The GR20 Corsica

The High Level Route

By Paddy Dillon

Guidebook to walking the GR20 through Corsica's high mountains. A challenging trail between Calenzana and Conca that includes hands-on scrambling, the 190km trek can be completed by fit walkers in about two weeks. The guidebook includes high and low-level alternatives, plus extra mountain climbs, and all you need to know for this tough route.

Seasons

Seasons

Possible mid-May to mid-October; June or September is ideal, with July and August being the hottest and busiest months.
Centres

Centres

Calvi, Vizzavona, Porto Vecchio; limited accommodation and facilities on or near the route.
Difficulty

Difficulty

The GR20 is a challenging walk (with scrambling) through isolated mountain terrain for experienced, fit walkers; backpacking throughout.
Must See

Must See

The ascent of Monte Cinto and the ascent of Paglia Orba.
ISBN
9781852848521
Availability
Published
Published
16 Jun 2016
Reprinted
6 Mar 2018
Edition
Fourth
Pages
272
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
Weight
320g
  • Overview

    This guidebook describes the classic GR20 trek, the north to south traverse of the rugged mountains of Corsica. Starting in Corscia's north-west, in picturesque Calenzana, the route winds south-east, through the heart of Corsica, finishing on the eastern side of the island, just north of Porto Vecchio in the township of Conca. Described in 16 stages with high level/low level alternatives for relevant stages, the route is roughly 200km in length and takes approximately two weeks to complete. The GR20 climbs high into the mountains. It is demanding trek and only suitable for experienced walkers.

    Step-by-step descriptions of each stage are accompanied by 1:50,000 mapping, together with information on ascent/descent, terrain, and food, water and shelter en route. Also included is invaluable information such as path conditions, what to take, and getting to/from and around Corsica. This comprehensive guide also includes information on the history and geology of Corsica, together with notes on the local plants and wildlife.

    An island of surreal beauty, Corsica showcases dramatic mountains, enchanting coastline and ethereal vistas. Bare rock and sheer cliff contrasts with black sand beaches, alpine pastures and pockets of forest. Mediterranean flair abounds, history lingers and culture is celebrated, making it the perfect destination for a trek bursting with adventure.

  • Contents

    Contents
    Introduction
    Geology
    Brief history
    Getting to Corsica
    Getting around Corsica
    Getting to the GR20
    When to trek
    How to trek
    Maps
    Mountain weather
    Path conditions
    Mountain rescue
    What to take
    Services along the route
    Food, drink and fuel
    Language
    Currency
    Using this guide
    Plants and wildlife on Corsica
    Maquis
    Trees
    Flowers
    Wildlife
    The GR20
    Stage 1A Calenzana to Refuge d’Ortu di u Piobbu (high-level)
    Stage 1B Calenzana to Refuge d’Ortu di u Piobbu (low-level)
    Stage 2A Refuge d’Ortu di u Piobbu to Refuge de Carozzu (high-level)
    Stage 2B Refuge d’Ortu di u Piobbu to Refuge de Carozzu (low-level)
    Stage 3 Refuge de Carozzu to Ascu Stagnu
    Stage 4 Ascu Stagnu to Auberge U Vallone
    Stage 5 Auberge U Vallone to Hôtel Castel di Vergio
    Excursion Ascent of Paglia Orba from Refuge de Ciottulu di I Mori
    Stage 6 Hôtel Castel di Vergio to Refuge de Manganu
    Link route Bergeries de Vaccaghja to Corte
    Link route Refuge de Manganu to Soccia
    Stage 7 Refuge de Manganu to Refuge de Petra Piana
    Link route Brèche de Capitellu or Bocca a Soglia to Bergeries de Grotelle
    Excursion Ascent of Monte Ritondu from Refuge de Petra Piana
    Stage 8A Refuge de Petra Piana to Refuge de l’Onda (low-level)
    Stage 8B Refuge de Petra Piana to Refuge de l’Onda (high-level)
    Link route Bergeries de Tolla to Tattone and Vizzavona
    Stage 9A Refuge de l’Onda to Vizzavona (low-level)
    Stage 9B Refuge de l’Onda to Vizzavona (high-level)
    Stage 10 Vizzavona to Bergeries d’ E Capanelle
    Link route La Foce to Bocca Palmento
    Stage 11A Bergeries d’ E Capanelle to Bocca di Verdi (low-level)
    Stage 11B Bergeries d’ E Capanelle to Bocca di Verdi (high-level)
    Stage 12 Bocca di Verdi to Refuge d’Usciolu
    Link route Refuge d’Usciolu to Cozzano
    Stage 13 Refuge d’Usciolu to Refuge de Matalza
    Link route Tignosellu to Zicavo
    Link route Zicavo to Refuge de Matalza
    Stage 14 Refuge de Matalza to Refuge d’Asinau
    Alt Stage 13/14 Refuge d’Usciolu to Refuge d’Asinau (variant)
    Stage 15A Refuge d’Asinau to Village de Bavella (low-level)
    Stage 15B Refuge d’Asinau to Village de Bavella (high-level)
    Stage 16 Village de Bavella to Conca

    Appendix A Facilities along the route (Calenzana to Conca)
    Appendix B Facilities along the route (Conca to Calenzana)
    Appendix C Accommodation list
    Appendix D Basic language notes
    Appendix E Useful contacts
    Appendix F The Cirque de la Solitude

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    May 2019


    On 4th May the Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu was burnt to the ground,
    possibly deliberately. While the camping area and water supply are
    unaffected, there will definitely be no indoor accommodation available
    during 2019. A temporary shelter will be in place to offer meals, and
    the camping area and water supply are unaffected. Work might start very
    soon on rebuilding the refuge, and bear in mind that the Refuge de
    Carrozzu, next in line along the GR20, might be rebuilt shortly too,
    along with the Refuge d'Asinau, towards the end of the GR20. Remember
    that a low-level route allows trekkers to omit the Refuge d'Ortu di u
    Piobbu, linking Calenzana directly with the Refuge de Carrozzu in one
    day. Full details are in the guidebook.

    July 2017


    Website Changes

    The PNRC has changed its website address and has also launched a new online booking system for the refuges and campsites. The PNRC website is now www.pnr.corsica and the booking website is now reserver.sitecresa.fr/centraleresa/parcnaturel. It is also worthwhile clicking on the link titled 'punaises de lit information randonneurs', which explains all about the ongoing bedbug infestation in the refuges. To discuss the trail with other users, see corsica.forhikers.com/forum.

    Reconstruction of Refuges

    A major project will start during 2018, where the basic GR20 refuges will be reconstructed, expanded and improved. This will probably take place at the rate of two or three refuges per year. While building work is taking place at refuges, accommodation is likely to be available in large, military-style tents. All other services, such as camping places, meals and the sale of food and drink will be unaffected.

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Dillon

Paddy Dillon

Paddy Dillon is a prolific walker and guidebook writer with over 90 guidebooks to his name, and contributions to 40 other titles. He has written for several outdoor magazines and other publications, and has appeared on radio and TV. Paddy is an indefatigable long-distance walker who has walked all of Britain’s National Trails and several European trails. He has also walked in Nepal, Tibet, Korea and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the US. Paddy is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and President of the Backpackers Club.

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