Walking and active holidays in Corsica

GR20 South 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 & Shepherds Cabins
Starting from 620 €
  • High Alpine walking
  • Luggage transfers available
  • Long challenging ridge walks
  • GR20 - Bavella, Vizzavona

The GR20 traverses the island diagonally following the high granite barrier of mountains that form the natural boundary between the two regions of Corsica. The Southern half of the trail offers some fantastic scenery and an insight into the working mountain community, and is a great introduction to the GR20. We reserve your accommodations, which are a variety of camps, refuges, gites, or shepherd’s cabins, situated in places of exceptional beauty. We are able to get your main luggage bag to you during part of the trek, so you do not have to carry a heavy load. It is a real bonus to take advantage of this and certainly adds to the enjoyment of the walking.

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Day 1 - Ajaccio to Bavella

This holiday starts on a Sunday in Ajaccio, the first transfer will take you directly up to Bavella, where you check into your first accommodation. The region is known as the Alta Rocca and Bavella is one of the most famous peaks of the island, known for its high mountain pass and mystical summits. Time to settle into the gite before the evening meal.

Day 2 - Bavella to Asinau

From the high mountain pass, the Col de Bavella you take the trail that is called the Alpine variant. It leads steeply uphill before passing at the base of several granite pinnacles, such as the Acellu, the Ariettu or the Vacca. It really is a superb ridge walk. The trail is rough under foot and equipped over a few metres with a chain that helps stability across the granite rocks. You plunge down into the valley before following an easy trail through the woods. After a river crossing you pull up hill, up to Asinau, bergerie, or refuge.

7km, 5h00, +750m, -550m.

Day 3 - Asinau to Coscione plateau

You head up to the magnificent ridge line of Monte Alcudina, who’s summit reaches a proud 2134m altitude. There are fantastic views and on a clear day you can pick out your route and see where you are heading.  You leave the high ground and head down towards the famous Cuscione plateau. This is the largest plateau on the island and spreads some 50 square kilometers. This large wild space is a mix of forests and open spongy green land full of runnels of water, a great grazing land in the summer months. Your night stop is a shepherd’s cabin situated on the edge of the plateau.

8km, 3h30, +560m, -560m.

Day 4 - Coscione plateau to Usciolu

Today you pick up the trail on the plateau and cross the wide open green pasture with it’s streams and little water holes. You make your way uphill through an age old forest of dwarf oak trees up to the Col de l’Agnone. From here, you start possibly one of the best ridge walks, it is very exposed, the trail is ambitious and it is hard to imagine that there is a way through. The granite has been wonderfully sculpted by the elements and the decor is awesome. The trail topples back and forth over the ridge, to one side then the other. Usciolu refuge occupies a sheltered position a little lower down, it is a hive of mountain activity. Camp at Refuge.

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

Day 5 -  Usciolu to Col de Verde

This walk has some really special scenery with great views. From the refuge you continue along the ridge that separates the valley of Taravo and the Fiumorbu. The trail plunges down towards the Col de Laparo. You will pass the GR refuge, Prati (1820m) it is worth stopping to enjoy the airy rooftop views of the island and enjoy the lush, spongy fresh ground. It is sometimes possible to see the islands of Elba and Monte Cristo. The descent winds rapidly down in and out of the forest to your destination at the Col de Verde. (1289m). Night in Gite.

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

Day 6 - Col de Verde to Capanelle

The trail undulates gently today and mainly contours through a forest of pine trees. These majestic tall straight lariccio pines with a silvery smooth bark are very much a symbol of the island. Today's walk is essentially traversing the flanks of the dominating mountain, the Monte Renosu. A steeper section leads us to the small shepherds’ hamlet of Traghjette. There is just one shepherd that lives here now following the age-old lifestyle of the transhumance and producing cheese. A last short walk before you arrive at a ridge where you can see your night stop and the cabins of Capanelle which is a low key ski station in the winter. Night in Gite.

12km, 4h00, +580m, -350m.

Day 7 - Capanelle to Vizzavona

This is the last stage of the GR20 southern section, the walk makes for a leisurely day. You leave Capanelle (1568m) taking a path that is more or less on the same level and along easy terrain. You pass through some idyllic spots, past remote traditional stone cabins and a luxuriant vegetation. You continue to Bocca Palmente 1640m, from where on a clear day the views are exceptional, the looming massifs of the Monte d’Oro and the Rotondu tower above. You drop down into a thick forest of pine and beech trees for a relaxing descent, the trail loops back and forth lacing down to Vizzavona (920m) the midway point of the GR20. Trains leave from Vizzavona to Ajaccio and Bastia.

16km, 5h30, + 190m, -860m.

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 May 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

No luggage support (reduction without any porterage): -€80pp

Price includes

Accommodation on full board (nights 1 to 6), picnic day 7, 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 Vizzavona, travel to Corsica.

Starts

Ajaccio port opposite the CCI building at 14h.

Ends

Friday at Vizzavona station after your last hike, around 15h.

Access

Ajaccio, Airport or Port. If you arrive into Figari 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 dietary requirements, please advise at time of booking. 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 Bavella, Coscione, Col de Verde, Capanelle & Vizzavona in the South. There are fresh water springs en route so you do not have to be weighed down with litres of water.

Our customers' reviews

Steve, UK
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The trip was again a great success and went very much according to plan. Overall the trip has been a great experience and we’d recommend you to anyone. No walk was impossible or way too easy.

Chris, Luxemburg
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Thank you for your excellent help and support during the trek. We have had a most excellent time, Corsica Adventure have been very responsive to our questions and problems during the trip. Thank you once again, and keep up the good work !

Natasa & Bridget, Netherlands
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We arrived at 14.00 'o clock in Vizzavona today and really enjoyed the GR20. We loved your choice of gites/ refuges and had great weather. No alternative routes were necessary! What a beautiful hike! Even the kids did it perfectly!

Dan, UK
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Just a quick note to say we thoroughly enjoyed our GR20 Sud walk. Many thanks for your help with the organisation. The accomodation was what we were expecting. We particularly liked Chez Aline (les Bergeries d'Asinau). Evening meals were really good. The best were Chez Aline (for the welcome and memorable atmosphere) and Col de Verde for best food. The picnics were generally good. There was always enough food. It was good to have a couple of shorter stages at the start. Usciola to Col de Verde was long, but we finished before 5pm, just!

Graham, UK
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We are back in Scotland after a fabulous week on GR20 South. The Corsica Adventure team there did a great job of organizing everything and there was a wonderful spirit among those of us self guiding . A big thank you again !

Alistair, UK
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The refuges etc selected for us were basic but absolutely the best available on the GR20. Verdi was the best of them but other highlights were Croci (although still needs finishing off) and Chez Aline for the real authentic rural Corse! Spectacular hike, great scenery, refuge reservations worked like clockwork. Nicola did a fantastic job of organising and advising on our tailored hike from Conca to Vizzavona.