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Along the GR20 through Corsica – Europe's toughest long-distance hiking trail

kaveman734

Along the GR20 through Corsica – Europe's toughest long-distance hiking trail

Hiking Collection by komoot

16-36

days

3-6 h

/ day

112 mi

34,800 ft

34,625 ft

Rough landscapes, loneliness, extreme heat, freezing cold and hardly any drinking water. Every morning at half past five, the alarm rings. Although that may not sound very inviting at first, for many, the GR20 is still a perfect hiking holiday. But, why? The French Grande Randonnée No. 20, or GR20 for short, is one of the toughest and most exciting long-distance trails in Europe. Over the course of 15 stages, it meanders 111 miles (180 kilometers) from northern Corsica through beautiful landscapes to the south of the island. The white and red mark will guide you the entire way from Calenzana via Vizzavona to Conca.

As far as Vizzavona, the northern part of the route is generally a more demanding and beautiful part and is therefore more well-trodden. But, the southern stages 10 to 15 will also make your hiking heart beat faster. Snow-covered cirques, deep valleys and glacial lakes tell tales of the area’s ice age history. The scenery is unbelievable and tough even for experienced mountain goers. As a result, this long-distance trail is one of the hardest and will be one of the best tours you have ever done.

Surefootedness, good physical condition and careful planning are crucial for the GR20. You should also have adequate supplies of drinking water and food in your backpack, since you will not be able to find it at many shelters. We recommend reserving spots in huts, rental tents, or bivouac in advance online to make sure you have a space.

The weather on Corsica is very varied. While hot summers and mild winters are the norm along the Mediterranean coast, the Corsican mountains are characterized by climates that range from continental to alpine. You can find snow fields even in the middle of summer. The managed huts on the GR 20 start their season in May and open until October. It is generally not advisable to start hiking before April. Also, bear in mind that many springs have dried up due to the summer heat by September. The months of June and July are therefore optimal for your adventure. However, you have to expect sudden changes in the weather and bad weather conditions all year round.

If that does not scare you off but arouses your interest, then you’ve come to the right place on the GR20!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    08:35
    7.47 mi
    0.9 mph
    4,650 ft
    275 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Welcome to the toughest long-distance hiking trail in Europe. The first leg of the GR 20 has it all: on the twelve kilometers from Calenzana to the Refuge d'Ortu di …

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  • Difficult
    05:44
    4.64 mi
    0.8 mph
    1,950 ft
    2,850 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Mountains, mountains and more mountains. At today's stage, you'll come up high and hit the 2,000 meter mark. From the Refuge de l'Ortu di u Piobbu, you will walk about …

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  • Difficult
    06:39
    3.30 mi
    0.5 mph
    2,325 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    All good things come in threes: Today you walk on beautiful paths through the fantastic mountain landscape of Corsica. The path meanders through the rugged rock formations in the higher …

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  • Difficult
    07:18
    6.18 mi
    0.8 mph
    4,050 ft
    3,250 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    New day, new rise. Today's stage takes you over the pass of Monte Cinto. You exceed the 2,600 vertical meters and thus the highest point of the entire GR20. If …

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  • Difficult
    05:00
    4.41 mi
    0.9 mph
    2,150 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's stage starts relaxed - which comes quite appropriate after yesterday's hiking day. From the Refuge di Tighiettu, it goes gently downhill. The climb begins only after half, but the 650 meters you manage easily.After just under one kilometer you will pass a nice bath pump. Why not have a first refreshing break here? The next few kilometers will lead you through a beautiful landscape with fantastic views. Pure hiking pleasure!

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  • Intermediate
    04:49
    5.69 mi
    1.2 mph
    550 ft
    2,375 ft
    Intermediate mountaineering route. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today, for a change, you'll hike more downhill instead of uphill. From the Refuge Ciotullu di i Mori, you will descend the first five kilometers, after which the trail will …

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  • Difficult
    08:22
    9.63 mi
    1.2 mph
    2,125 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    It continues today on green meadows and small groves. Although there are over 600 vertical meters and 15 kilometers of track waiting for you today, you are now in the …

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  • Difficult
    06:32
    5.30 mi
    0.8 mph
    2,525 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Halftime - you have already mastered half of the GR20. That gives motivation for today's stage. From the Refuge de Manganu you hike across the Punta alle Porta, continue on …

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    8.64 mi
    1.7 mph
    600 ft
    3,975 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    New day, new hiking luck. Today you almost only hike downhill - for a change sometimes nice. You can also pack your bathing suit on the top of your backpack, …

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  • Difficult
    09:54
    11.1 mi
    1.1 mph
    3,725 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After the relaxed day yesterday you have enough power for the next 1140 meters. From Tattone the path takes you the first five kilometers to Vizzavona still leisurely through the …

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  • Difficult
    10:15
    11.0 mi
    1.1 mph
    2,975 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After ten days, hiking has already gone into flesh and blood. Today, on your eleventh stage, you can look forward to a nice ups and downs through a - again - fantastic nature. From the Refuge d'E Capannelle you enter the beautiful singletrack. Let yourself be lulled by the beautiful nature and quickly you have found your step. Along the way are gnarled trees and wild stone houses. And again and again you have an incredible view into the distance.

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  • Difficult
    06:31
    6.46 mi
    1.0 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today, it is worth getting up early. The morning mood at the Refuge de Prati is one of a kind, when the sun slowly pushes up the horizon and dispels …

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  • Difficult
    09:49
    11.8 mi
    1.2 mph
    2,550 ft
    3,250 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Slowly, the GR20 is coming to an end - reason enough to enjoy the remaining stages even more intensively. Today's stage starts quite relaxed, the rise of the day awaits …

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  • Difficult
    07:51
    7.78 mi
    1.0 mph
    1,875 ft
    3,375 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The beautiful Bavella massif will accompany you on the way today. The first few kilometers from Refuge d'Asiano, the path leads you briskly on level ground. After a good five …

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  • Difficult
    07:17
    8.24 mi
    1.1 mph
    825 ft
    3,525 ft
    Expert mountaineering route. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Open your eyes, arrange your thoughts, last day! You almost made it, there are still 13 kilometers between you and your destination Conca. On your way downhill you dive deeper …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    15
  • Distance
    112 mi
  • Duration
    109:39 h
  • Elevation
    34,800 ft34,625 ft

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Along the GR20 through Corsica – Europe's toughest long-distance hiking trail