Walking and active holidays in Corsica

GR20's Best Walks

Drive and stroll 8 days / 7 nights

Level 1 2 3 4

Drive & Stroll - 6 days walking
Comfortable 3* Hotels
Starting from 780 €
  • The most challenging walking in Europe
  • Comfortable Hotels on the GR20
  • B grade AVIS Car Hire included
  • GR20 - Bavella, Vergio, Corte

The GR20 is the holy grail of walking in Corsica. It traverses the island diagonally following the high granite barrier of mountains that form the natural boundary between the two regions. The trail offers some fantastic scenery and an insight into the working mountain community. You may meet the shepherds that still follow the age-old lifestyle of the transhumance, whereby they pass the summer months with their flocks on the high fresh airy pastures and the winters down by the coast. On this comfortable “taster” version of the GR20, the ambiance is strictly alpine with some of the best bits of the GR20 including the Lac de Nino, Breche de Capitello, Golu Valley and the Bavella needles.

Groups, families or businesses

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Day 1 - Arrival Ajaccio, Bastia or Figari

Arrive in Corsica, pick up your hire car and drive to the Alta Rocca to the village of Zonza, this will take between 1-3hrs, depending on your arrival airport. Having settled into your hotel, time to explore the village and maybe have lunch in one of the restaurants. In the afternoon, you can simply relax at the swimming pool. Stay at 3* Hotel, Zonza on a B&B Basis.

Day 2 - GR20 Bavella to Paliri

From Zonza village, it is a short 15mins drive up to the Col de Bavella. This is a famous high mountain pass reputed for rock climbing. It possesses a rare beauty, a chaotic jumble of granite. You plunge into an unusual mountain decor and it’s surprising to glimpse views of the sea not far away. You take the GR20 to the charming Paliri refuge, this is a great "there and back" first walk, challenging but not too long. The little refuge is an idyllic spot to enjoy a picnic and take pictures. Stay at 3* Hotel, Zonza on a B&B Basis.

10km, 5h00, +550m, -550m.

Day 3 - GR20 Aiguilles de Bavella

From Zonza village, again drive up to the Col de Bavella. Today you are heading into the granite needles. You plunge into an unusual mountain decor and it’s surprising to glimpse views of the sea not far away. You take the GR20 and it gets quite technical! The Aiguilles de Bavella - a spectacular walk in the heart of the tall needles of rose granite, you will pass by different pinnacles, such as, the Acellu, Ariettu, Vacca and the Pargulu. The GR20 trail is sometimes steep and in places assisted by hand chains. You can do a "there and back" walk to the needles, or make it a long challenging loop walk. Stay at 3* Hotel, Zonza on a B&B Basis.

12km, 7h00, +750m, -750m.

Day 4 - Bavella to Vergio

The drive from Bavella down to the East coast is beautiful. A picturesque, winding road takes you to the sea, then north to Aléria before heading inland to Corte, Corsica's historical capital, from here you head west through the Niolu to Col de Verghio. The driving time is around 4h00. You may decide to stop en route and swim in one of the mountain rivers, explore a sea lagoon, or the Roman site at Aleria. Stay in a hotel at Col de Vergio on a HB basis.

Day 5 - GR20 to Lac de Nino

The walk starts at the col de Vergio ski station then follows the GR20 to the lac de Nino. Most of the walk is along a mountain ridge, affording a wide view across the high massifs. Situated at 1743m this glacier lake is in a lovely, sheltered bucolic spot, surrounded by a spongy peat, with runnels of water and wells. It is an ideal grazing for ponies, lush grass and fresh air, tinged with the scent of alder and the fragrance of the high mountains. Stay in a hotel at Col de Vergio on a HB basis. A great "there and back" walk.

15km, 6h00, +800m, -800m.

Day 6 - Radule bergeries and the GR20

From the Fer à Cheval, you take the GR20 trail through the woods and into the Golu valley. Pass the Radule bergeries and continue to a small bridge, there are many natural swim spots before arriving at the refuge, head up to Ciottollu di I Mori, the highest refuge on the GR nestled beneath the peak of Paglia Orba, and then loop back to the Hotel before taking the drive to Corté. Shorter "loop walk". Stay at 3* Corté on a B&B basis, 4* available at a supplement.

6km/16km, 4h30/7h00, +500/830m, -500/830m.

