The complete crossing can be done in 16 stages or less, depending on your objectives. As indicated in our GR20 presentation pack, the route remains the same, but the duration may vary. It is not designed as a loop, but rather as a diagonal across the Corsican mountains, with regular stages.

Description of the classic route from Calenzana to Conca

Winding its way through Corsica's mountainous landscape, the GR20 starts in Calenzana at an altitude of 275 metres, climbing to the Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu, perched at 1570 metres. From here, the route continues on to the Refuge de Carrozzu, nestling at 1270 metres, with a majestic intermediate peak culminating at 2020 metres. The route then winds its way towards the Haut Asco ski resort, to the Asco Stagnu refuge at 1422 metres, crossing the Col de Stagnu.

The journey continues from Haut Asco to the Refuge de Tighjettu, at 1683 metres, offering breathtaking views from the Col de Minuta at 2183 metres. The trail then winds up to the Ciottulu di i Mori refuge, the highest of them all at 1991 metres, before descending to the Manganu refuge at 1601 metres, via the Col de Reta at 1883 metres. The journey then takes hikers to the Refuge de Pietra Piana, at 1842 metres, with the Brèche de Capitellu rising proudly to 2225 metres.

The route then descends to the Refuge de l'Onda at 1430 metres, before marking the end of the northern section at the village of Vizzavona, at 920 metres, after reaching a peak at 2141 metres. The trail then begins its southern section, rising from the peaks of Vizzavona to the Bergeries de Capannelle at 1586 metres, crossing the Col de Palmente at 1640 metres. From here, it heads towards the Prati Refuge at 1820 metres, passing over the Col d'Oru at 1840 metres, then continues towards the Usciolu Refuge at 1750 metres, climbing the Punta della Capella at 2041 metres.

The route continues to the Refuge d'Asinao at 1530 metres, climbing Monte Incudine to 2134 metres, then on to the Refuge de Paliri at 1055 metres, crossing the Col de Pargulu at 1662 metres. Finally, the route ends with a picturesque descent from the Paliri Refuge to Conca, at an altitude of 252 metres, bringing the extraordinary adventure of the GR20 to a close.

Details of the 16 classic stages from North to South

Stage 1 - From Calenzana to Ortu di u Piobbu: 6h15 walk, +1299m -50m

The GR20, with its challenges and rewards, opens with a stage that can be a shock to the body and the eyes. Leaving Calenzana with a rucksack on your back and the sun high in the sky can be difficult.  

Stage 2 - From Ortu di u Piobbu to Carrozzu: 7-hour walk, +780m, -917m

The second stage of the GR20 offers both technical challenges and spectacular views! It leads to the panoramic terrace of the Carozzu refuge. The first stage has already given you an idea of the difficulties ahead. This stage won't be any easier.

Stage 3 - From Carrozzu to Ascu Stagnu: 6-hour walk, +790m, -640m

The third section of the GR20 leads to Ascu Stagnu, best known for its ski resort in winter. Crossing one of the few roads on the GR20, options for accommodation in Asco will become available.

Stage 4 - Ascu Stagnu to Tighjettu: 8-hour walk, +1225m, -1050m

A higher route now replaces the old route from Asco, which passed through the Cirque de la Solitude. It is advisable to allow for the positive difference in altitude on this stage to reach the Tighjettu Refuge.

Stage 5 - From Tighjettu to Ciottulu di Mori: 4-hour walk, +630m, -80m

The route starts at the Tighjettu refuge and heads towards the Ballone and Ciottulu di i Mori sheepfolds. The scenery will change and the Monte Cintu of the previous day will be far away. The trail is pleasant and a good way to stretch your legs.

Stage 6 - Ciottulu di Mori to Manganu: 8-hour walk, +650m, -1050m

A very long stage, covering more than 20 kilometres. The central part, between the Vergio pass and Lake Nino, is fairly flat. Breaks can be taken near the Vaccaghja sheepfolds, or further on at the Manganu refuge.

Stage 7 - From Manganu to Petra Piana: 6h30 walk, +670m, -475m

A steep climb awaits you, offering breathtaking views of high mountain lakes while giving you the chance to gaze at Petra Piana from afar, high up on the mountain.

Stage 8 - From Petra Piana to L'Onda: 4-hour walk, +390m, -800m

There are two ways of getting to the Onda refuge, one of which is to take the classic GR20 route, and the other to take a variant via the ridges.

Stage 9 - From L'Onda to Vizzavona: 6h30 walk, +850m, -650m

There are several options for completing this stage of the trek and reaching civilisation. If you choose a variant, you can climb Monte d'Oro.

Stage 10 - From Vizzavona to Capannelle: 5h30 walk, +900m, -225m

The GR20 South is officially crossed, and there is a long walk of over 15 km and a demanding climb to Capannelle.

Stage 11 - Capannelle to Prati: 6-hour walk, +890m, -600m

This stage offers a variety of choices, with the option of reaching the summit of Monte Renosu. The GR20's many options mean you can tailor your walk to suit your preferences.

Stage 12 - Prati to Usciolu: 6-hour walk, +700m, -750m

This stage will involve some altitude, with peaks of over 2000 metres on a steep path to the Usciolu refuge.

Stage 13 - Usciolu to Matalza: 4h30 walk, +400m, -650m

The section of the GR20 between the Cuscionu and Matalza, or the nearby sheepfolds, is considered an important stage. It is also possible to do a variant of this stage to go directly to Asiano.

Stage 14 - Matalza to Asinao: 4h30 walk, +650m, -550m

An additional stage of the GR20 was added in 2011 to go around Monte Incudine and below the ridges. It is less spectacular, but safer in dangerous weather conditions.

Stage 15 - From Asiano to Paliri: 7-hour walk, +440m, -910m

Follow the GR20 trail and discover the wonders of the Bavella mountains, with the option of two routes to the pass of the same name: the classic route or the alpine variant.

Stage 16 - From Paliri to Conca: 5-hour walk, +160m, -970m

Although the profile is downhill, the GR20 is not finished until Conca is reached! There is still work to be done and difficulties to face, especially after 16 days of hiking and accumulated fatigue.

Which itinerary should you follow?

The complete GR20 from Calenzana to Conca (accompanied or on your own) is one of the great classics of our holidays, and takes 14 days according to our itinerary. You can do just the southern part of the GR20 or the northern part.

All you need to know about the GR20


The alpine variant, located in the Bavella massif on the Asinao-Paliri stage, is a demanding alternative to the classic GR20. This hike passes through the heart of the Aiguilles de Bigornu, Acellu, Arghjettu and di a Vacca peaks. The main difficulty lies in the 700-metre difference in altitude, a passage equipped with chains, and numerous steep rocks.

In average conditions and with light packs, regular walkers can generally complete the route in 14 to 15 days. For trained trail runners, we also offer an accelerated version of the route, which can be completed in 7 days.

The most challenging part of the GR20 is the northern section. The stage between Asco and Tighjettu is particularly demanding, being the longest and most complicated of the route due to its duration (around 8 hours) and its positive altitude difference (+1225m). By starting the GR20 from the north at Calenzana, hikers face the most difficult stages right from the start of their adventure.