Hiking on the GR20 in Corsica

“Doing the Corsican GR20.” Have you been dreaming of this hiking trail for a long time and is it your goal for the summer ? We created this information site to help you prepare for your adventure in the Corsican mountains: a dream route between lakes and ridges in the heart of Corsica.

What is the Corsican GR20 ?

“GR” stands for “Grande Randonnée” (long hike). The GR20 (Fra Li Monti in its original name) is THE long-distance hiking trail in Corsica (the number 20 is the former department number of Corsica). The GR20 is the trail that crosses Corsica from Calenzana to Conca (or the other way around, the choice is yours, and you will see on this site that this choice can be crucial depending on the time of year). It measures 180 kilometers and has a total of more than 11,000 meters of positive elevation gain, a legendary circuit for hikers !

The GR20 is 16 days of mountain hiking, or rather high-mountain hiking: an adventure divided by night in a refuge or tent and the day on the Corsican trail. This crossing is not dangerous or unfeasible, but keep in mind that it is a trek for athletes or well-trained hikers !

GR 20 Hiking in Corsica

Aiguilles de Bavella on the GR 20

Organize your trekking on the GR20

Hiking the GR20 in France (Corsica) is a childhood dream for some. For other hikers, it’s the goal of the year, and for others, it’s a good way to prepare for a trail race or simply share an adventure with family.

Whatever the reason you wish to tackle the GR20, the success of your journey on the Corsican trails will depend on your physical and mental preparation: do you have what it takes to complete it? The GR20 is daunting because it is often described as the hardest trail in the world.

Indeed, it is not a mere walk: you will be hiking at high altitudes, crossing several peaks over 2000 meters, and tackling alpine sections! It’s important to know what you’re getting into! On this site, we will give you all the keys to successfully complete your GR20!

GR 20, picture in corsica
Lac de Niño on the corsica GR 20

GR20: the hardest trail in the world ?

The general terrain, rocks, and significant elevation changes have contributed to the legendary reputation of the GR20. And that’s not even mentioning the Cirque de la Solitude (which is no longer on the official route). It may be the toughest long-distance hiking trip, but it’s also the most beautiful. Whether in North Corsica or South Corsica, you will be constantly amazed: the landscapes are breathtaking, every summit crossing is surprising, each ridge walked is a delight for the eyes and a profound feeling of freedom!

Except in Ascu, Vizzavona, and Bavella, you will rarely encounter civilization: this might seem tough for some, and truly relaxing and refreshing for others: the GR20 is a return to the basics, to what’s essential.

Reopening of the Cirque de la Solitude on the GR20

So, one must be able to go there to enjoy it and not just to finish it: embarking on the GR 20 requires good preparation but also ensuring nothing is forgotten, because even though you are in France, you will be cut off from the world in the heart of the Corsican Regional Natural Park, and that for a duration of 10 to 16 days (depending on your pace).

It would be a shame not to enjoy the waterfalls, swimming holes, and all the viewpoints you will discover along this hiking trail!

We created this site to help you prepare for your GR20, analyze the stages of the GR20, find information about the trail or the booking of refuges, anticipate the most technical passages, help you plan your trip or manage your budget along the way.

All the information to help you prepare for your GR20 in 2024 with complete freedom

This site is a summary of the notes I took during my expedition in 2012 on the GR20: each year, as possible, I update the prices, the refuge information, but also about the lodges and sheepfolds: do not hesitate to help me by sending the most up-to-date information you bring back from your expedition in Corsica !

Start by downloading our free GR20 guide: a PDF that you will receive by email with a list of telephone numbers, all the refuges, and a summary of the stages !

Mini guide GR20 (PDF)
GR 20 free mini guide

Stages of the GR20

Stages from GR20 North to South

We present to you, point by point, all the stages of the GR20 from North to South. Find the distances and elevation gains, the maps, as well as route plans between each refuge.

See the GR20 Steps
List of GR20 Refuges

GR20 Refuges

We tell you everything about the GR20 refuges: how to book, how to access them, etc. We also present other accommodations such as sheepfolds, hostels, and options for sleeping in bivouacs.

See the GR20 refuges
Means of Transportation to Corsica

Transportation in Corsica

How can you get close to the GR20 by ferry or plane? Is it easy to find a bus or a taxi? Can you travel by train? The answers to all your questions are found here.

See transportation around the GR20
Preparing Your Equipment for the GR20

Preparing Your Equipment

Packing your backpack is the most methodical job before heading to the Island of Beauty! Sleeping bag, stove, poles, fleece, Gore-Tex: here we reveal the list of essential equipment for the GR20 that you should not forget before embarking on the adventure!

See the equipment for the GR20
The Most Beautiful Spots on the GR20

Must-See on the GR20

This is an incomplete list of must-see spots on this trek, and there are so many!! From the Aiguilles de Bavella to the Lac de Nino, here are all the essential high-altitude points or ground level spots on the GR20!

See the most beautiful spots
Maps for Hiking the GR20

IGN Maps, GPS Trace, and Guidebook

Buying the guidebook or consulting the maps of the GR20 before leaving ensures better preparation for each stage, anticipating difficulties or points not to be missed: IGN map, topo, overall map, etc…

See the maps of the GR20

Whether you’re going alone or in a group, in hiking mode or a bit of sporty trekking, or even trail running like Lambert Santelli, welcome to gr20-infos.com : we hope you find all the information you need to prepare for this unique stay in the heart of the Corsican mountains !

What level is required to hike the GR20? How difficult is it ?

This is one of the first questions people ask when they consider doing the GR20: they fear not being fit enough to handle the terrain of the GR20! You shouldn’t be so afraid of the GR20; it’s a trail that can seem intimidating but is achievable for anyone who puts in the effort: there are some really technical sections, but by taking your time, training properly, and doing at least some preparation, you’ll be at an average level to complete the GR20.

From Calenzana to Conca, via Vizzavona : the route

In terms of difficulty, let’s be honest, the GR20 is harder than the average hiking trail: study the map, identify the really technical spots, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, with a minimum of training and humility towards the Corsican mountains !