Day 7 -  Melo & Breche de Capitello GR20

The town of Corté is situated on the confluence of two magical gorges the Restonica and the Tavignano. A path leads up to the lake of Melo, made easier early on by two sets of metal steps. You arrive at a large apple shaped, glacier lake surrounded by spongy grass where you press on higher to the abruptly contrasting lake of Capitellu. It is 40m deep, the deepest on the island. Sheer sheets of granite plunge into its depths and there are little traces of vegetation. Higher still you climb above the lake to the Breche de Capitello at 2000m. Loop walk. 3* hotel included, 4* available at a supplement.

6km/9km, 4h30/6h00, +500/707m, -500/707m.

Day 8 - End of Stay

After breakfast in Corté, you drive back down through the mountains to the airport and drop your hire car off.

This itinerary is an example of the itinerary we aim to adhere to, correct at time of publication. Should situations arise that are beyond our control, such as severe weather conditions, or other factors that could put your safety at risk, it may be possible for the itinerary to be modified.

Departure on request every day from early April to the end of October. 2 persons minimum.

Please select your departure date in the calender below to see the price and click on the button to the right to make a reservation.  

Prices : €780pp (May, June, September & October) €950pp (July & August)

Supplements/Discounts

This holiday pre-includes 7 days AVIS car hire (B grade) including super collision damage waiver, 2 drivers (over 21), unlimited mileage and the possibility to pick up and drop off at different airports.

Price includes

Accommodation on B&B basis (days 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7), HB on days (4 & 5), 7 days AVIS car hire (B grade) including collision damage waiver, 2 drivers (over 21), unlimited mileage and the possibility to pick up and drop off at different airports, travel dossier with A4 copies of IGN maps and walking notes.

Car Hire prices includes unlimited mileage, two named drivers per car, Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection Cover and tyre and windscreen damage cover, pick up and drop off at different agencies if required (within Corsica). Booster seats and baby seats are available at a supplement. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a full licence (International) for at least 1 year.

Price does not include

Reservation fee of €5pp, travel insurance, drinks, site visits and transfers not included in the program including travel to Corsica. Car hire upgrades available.

Starts

Arrival Bastia, Figari, Calvi or Ajaccio

Ends

Ends in Bastia, Figari, Calvi or Ajaccio

Access

Ajaccio or Bastia Airport or Port, Figari Airport, Calvi airport. Air tickets and boat reservations available, please ask for a quotation.

Accommodation
  • Hotel 3*, in a twin/double room, please request at time of reservation.
  • Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam).
  • Where staying on a B&B basis, there are restaurants to choose from nearby. Evening meals often based on local specialties, including a starter, a main course and a dessert.
  • Picnics can be purchased locally

Should you have any food allergies, special requests or dietry requirements, please advise at time of booking.

Number of participants

Reservations for minimum of 2 participants. NB. For safety reasons we do not accept solo hiker reservations on Self-Guided treks.

Level

Strenuous. Although more comfortable than the whole GR20, the walks are challenging. You should be comfortable walking with a 35-45 litre rucksack.  The walks require good endurance, as there are constant ascents and descents with serious scrambling. The trail is sometimes high and airy, where necessary, there are hand chains to get over steep rock slabs.  This requires good balance, agility and co-ordination. If you have vertigo you will find this walk difficult and unpleasant. If you have an injury, it is not the right time to undertake this trek. 

Guiding

Self Guided Walking. We provide you with a Travel Dossier complete with IGN map and Topoguide created by our team. During your hike our 24-hour assistance service will also be able to answer all your questions and, if necessary, bring you useful tips for the smooth running of your stay.

Luggage transfers

You need to carry a day sack only with a water bottle, camera, picnic and windproof jacket.

Our customers' reviews

Andrew, UK
  • Currently 4 out of 5 Stars.
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The Hotel de Tourisme in Zonza was excellent in every respect. The Castel di Vergio was disappointing. The beds were uncomfortable, the breakfast very uninspiring, but the dinner was good.The Hotel Duc de Padoue in Corte was good, but the parking was a real problem because of a car rally that was taking place while we were there. We found the timings of the walks to be very inconsistent. Although we walked at a fairly even pace, sometimes we would take much less time than that given in the walk directions, sometimes much more.

Gail, UK
  • Currently 2.5 out of 5 Stars.
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I tried to put 3 stars in, but the website stopped at 2 ! I feel the holiday deserved 3 stars, not 2.