The GR20 is a 180 km long hiking (walking) trail from Conca to Calenzana on the island of Corsica, France.
MOVIE GR20 Corsica
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Someone once wrote: “A tougher hike than both Everest Base Camp and Inca trail and nearly as beautiful”.
In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Africa and Europe, lies the island of Corsica. On the island is from north to south a rugged mountain range. The GR 20 (Grande Randonnée, or Long Walk nr 20) is a high elevation trail that follows the peaks and passes of that ridge. It’s remote and very difficult with steep climbs and descends. It is regarded as the most difficult trail in Europe and is very popular for is remoteness and beautiful scenery. On every high mountain pass you will see the sea somewhere.
Most people hike it from south to north (from Conca to Calenzana), to get adjusted to the elevation. Also, most people only hike the Northern section (from Vizzavona to Calenzana) which is the toughest and most beautiful part of the trail. All of those towns can be reached by train.
The whole trail is about 15 days. The Northern section can be done in 8 to 10 days.
About 2 days before the end of the trail, you can climb the highest mountain on the island (Monte Cinto, or Cintu) as a side trip. You will be on the high pass next to it anyway, so it’s just another 1,5 hours to get to the top. The view is spectacular. You can see most of the island in a great 360 view.
This trail is not for beginners, it sometimes feels more like a mountaineering trail than a regular trail. That said, it does have good sections where the trail is very nice and mellow. The trail is well marked and it does have mountain huts along the way. But not many. Also, you have to book them in advance if you want to stay in them (they are very popular and quickly fully booked).
You can also get some basic food supplies in the huts, but again, not so much and very basic. Most huts also serve food for people that do not stay in the hut. Most people however take their backpack, tent and sleeping bag, and carry their own food for most of the trail. Water can usually be found in the lower elevations and at mountain huts.
You have to be fit and prepared to hike this trail. But the rewards are excellent. Check out our short video. It will give you a good impression.
Corsica, France, Europe.
This 2 weeks trail is a high mountain trail and the toughest in Europe. Sometimes it's more like a mountaineering trail than a regular path. It follows the high mountain peaks and passes, from the south to the north. It's spectacular and always listed as one of the top 10 hikes in the world.
More info on this hike: visit the Official National Park websheck out the links below.
Here are some resources that can help you in your preperation.
Official National Park website French only.
We often use Traildino to get a quick overview of all the available maps, guidebooks etc. You can also download a gps (GPX) file from that page for free.
Check this site's many comments from hikers.
There are some groups and pages on Facebook about the GR20. Most of them are in French. You can ask questions to people that have actually done it.