Walking and active holidays in Corsica

GR20 Calenzana to Conca

Self Guided Walking 15 days / 14 nights

Level 1 2 3 4

Point to Point - 14 days walking
Camping, Simple Refuges & Shepherds Cabins
Starting from 860 €
  • The complete GR20 Walk North to South
  • Breathtaking mountain scenery
  • Luggage transfers available
  • GR20 - Calenzana, Vizzavona, Conca

This version of our GR20 is for those wanting to do the GR20 from Calenzana to Conca. The trail follows the high barrier of granite mountains that divide the island diagonally into two parts, it is about 200 km long. You have the option of carrying all your gear and we make the reservations for your food and accommodation. Alternatively, we can provide you with a luggage service which delivers your luggage at fixed points along the trek. 

Groups, families or businesses

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Day 1 - Arrive Calenzana

Transfer to Calenzana, the start of your GR20. The night before your walk is included in a Gite at Calenzana, should you wish to upgrade this, we would suggest booking a hotel in Calvi or Calenzana, this is available through us. 

Day 2 - Calenzana to Orto di Pobbiu

The GR20 crosses the massif of Bonifatu in three days, they are amongst the hardest of the whole trek. For this first day you head out from the vibrant emblematic village of Calinzana and head up through the maquis. The scenery is breathtaking, you are soon looking at the coastline and the Balagne area below.  The maquis gives way to forest, which in turn gives way to high granite mountains. This is a varied day and certainly one of the most exhausting. Camp at Refuge.

11km, 6h00, +1360m, -50m.

Day 3 - Orto di Pobbiu to Carrozu

This day breaks into two clear sections, the first half crosses a basin area that is dotted with woodland. The second part is outstanding,  the ambiance is high and airy as you enter into a semi circle of high mountains.  The trail works its way around the edge of a large cirque and the panoramic view of all the highest peaks is inspiring.   From the far side of the cirque you drop down towards the refuge, a sign that you are drawing close is the box tree vegetation that thrives here. You arrive at Carrozu, surrounded by box trees, with great sunsets! Camp at Refuge.

7km, 7h00, +750m, -950m.

Day 4 - Carrozu to Haut Asco

You leave the refuge and head for a swing bridge, once across the bridge you walk beside large slabs of granite, the Spasmata slabs.  Time for a break at the lake before climbing up to the passage called the Muvrella Col.  From here, the views back across Calvi and the West coast are remarkable. You soon change directions and start the descent towards Haut Asco, large granite blocks give way to pine tree forests as we arrive at the old ski station.  Gite accommodation or hotel at a supplement.

7km, 5h30, +800m, -650m.

Day 5 - Haut Asco to Melarie Valley

Today is a tough, high altitude mountain walk.   You make your way  uphill progressively  to the foothills of the Monte Cinto, the highest summit on the island.  The climb is steep, rocky and slow, the slopes covered in scree making for an austere landscape.  The path climbs up to the small lake and you arrive at the  ‘Pointe des Eboulis’ at 2607m this is the highest point on the GR20, the view is absolutely spectacular. After a couple of hours more, you arrive at Bocca Crucetta, a ridge and your way out down to the Melarie valley.

 km, 9h00, +1200m, -1200m.

Day 6 - Melarie Valley to Col de Vergio

A short part of the walk is through the forest, then a long, steep and difficult walk up to the col de Foggiale.  From the col, it’s a short walk across to Ciottolu refuge, situated at 2000m altitude it is the highest one on the trail.  Behind the refuge are two proud mountains, the curious Tafunatu with it’s strange arch formation and the Paglia Orba with its volcanic red rock looming proudly above.  From the refuge a ridge walk offers  views of the west coastline.  You drop into the valley, time for a swim, if you wish, before arriving at Castel di Vergio, your night stop. Nite in Gite, hotel option available at a supplement.

12km, 6h30, +660m, -710m.

Day 7 - Col de Vergio to plateau de Camputile

You take the GR20 along an easy enjoyable trail for the first few hours, then the ascension to Col St Pierre.  From the Col a stunning ridge walk to the lake, ‘Lac de Nino’ surrounded by spongy green turf and runnels of water, this is a lovely summer grazing ground for horses. Continuing on a gentle descent, the trail  leads  to the shepherd’s cabin of Vaccaja, the  plateau of Camputile and Manganu. Camp at Refuge or Shepherds cabin.

