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Tent
Luggage: Your main bag will not be available on this day
Walk: about 8h30
Altitude gain & loss: +1200 m, -800 m



4
From the Sheepfolds of Vallone to Vergio

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 climb up the Bocca di Fuciale. The climb is soon rewarded as you reach up and over the saddle towards the Refuge of Ciotulu i Mori, where the view expands down towards the Golo valley. From here, the path becomes much easier, as you wind your way down the valley, past the many rock pools on the Golo river, which are fantastic for bathing. The final stretch takes you back through the woods and up again to Castel di Vergio.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte (double room available).
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: About 6h15.
Height gain: +971m Height loss: -1017m.

5
From Vergio to the Sega refuge

Today maybe a long day for some walkers, but it is a real treat. Leaving Verghio under the shadow of this superb forest, the route gradually begins to climb and the trees start to fall away. The morning’s effort is rewarded by the descent to Lac de Nino with its little ponds (pozzines). This is one of the most well known lakes in Corsica. The surroundings are superb, with fantastic views of the mountains and often horses, cows and pigs can be seen grazing in tranquillity around the lake. The path continues to follow the river (and its many bathing pools) to lead you to one of the most beautiful refuges on the island.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Refuge.
Luggage: Your main bag will not be available on this day.
Walking: About 7h50
Height gain: +869m Height loss: -689m

6
From the Sega refuge to Corte

After tearing yourselves away from the natural pools near the refuge, you will make your 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.
Overnight at a hotel in Corte. Dinner is not included and so you are free to eat at a restaurant of your choice, all within easy reach of the hotel.
Food: B,L
Accommodation: Hotel, twin rooms.
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at your hotel.
Walking: About 4 hours
Height gain: +720m Height loss: -1400m

7
From Corte to Vizzavona

After breakfast, you have the chance to spend much of the day soaking in the lively atmosphere of Corte, the ancient capital of Corsica. Take your time to discover the citadelle, perched high upon a rocky crag, a defiant spectacle of Corsican patriotism. Visit the Museu di a Corsica, which charts the fascinating and turbulent history of the island, as well as spend time wandering about the many shops, cafes and restaurants. After quenching your thirst for civilisation, you will take the train to Vizzavona where you will spend the night before carrying on to the southern section of the GR20.
Night in Vizzavona.
Food: B,D
Accommodation: Gîte
Luggage: You will take your day sack plus your main bag on the train to Vizzavona. The train station is a ten minute walk from the hotel
Walking: 0h

8
From Vizzavona to Capanelle

Today’s trek begins with the Pass of Vizzavona and the stiff but steady climb to Bocca Palmente where the view is splendid. Next, after passing the crest, you will discover several sheepfolds before finally arriving at the sheepfolds of Capanelle where you will spend the night.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: About 7h45
Height gain: +1000m Height loss: -400m

9
From Capanelle to the Col de Verde

From Capanelle, you make your way to the picturesque sheepfolds of Traghjete before trekking on towards the Plateau of Ghialgone. You will cross the footbridge of I Spiazzi (another bathing point). Your final descent of the day lies under the shadow of the rarest and most majestic Corsican fir trees, before reaching the Col de Verde.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte.
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: about 5h00
Height gain: +700m Height loss: -950m

10
From the Col de Verde to Cozzano

You 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 (when the weather allows it). We now descend in amongst a landscape of rocky slabs before reaching Cozzano, a town in the heart of Corsica.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte.
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: about 8h00
Height gain: +750m Height loss: -1300m

11
From Cozzano to the Sheepfolds of Bassetta

Our morning will be devoted to the climb towards Bocca Di l’usciolu. After 1000m of difference in height, we will reach our peak point before entering into a forest of centennial trees. The path finally descends and the vegetation becomes dense. After the crossing of a stream, we will arrive at the sheepfolds of Bassetta.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte.
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking: about 6h30
Height gain:+910m Height loss:-505m

In case of bad weather you can take another path:
Walking: About 6h00.
Height gain:+887m Height loss:-483m

12
From Bassetta to Bavella

This is the longest and hardest day of the holiday, but the end of this superb trek is in sight. After a passage in the forest, you will cross a footbridge to continue through former sheepfolds towards Monte Incudine. From here you will descend to Asinau to reach your 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.
Food: B,L,D
Accommodation: Gîte
Luggage: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the gîte.
Walking (via the GR20): about 09h00
Height gain: +982m Height loss: -1100m
Walking (via the alpine variant): about 09h00
Height gain: +1170m Height loss: –1200m

13
Bavella

Your holiday comes to an end after breakfast. Please do ask us about arrangements for getting to Ajaccio for your journey home.

Departure board

Every day from June until mid september

Technical information

Fact sheet
Starting point
  • Calvi.
End
  • Bavella.
Accommodation
  • In gîtes d’étape (dormitory style) for 10 nights, 1 night in a tent, 1 night in a hotel. Four nights can be in rooms of two.
Number of people
  • Minimum 2.
Level of difficulty
  • You need to be used to trekking in the mountains and be able to read and follow map instructions. From 4h30 to 9h of hiking per day on sometimes difficult trails.
Carrying
  • No luggage transfers on this trip.
Options
  • 3 nights in accommodation for two : 90€
  • Set of IGN maps (1:25000) : 82€
Included
  • Dinners from day 1 to day 12 (except day 6).
  • Breakfasts from day 2 to day 13.
  • Picnic lunches from day 2 to day 12 (except day 7).
  • Transfer from Calvi to Calenzana.
  • Train journey from Corte to Vizzavona.
  • Information package with printed maps and route notes.
Not included
  • Luggages transfers. Transfer from Bavella at the end of the trip.
  • Transfers not included in the itinerary (including in times of bad weather or physicial ailments).
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites.
  • Optional activities.
  • Beverages and holiday insurance.

Clients feedback

Geoff S. 23 June 2013

Dear Europe Active,

I did your self guided GR20 walk, between the 23/06/13 and the 05/07/13. It was great-a really good trek-good zites, refuges and meals-with good service from yourselves.

My only complaint is that at three of the zites/refuges( I think at Verghio, Colle De Verde; and definitely Bassetta-where you have to go outside to the showers and toilets-there are no proper steps---easy to imagine a broken ankle or leg. I think it would be useful to check that the zites/refuges have good steps.

Regards,
Geoff Smith

Brian, Ben and Sean 14 June 2010

Hello Aurélia,

We (Sean, Ben and moi) are back to Australia after walking the GR20.

I wanted to thank you for the kind and professional way you managed our trip in Corsica. All bookings were perfect, thanks.

In Asco when the weather was very bad, we were not sure to cross the Cirque de la Solitude. But we knew you were just one phone call away in case of problem. By chance the rain stopped and we went through.

Thank you
Kind regards,
Brian

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