GR 20 in 5 days

Doing the GR 20 in 5 days means going three times faster than planned, because the “normal” walking time is 16 days (compared with 15 stages just a few years ago)! Theoretically, you should therefore allow 4 days with 3 stages and one day with 4 stages. We say “theoretically” because with the variants, it is possible to follow the old GR20 route and skip the stage to Matalza, going directly from Usciolu to Asinau.

Each day, you’ll come across at least 3 refuges: one in the morning, one at lunchtime and one in the evening to sleep in. Of course, doing the GR20 in 5 days requires you to be in excellent physical condition, and to have prepared your itinerary and equipment well (see suggested list at the bottom of the page). If you’re planning to do the GR20 in 2024, here are some tips on how to do it in 5 days. We’re talking here about running the GR20, although that in itself is trekking (sustained walking).

The stages of the GR 20 in 5 days

Here you will find a list of all the stages of the GR20. The table below gives you an example of a simple breakdown of the GR20, which is in no way obligatory.

The estimated walking times given below are calculated for a standard hiker: depending on your physical condition, you will inevitably walk faster. If you want to walk three times as far a day, you won’t necessarily walk three times as far, you’ll simply walk faster!

1Calenzana à Asco Stagnu242970184013h30Partie 1
Partie 2
Partie 3
2Asco Stagnu à Manganu402820264014h00Partie 1
Partie 2
Partie 3
3Manganu à Vizzavona292030270012h00Partie 1
Partie 2
Partie 3
4Vizzavone à Usciolu442600200011h30Partie 1
Partie 2
Partie 3
5Usciolu à Conca49,5Entre 1500 et 1900
(selon variante)
Entre 2900 et 3300
(selon variante)
11h15Partie 1 (VARIANTE) ou 1 + 2
Partie 2
Partie 3

Map of the GR20 in 5 days

Based on the above breakdown, here is the map of the stages

GR20 In 5 days

5 days ok, but with variations?

Even if it is possible to avoid Vizzavone by taking a variant route, the passage through this village can be really refreshing for sports enthusiasts doing the GR20 in 5 days. There are other alternatives, but they add distance and complexity. There’s the Alpine variant of Bavella, which is an option on the 5th day (very technical), but before that there’s also the Monte d’Oro variant before descending to Vizzavona and the Monte Renoso variant after Capanelle

5 days on the GR20, running
Be careful, there’s no question of setting off on the light GR 20 😉

Refuges for eating, refuges for sleeping

Your days could be organised around the refuges. Refuges mean “water points” or refreshment points, so you can plan your meals and refreshment points at the same time. You can find a list of all the refuges on the GR20 here. If you want to do it in 5 days, you’ll come across 4 refuges a day:

  • the one you leave in the morning
  • the one you will pass in the morning (for breakfast)
  • for lunch in a refuge
  • and finally the refuge where you will sleep in the evening.

If you leave the hut at 6am, you could arrive at the first hut at around 9.00 – 9.30am, to fill your water bottles and have a coffee or a second breakfast. You would then arrive at around 12:00 – 13:00 at the second refuge, to have lunch (the refuges all serve hot meals). Finally, you’ll arrive at the last refuge at the end of the afternoon, to drink a pietra and recharge your batteries for the next day. On the last day, if you take the variant (which is the old GR20 route), you can follow the same route, but if you follow the classic itinerary, you’ll have an extra stage, so a very long afternoon’s walk, arriving early at night in Conca.

ArrêtAltitudePlacesPlus d'infos
CalenzanaDépart Jour 1280 mPlusieurs lieuxPlus d'infos
Ortu di u PiobbuPetit déjeuner "Jour 1"1520 m32Plus d'infos
CarrozzuManger "Jour 1"1270 m36Plus d'infos
Station d’Asco StagnuDormir "Jour 1"1422 mPlusieurs lieuxPlus d'infos
Tighjettu Petit déjeuner "Jour 2"1683 m48Plus d'infos
Ciottulu di i MoriManger "Jour 2"1997 m26Plus d'infos
Manganu Dormir "Jour 2"1600 m32Plus d'infos
Petra pianaPetit déjeuner "Jour 3"1842 m28Plus d'infos
l’OndaManger "Jour 3"1431 m28Plus d'infos
Vizzavona Dormir "Jour 3"954 mPlusieurs lieuxPlus d'infos
E CapannellePetit déjeuner "Jour 4"1586 m15Plus d'infos
Prati Manger "Jour 4"1820 m22Plus d'infos
UscioluDormir "Jour 4"1750 m31Plus d'infos
Matalza Petit déjeuner "Jour 5"1410 m20Plus d'infos
Asinau Manger "Jour 5"1536 m28Plus d'infos
I Paliri Pause "Jour 5"1055 m22Plus d'infos
ConcaArrivée fin du jour 5280 mPlusieurs lieuxPlus d'infos

Stories of the GR20 in 5 days

Do you have a question? Don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments section or on the GR20 forum. Discover here the stories of hikers who have completed the GR20 in this timeframe

With Evgénia and Rémi, Jérémy did the GR20 in 5 days. They give us the details of their adventure in this article, with a breakdown of the stages as shown above. See also their equipment list (6kg)
reserve nationale du rio blanco

An example of a 6kg bag for the GR20 in 5 days

Not only will you have to be a little more sporty than the average, but you’ll also have to travel lighter to go three times faster, with a lighter list of equipment! Doing the GR20 in 5 days is by no means a record, nor is it a sporting feat: it remains a real challenge, which will be very complicated to achieve if you have 25 kg on your back! Besides, there’s no point in taking too much equipment, as you’ll be staying three times less time in the Corsican mountains than the others .

Of course, you won’t be wearing big hiking boots, but rather trail-type shoes.

Here are the contents of the 20 L front pack:

Sac à dosRaid-light 20L796 g
Pack avantPack avant Raid light (2012) 4L174 g
Sac de couchageVertical Combi Duvet
- Ultralight -5°C
800 g
Pantalon étanche150 g
Pantacourtqui se transforme en short
Tee shirt tee-shirt respirant
Tee-shirt manches longuesDouble peau
Chaussette trail2 paires
K-waygoretex330 g
Chaussurestype trail
1 Brosses à dents + dentifrice
+ 1 savon
1 paquet de mouchoir
Mini Pharmacie(crème solaire, Nok, Compeed)
Serviette microfribre
2 gourdestype sac + gourde Olmo2110 g
Sacs étanches2 poubelles
2 plastiques ZIP
15 g
1 frontale Stootspour les départs de nuit
1 Couteau(type couteau suisse)
2 BâtonsRaid light trail pole120 g
Téléphonepour les photos
De l'argentpour manger matin, midi et soir
Topo Guide188 g

What level of ability do you need to do the GR20 in 5 days?

In 5 days, it’s still not a non-stop race, but it’s a sustained pace all the way! So you need a good level of fitness to plan to cross the GR20 in 5 days, and above all you need to be on time during the day to make sure you get to the last hut before nightfall.

All the other ways of doing the GR20 :

  • Doing the GR20: the stages
  • Do the GR20 in 12 days
  • Do the GR20 in 10 days
  • Do the GR20 in 8 days
  • Do the GR20 in 7 days
  • The GR20 in autonomy
  • The GR20 Comfort
  • The running GR20
  • The GR20 Grand Luxe
  • The GR20 on your own

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