14,5km, 6h00, +750m, -570m.

Day 8 - Plateau de Camputile to Petra Piana

Leaving the plateau, the walk becomes quickly testing. You need to adapt a steady rhythm in order to get to the high mountain pass called the Brèche de Capitello (2225m) This is a delicate high section, once across the pass, the trail skirts around a series of lakes. You can enjoy great views down on Capitello lake, with its sheer granite cliffs; it’s the deepest glacier lake in Corsica,  43m.  Further on, you will spot the lac de Melo, this is an apple shaped lake surrounded with spongy lawns. You gain altitude again, going up and over another col to discover a third small lake, the Rinoso.  From the col de Muzzarela the terrain because almost lunar with great blocks of granite.  This is the last section before you arrive at Petra Piana refuge. Camp at Park Refuge.

9km, 6h00, +870m, -650m.

Day 9 - Petra Piana to L'Onda

This is a short but technical section, you follow the ridge and you are exposed all the time.  It’s hard to advance quickly as the trail is so rocky and challenging.  As you progress along the ridge you will traverse a series of summits, this section is known as the Pinzi Corbini.  On the West coast, way beneath you,  is the Gulf of Ajaccio.  You leave the ridge at the end of the section to drop down 20mins to the refuge and shepherd’s cabin, l’Onda.   In bad weather, particularly if it’s windy, the ridge walk is replaced by a GR20 variant that is at a lower level and leads safely down into the valley.  You arrive at l’Onda cutting out the exposed section. The refuge of L’Onda is colourful, lots of goats, sheep, mules and horses. The homemade brocciu spinach lasagna is pretty good! Camp at Refuge.

7km, 4h30, +260m, -680m.

Day 10 - L'Onda to Vizzavona

From l’Onda you will quickly arrive at the col that topples into the valley  l’Agnone.  The massif of the Monte d’Oro dominates here, it’s one of the island’s highest summits.  We drop down through the valley and arrive alongside a mountain torrent  that was particularly favored by the English at the turn of the century, the ‘Cascade des Anglais.’ If you want a stop on the way down, you can choose from one of the inviting rock pools with sun baked rocks and enticing pools. Stay in a Gite or Hotel at a supplement.

10km, 6h00, +710m, -1220m.

Day 11 - Vizzavona to Col de Verde

Vizzavona is a huge forest with a small hamlet and train station.  It is considered the mid way point for the GR20.  It is also a famous col that separates the two counties of Corsica.  From the col, a forest trail leads up through the beach woods to Bocca Palmente 1650m.  On a clear day you can see the islands of Elba and Caprai.  After Capanelle a forest route crosses the massif of Renoso passing and the plateau of Gialgone. Stay in a Gite at Col de Verde.

28km, 9h30, +1210m, -770m.

Day 12 - Col de Verde to Usciolu

Setting out from Col de Verde, it’s uphill right from the start.  You walk steeply up through the forest to gain the ridge line above.  As soon as you reach the ridge you can enjoy looking down on the Eastern side of the island.  You soon reach the refuge of Prati situated on a small plateau area.  Continue on to a higher ridge that will take you to the next refuge.  You have the East coast on one side and the valley of Taravo on the other, with small  villages dotted below.  Your night stop, Usciolu, is situated just below the ridge line.  Stay at a Park Refuge.

15km, 7h30, +1250 m, -850m.

Day 13 - Usciolu to Coscione plateau

From the refuge you make the short walk back up to the ridge line.  The ridge is roughly at 1800m, the trail topples from one side to the other.  You have to go slowly, the views are amazing, one minute you’re looking at the Tyrrhénienne sea and then you have views towards the mountainous interior.  You finally come off the ridge line, drop down through a dwarf oak forest and head towards  the spongy plains of the Cusciounu plateau for your nights stop at Croci. Camp or Stay in a Shepherds Cabin.

13km, 5h00, +600m, -820m.

