Rough landscapes, loneliness, extreme heat, bone-chilling cold and scarcity of drinking water. Every morning at half past six the alarm clock starts ringing. Doesn't sound like the most comfortable vacation, right? Every year the GR20 attracts thousands of hikers, who are taking on the challenge. The French Grande Randonnée No. 20 - short GR20 - is not only one of the hardest, but also one of the most exciting long-distance trails in Europe. The 180-kilometer-path winds through Corsica in 15 stages.
Starting in the north, it leads through dreamlike landscapes to the sea at the south of the island. White and red marks lead hikers along the entire route from Calenzana via Vizzavona to Conca. The northern part to Vizzavona generally counts as more challenging and beautiful, which is why it can be pretty busy during the main season. The southern stages, 10 to 15, let a hikers' heart beat faster, too. Deep cirques, snowy trough valleys and glacier lakes are telling tales of a long gone past. Beginner or pro, this long-distance trail might be one of the hardest challenges you'll ever do. But also one of the best ones.
When you are taking on this adventure, it is important to ensure that you are in good physical condition and have a well-considered plan before you leave home. Always have extra drinking water and food with you, as many shelters do not offer food. In order to secure a place for cabins, rental tents and bivouac places, make sure to book them online in advance.