Walking and active holidays in Corsica

GR20 North Self Guided (Lightened Backpack)

Self Guided Walking 7 days / 6 nights

Level 1 2 3 4

Point to Point - 6 days walking
Camping, Simple Refuges and Shepherds Cabins
Starting from 620 €
  • Mountains - idyllic Alpine scenery
  • Insight into Corsican high mountain life
  • Luggage transfers, Hotel upgrades available
  • GR20 - Vizzavona, Vergio, Bonifatu

The GR20 North is a heady trail, starting in Vizzavona the trek offers some fantastic scenery and winding its way through some incredulous mountain terrain, over high ridges, down deep chasms and bare granite slopes. On the Northern section, there are continuous steep ascents and descents, and the ambiance is strictly alpine. The GR20 North is part of an exceptional, long distance walk, reputed as the best and most challenging in Europe, it offers great trekking with the bonus of your luggage meeting you at points along the route. The GR20 is accessible to mountain walkers who are fit and out in the hills regularly. 

Groups, families or businesses

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Day 1 - Arrive Vizzavona

Vizzavona is the mid way point for the GR. There is a vast  forest with a small railway station nestled at the heart of it. It is often a hive of activity for walkers setting out or finishing up their treks. You can settle into your accommodation and enjoy a stroll in the woods, or relax at the nearby rock pools. At the beginning of the 20th century the hamlet was a popular resort for the English, take the GR20 path towards the dazzling ‘Cascade des Anglais.’ Gite accommodation or Hotel at a supplement.

Day 2 - Vizzavona to Petra Piana

The start of this walk is a lovely lead in trail that will come out near to Canaglia hamlet. From here you walk alongside a mountain torrent with sun baked smooth rocks and enticing rock pools. A little shepherd's cabin and grassy clearing make for a perfect rest stop. You continue on to the edge of the forest and emerge in a beautiful open valley. In total contrast to the first part of the walk, you continue up the valley enjoying the stunning views. Night camping at the Refuge, Petra Piana.

13km, 5h00, +1150m, -100m.

Day 3 - Petra Piana to Camputile Plateau

From Petra Piana a short uphill section takes you to the high ridge above the refuge. The trail is rocky, almost lunar in ambiance. You pass a mountain col and continue on the high route. The views are spectacular, with Corte, the island’s historic capital in the distance and a series of wonderful glacier lakes to discover. From the small Brèche above Lake Capitello, we plunge downhill to Manganu refuge situated on the edge of the Camputile plateau.  Night camping at Refuge or Shepherds Cabin.

10.5km, 7h00, +700m, -940m.

Day 4 - Camputile Plateau to Col de Vergio

The GR20 is well-marked, leading gently uphill, a relaxing walk through beech woods, and across the green spongy turf to the Lac de Nino. At 1743m this glacier lake is in a lovely, sheltered bucolic spot, surrounded by spongy peat, with runnels of water and wells, ideal grazing ground for ponies and other animals in the summer. From the lake a classic walk leads along a high ridge with magnificent views and the occasional blue glint of the beckoning sea. You drop down at the Col St Pierre.  Gite accommodation or Hotel at a supplement.

14.5km, 6h00, +570m, -750m.

Day 5 - Col de Vergio to Melarie Valley

The GR20 trail follows the Golu torrent up the valley towards its source. Mid way up the valley, your route crosses the torrent, and shortly leaves the floor of the valley and heads up to the ridge line. From here there are clear views of the villages dotted on the west coast and the indented outline of the island in the sea. From Ciuttolu di I Mori (2000m), the highest refuge in Corsica, between Tafanatu and Paglia Orba, the GR20 falls away steeply through a chaos of harsh granite rock and giant pine trees. Night camping at Refuge or Shepherds Cabin.

13km, 5h30, +950m, -970m.

Day 6 - Melarie Valley to Haut Asco

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. After a couple of hours, you arrive at Bocca Crucetta, a ridge leads to the daunting ‘Pointe des Eboulis’ at 2607m this is the highest point on the GR20, the view is absolutely spectacular.  From here, the path literally plunges down to the small lake  the other side. The trail continues downhill, the scree, the rocks before the your gite or hotel at Haut-Asco.

7km, 8h00, +1200m, -1200m.

Day 7 - Haut Asco to Calvi

From Haut Ascu, a superb ascent takes you to Bocca Di Stagnu (2010m) at the foot of the Muvrella (2150m). From Lake Muvrella  the view over Calvi bay is incredible. After Carozza refuge, you continue the descent to Bonifatu. Transfer to Calvi where you finish your trek. Hotels available in Calvi, please ask for details.

12km, 7h00, +650m, -1530m.

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 every Sunday 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: €620pp

Supplements/Discounts

Hotel Upgrade (3 nights Vizzavona, Vergio & Asco) : €120pp
No luggage support (reduction without any porterage): -€80pp

Price includes

Accommodation on full board (nights 1 to 6), picnic day 7, travel dossier with IGN maps and topo guide.

Price does not include

Reservation fee of €5pp, travel insurance, drinks, picnic day 1, transfers to Vizzavona, travel to Corsica.

Starts

At your accommodation in Vizzavona.

Ends

Around 5.30 pm in Calvi, after your last transfer from Bonifatu.

Access

Ajaccio, Bastia Airports or Ports. If you arrive into Calvi 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 advise at time of booking but PLEASE NOTE Food is limited for vegetarians, and special diets cannot be 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 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, your follow on bag is transported by vehicle to Vizzavona, Castel di Vergio & Haut-Asco in the North. There are fresh water springs en route so you do not have to be weighed down with litres of water.

Our customers' reviews

Chris, UK
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This was a very energetic holiday, which would only suit experienced walkers. The scenery and sense of achievement were absolutely fantastic, and the support of Corsica Adventures was really good. I would highly recommend it, but don't underestimate how physical it is. It was some of the most beautiful and interesting terrain I have ever walked on, tougher and better than the tour de Mont Blanc.

Karin, Netherlands
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Loved the GR20 North! Thank you for the good organisation. And you were right about the upgrades. We choose to upgrade on 2 locations en route. It is good to have a 'back to basics' experience, but it is hard to keep up that spirit if you do not have to.

Jochen, Australia
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We had the perfect hike! Superbly organised (including weather!!!). Thunderstorm today. The team in Ajaccio were a great support. Extremely friendly and responsive.

Janie, Australia
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Whilst the walk was fantastic, we found the days very long. Overall though a tough but incredible fantastic experience with many treasured memories for our family

Steve, UK
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Highly recommended - well organised and clearly each hotel or refuge was familiar with working with CA. We had a great time and felt that we had a competent company in the background - thank you!

Stephen, UK
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GR20 North is tough! So long as people are aware, have experience & don't carry too much, they should be OK & enjoy it. The national park will need to plan long term for footpath restoration work due to erosion caused by walkers. I did the GR20 South self-guided with Corsica Aventure a few years ago via a UK based agent but booked direct this time. Staying in pop-up tents at refuges is much better than sleeping in the refuges themselves.

Annette, Germany
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Hiking the GR20 nord was an excellent experience and great fun. We can definitely recommend Corsica Adventure for a care free organization of the hike.