Day 14 - Coscione plateau to Bavella

From the green fertile plains you head uphill towards the ridge line and the col called Bocca Chiralba. Aiming for the ridge of the Alcudini, this is the highest mountain in the south section.   The GR20 heads down the other side of the ridge dropping down to the Asinau Valley.  You cross the river then head into the shade of the forest.  After a couple of hours on the flat, you pull steeply up to the ‘Alpine Variant.’ The trail passes by the foot of the high  needles that have made Bavella famous. It’s a high concentration trail, rough underfoot all the way to the col de Bavella. Stay in a Gite.

15km, 8h00, +1110m, -1310m.

Day 15 - Bavella to Conca

A great last day, setting out from Bavella, a trail winds through the woods to Paliri refuge.  You won’t be disappointed with the beauty of this stage, it’s the last one but by no means any less dramatic. You can enjoy a spot of lunch at Paliri before continuing on to Conca for a well earned rest. This stage is a superb jumble of rock and pine and water. From Paliri to Conca you can just reflect on the 200km behind you and you approach the East coast. End of holiday on arrival in Conca. Taxi transfers available.

18km, 7h30, +400m, -1350m.

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 June to mid September. 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: €860pp

Supplements/Discounts

Luggage Assistance for two people: €535pp Supplement for transport of luggage for 2/3 personnes with access day 4 (Asco), 6 (Vergio), 10 (Vizzavona), 11(Verde), 13(Coscione), 14 (Bavella), 15 (Conca)

Supplement for Hotel rooms at Haut Asco, Vergio & Vizzavona: €120pp

Transfer from Calvi to Calenzana: €53

This trip is also possible in the direction from Conca to Calenzana. Please ask for details.

Price includes

Accommodation on full board (days 1 to 14), travel dossier with A4 copies of IGN maps and walking notes and GR20 pocket map. PLEASE NOTE some of these documents cannot be sent by file transfer.

Price does not include

Reservation fee of €5pp, travel insurance, drinks, picnic day 1, transfers to Calenzana and from Conca, travel to Corsica.

Starts

At the gite in Calenzana.

Ends

In Conca (Bus available to Porto Vecchio).

Access

Calvi or Bastia Airport or Port. If you arrive into Ajaccio, please ask for details of transport connections. Air tickets and boat reservations available, please ask for a quotation.

Accommodation
  • Simple Gites & Park Refuges, in dormitories or camping at refuges (showers and WC facilities are limited).
  • Simple Continental breakfast (tea, coffee, milk, longlife bread, butter, jam).
  • Evening meals (based on local specialties - a starter, soup or smoked meats, main course or pasta or rice with a sauce, cheese, a fruit or a sweet pudding.).
  • Picnics (please bring a tupperware for rice, pasta, lentils, couscous salad)

Should you have any food allergies, special requests or dietry requirements, please note special diets are not always accommodated due to the remoteness of the trek.

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

Tough The walks are long between 6-9 hours a day, maybe more. You can expect steep uphill and downhill sections with maybe up to 1000m altitude gain some days. The temperatures will range and weather conditions can be severe. You are fit and have good trekking experience. See our level ratings.

 PLEASE NOTE THIS WALK IS VERY TESTING, YOU NEED TO BE SURE FOOTED AND HAVE APPROPRIATE SCRAMBLING EXPERIENCE. YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO PLACE YOUR FEET ON ROCKY GROUND.

 

Guiding

Self-Guided Walking. We provide you with a Travel Dossier complete with mini 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

During this trek you will carry a 35-45 litre rucksack with a water bottle, sun and wet weather gear, camera, tupperware with picnic, trailfood, all your overnight gear including knife, fork, etc, washbag, clean items of clothing, and sleeping bag. On the luggage transfer option (at a supplement), your follow on bag is transported by vehicle to Haut-Asco, Castel di Vergio, Vizzavona, in the North & Capanelle, Col de Verde, Crocce & Bavella in the South.

Our customers' reviews

David, UK
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3/4 star We enjoyed the holiday overall. By booking with Corsican Aventure we had the reassurance of knowing that our accommodation and food would always be available when we arrived.

