Stage 8 GR20

It’s a stage of the GR20 with two options: the valley or the ridges, by the slightly more alpine variant but ultimately shorter! Here is more information on this key stage of the GR20 before arriving at the Onda refuge

From Petra Piana to the Onda refuge From Onda refuge to Petra Piana
GR20 North > South (stage 8) GR20 South > North (stage 9)
10 km | 500 m D | 900 m D – 10 km | 900 m D | 500 m D –
GPX trail for the North > South stage GPX trail for the South > North stage
Download PDF topo Download PDF topo
See details of the North > South stage See details of the South > North stage
Points of interest: Bocca d’Oreccia | Bocca a Meta (variant) | La Pointe de Pinzi Corbini (variant) | The ridge from the Pointe de Pinzi Corbini | Les bergeries de Tolla | Passerelle du Tolla | Bergeries de Gialga
Highest point: 1842 m (Refuge de Petra Piana) | Lowest point: 942 m (Tolla footbridge)
Sources: xxx (km5) | xxxx (km8)
Accommodation and food: Petra Piana refuge | Onda refuge
IGN map : Consult here | Download all the GR20 maps
Following stage NS: from Onda to Vizzavone Following stage SN: from Petra Piana to Manganu
Previous stage NS: from Manganu to Petra Piana Previous stage SN: from Vizzavone to Onda

8th stage of the GR20 North > South | Petra Piana > Onda

Here’s the profile of the stage between Petra Piana and Onda (main GR20 route through the valley): Vizzavone soon!

Profile of stage 8 between Petra Piana and Onda

Printable summary and topo of stage 8 of the GR20 North South

1 – The start of this stage begins with a descent with a difference in altitude of almost 800 metres at the halfway point. Heading east from the Refuge de Petra Piana, you can follow the Ravin de Gialgo until you reach the Bergeries de Gialgo at an altitude of 1,606 metres.

2 – Continuing in the same direction, you will pass the Monte Rotondo spring with a view of the Muraccioli sheepfolds. You will descend into the Forêt Communale de Vivario until the 6th kilometre of the stage.

3 – Follow the Ruisseau de Manganello south-eastwards as far as the junction with the Ravin de Tribali. You will then cross the Ruisseau de Puntanelle until you reach the Bergeries de Tolla at an altitude of 1,015 metres.

4 – After the Bergeries, you will cross the Passerelle du Tolla and continue to climb slightly for 3 kilometres. Before continuing south-westwards, don’t forget to take a look at the Cascade du Meli.

5 – Follow the Grottaccia stream and then theOreccia stream until you reach the Bergeries de l’Onda and then the Refuge of the same name, at an altitude of 1,383 metres. From here, you can admire the Bocca d’Oreccia at an altitude of 1,421 metres.

An account of the stage, with photos and analysis of the IGN map

You have two options for getting to the Onda refuge: take the GR20 (longer but more challenging through the valley) or the ridge variant of the GR20 (shorter but more technical via the ridges and the Pointe de Pinzi Corbini).

The variant of the ridges which leads to the Onda refuge
The ridge route is the variant between Petra Piana and l’Onda

You won’t go any higher than the altitude at which you are at the Petra Piana refuge. In fact, this is one of the few stages where you will have such a large negative difference in altitude compared to the positive difference, that this stage can be considered easy compared to the others on the GR20 North.

The two ways to reach the Onda refuge
The first line is the finish of the alternative route to Onda. The second line on the right is the “classic” route

From the refuge to the 6th kilometre, you will descend into the Vivario municipal forest, along the Manganello.

Landscape of the GR20 north before the Onda refuge
Between Petra Piana and l’Onda

Leaving Petra Piana, pass the Ghjalgu sheepfolds and continue along the Manganello stream. After walking through the forest for 6 km, you will come to a crossroads. Cross the Tolla footbridge, fork right and climb for 3km to the Onda sheepfolds and the refuge of the same name. You’re still on the GR20, but this is also a variant of the Mare a Mare Nord, so you’re likely to come across other hikers. Near the Onda, your path also joins the variant that left Petra Piana at Bocca d’Oreccia. You will see the variant coming from your right at the very top of the Pointe de Pinzi Corbini via the Serra di tenda

Tips for this stage 8 of the GR20

  • GR20 itinerary via the Manganello valley: main route, with a greater negative difference in altitude (you descend slowly but much lower and then climb back up to the Onda), longer but easier route, great for swimming in the many pools along the stream
  • Itinerary via the ridge option: alternate route, shorter, more technical, with more impressive views. Don’t go over the ridges if the weather is bad.

Warning: the GR20 is a trail with high mountain sections, so don’t take this hike lightly: use appropriate hiking equipment for the GR20, be at least reasonably trained and don’t set off without IGN maps or the Topoguide

Some photos of the accommodation:

GR 20 - Onda bivouac & Refuge

Below, this is the refuge de l’Onda, seen from the ridges and the variant.

Videos of the terrain between Petra Piana and l’Onda:

This video summarises part of the stage between Petra Piana and Onda, enjoy the beautiful images put online by “GR20 I had a dream”. In fact, the reporter combined two stages in this video and chose the ridge option.

The video of Julien, a talented hiker who took the time to take some great shots of the stage (double stage between Manganu and Onda). The full story here.

Stage 9 of the GR20 South > North | Onda > Petra Piana

Here is the profile of the stage between Onda and Petra Piana:

Profile of stage 9 between Onda and Petra Piana

Printable summary of the topo for stage 9 of the GR20 South North

1 – Starting from the Onda Refuge at an altitude of 1,383 metres, head north-east along the Ruisseau de Oreccia until it crosses the Ruisseau de Manganu, then cross the Passerelle du Tolla to reach the Bergerie de Tolla.

2 – From here, you’ll begin a long ascent with 900 metres of ascent over the remaining 6.5 kilometres. Follow the Ruisseau de Manganello north-westwards to the Cascades of the same name. At this point, you can see the Bergeries de Gialicatapiano on your left. Along the way, you will pass through the Vivario municipal forest.

3 – Continuing in the same direction, you will pass the Monte Rotondo spring (around 8.5 km) with a view of the Muraccioli sheepfolds.

4 – Continue westwards until you come to the Gialgo Ravine and the Bergeries of the same name. There’s less than a kilometre to go before you reach the Petra Piana Refuge at an altitude of 1,842 metres.

IGN map between Petra Piana and l’Onda

Here is the IGN map of stage 8 of the GR20 between Petra Piana and l’Onda, which corresponds to stage 9 of the GR20 South > North. Go to this page to download all the IGN maps of the GR20.

IGN map between the Petra piana refuge and the Onda on the GR20

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