Lynda, UK
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The hotels were excellent and a nice change from camping. The refuges were as expected a bit basic A very enjoyable trip, very tough but quite an experience. We found everything had been well organised and that Corsica Aventure seem to be very well respected by all the guardians and hosts en route.

Maria, Australia
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Some of the sleeping mats in the tents are poor quality. Generally comfortable. Services basic compared with Alpine huts in Austria, Italy etc that we've stayed in, but we were expecting that. All transfers very timely. Stages were very good. Some days were perhaps a little short, but you can't do anything about that given the distance between huts.

Xavier, Spain
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Gites and Hotel rooms good, refuges very simple. Added transfers good.

Chris, USA
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We had a wonderful trip and your organization of it was most excellent. We would have no reservations in recommending Corsica Adventure to anyone and indeed talked up your company repeatedly throughout the trip in discussing our trek with fellow hikers!

Marco, Brazil
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What an awesome adventure. Only because of Corsica Aventure, was I able to walk the GR20 in relative luxury with my son. Better yet... he loved it!!! 13kg for me, 5kg for him and smiles from Calenzana to Conca!!! Thank you!!!

Tim, UK
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All went fine, great adventure, thanks for your help, the hotel rooms where good with average food, the camping at the refuge was good and the refuge food was good, poor or not enough toilet and showers at some refuges.

Chris, UK
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You really had little choice of what accommodation to book for us and it all worked as planned. In general the food was as can be expected from the type of accommodation that this trip necessitated. The evening meals and breakfasts at the Hotel Le Chalet Haut Asco and the Hotel Castel Di Vergio were amazing and far exceeded our expectations.

William, Eire
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The holiday was very well organised. Nicola at Corsica Adventures was always available and most helpful. It was a fantastic adventure. All went to plan. The trail is demanding and rewarding. All of us completed it. Thanks again !

Dick, UK
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Corsica Aventure provided first class organisation for our GR20 trek. We were warmly welcomed at every overnight stop, and provided with sup bro food for such remote spots. I recommend them highly.

Ellie, USA
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We've just completed the GR20 from start to finish and just want to thank you and Corsica Adventure for organizing our trek. It lived up to our expectations in every way and was an unforgettable experience. For certain, it was challenging, but our nice lineup of hotels kept us going, along with the preferential treatment we received from a few of the refuges at the mere mention of "Corsica Adventure". All in all, we appreciate all of your help in making this trek a reality and are sad to be going home.

David, UK
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We completed the GR20 in 13 days. You emphasised the arduous nature of the trek - it certainly was very challenging but within our capabilities. We were very glad to have travelled N-S, getting the mountainous stages over early on. The 'double stage' days were well chosen but hard, as were the length of the descents over rough ground later on.Thanks for putting together a challenging itinerary and for your efficient organisation throughout. We finished the GR20 with many lasting memories - almost all of them happy ones! David

James, UK
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The GR20 does not get the reputation of the hardest GR route in Europe for nothing! Some of the days were pretty tiring, particularly in the heat. There is also a lot of rock exposure which we did not find too hard, but if you are not used to it, can be very daunting.We found the double stage day from Vizzavona to Col de Verde quite long, and then the following day to Usciolu hard on tired legs. But we understand that this is the only way to do the GR in 2 weeks, and the short day to Croci the next day gave us time to recover. We were very pleased with how smooth our hoilday went. As soon as we mentioned Corsica Aventure to any accommodation we were staying at we appeared to get the best treatment, and even got one of the few balcony rooms in Haut Asco. The picnics and refuge meals we received were better than we had thought, and the Guardians were on the whole very friendly and spoke English, which was very kind of them. Being able to stay in tents for most of the nights was also great, as it gave us a bit of privacy and space. The GR20 is a spectacular walk, and thanks to Corsica Aventure for making it extra special.

Ai, Japan
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We spent a good holiday at GR20. There was little information about the trail in Japan. So your service was really helpful for us. We reccomend our friends when they are interested in trekking here.

Matt, Eire
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Corsica Aventure were very good to deal with - very professional approach to booking and dealing with queries. We had to make itinerary changes and the team were very helpful indeed.