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The GR20, also known as fra li Monti is a GR footpath that crosses the Mediterranean island of Corsica running approximately from north to south. The whole trail is about 180 km long with 12,000 m of elevation gain. Although it takes about 15 days to complete it, the route can be divided into 2 stages: the northern part, between Calenzana and Vizzavona, and the southern part, between Vizzavona and Conca. This GR route is considered no of the toughest of all GR routes, are you brave enough to give it a try? Below you will find all the information you need about the route, the stages, a map, and a kit list for your GR20 hike in Corsica!

For the GR20, some mountaineering experience is advisable. The trek requires some scrambling, use of chains, and a ladder (on the Northern section) and a confident step for the rocky landscape and mountain ridges. In order to face this challenge self-guided, you need to be a confident mountain walker and most importantly, you need to be able to read route notes and to locate your position on a map when necessary. Below you will find all the information you need to face this challenge as prepared as possible.



Looking for a trekking adventure? here you will find all our options for the stunning GR20!

Where is the GR20 route?


The GR20 is one of the many trekking options that France has to offer. Trekking in France should be in every trekker's wish list, starting with the breathtaking GR20 route. GR stands for Grande Randonnée, which means "big excursion" in French. The GRs are a network of long-distance trails in Europe located mostly in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. The GR20 is considered to be the most difficult of all these routes and is located on the French island of Corsica, Corse in French, on the Tyrrhenian sea. Its Corsican name is Fra li Monti, which means "across the mountains" in Corsican.

What is the best season for the GR20 hike?


If you are planning your GR20 trek, we advise you to go in late June or early September. During this time, most huts are open and the weather is not too hot. Also, the trail won't be as crowded as during July or August.



Between November and May, there is snow on the trails, which makes the trek quite dangerous. Also, during these months there are no hosts in the refuges, which means that you have to carry all the food. During winter, from February to April, the GR20 can only be completed by experienced cross-country skies with a professional guide. This winter variant of the GR20 is known as l'Alta Strada.

How do I get to Corsica?


As mentioned above, Corsica is a French island on the Tyrrhenian sea, also known as Corse in French. You can reach the island either by boat or by plane. There are 4 airports on the island, 2 in the north and 2 in the south. If you are planning on starting the trek from the north, then it is advisable to land in Calvi (CLY). If you are planning on starting from the south, the closest airport to Conca is Figari (FSC). The airlines flying directly to the island are Air France and Air Corsica, with flights departing from Paris, Marseille, and Nice. The flights take usually 1 to 1,5 hours.

You can also reach the island by boat. Between April and September, there are daily ferry rides from Toulon, Nice or Marseille. Of course, this option is cheaper than the plane but it also takes longer. The ferry ride from the coastline to the island takes around 6 hours. If you want to take a ferry to the southern section of the island, it will be even longer.

How do I get to the starting point of the GR20 walk?


The starting and endpoints of the GR20 are Calenzana village in the north of the island and Conca in the South. Vizzavona is the midway point and easily accessible if you want to walk one half of the trail.

Once you get to a port or airport in Corsica, it is quite easy to get the trailhead, both north and south. If you land in Calvi (north), you can take a 30-minute ride by bus or cab to Calenzana. A cab usually costs between 20 and 30 euros per ride while the bus costs around 8 euros. If you land in Figari (south), we recommend taking a bus to Conca. The ride is 2,5 hours long and taking a taxi to Conca can be quite expensive.

GR20 Corse - Should I start from the North or from the South?


You can walk the GR20 trail in either direction, from north to south, or from south to north. Which is the best option? Well, it depends on your physical condition and what you expect from the whole experience. The trail can be divided into two parts: the northern part starts in Calenzana and stops in Vizzavona. It is the most difficult part, because of the steep and rocky path, but it is also considered the most beautiful half. The southern part of the Gr20 goes from Vizzavona to Conca (or the other way around) and is easier, but less spectacular. The Coscione plateau with its green meadows is, however, quite breathtaking.



You can walk in either direction through the whole trail or you can choose to walk any of the two halves. The traditional route starts in the north and ends int he south. Since the GR 20 can be quite crowded and most hikers walk southwards, some people recommend starting from the south and making your way to the north.

Unsure about which option to choose? Here you will find detailed descriptions of all the options we have available for your GR20 trek!

GR20 map


Below you will find a map with the GR20 from Calenzana to Conca. You can see some of the huts along the way and the city of Vizzabona, the mid-point of the trek that divides the northern from the southern half.




Accommodation on the GR20, Corsica


The mountain huts along the GR 20 offer basic accommodation and food. These refuges come under the regional Corsican natural park’s authority and can host 25-50 people depending on the hut. Hosts manage the huts from the end of May to early October. Outside of this time frame, the refuges are open but not manned and there is no food available.



The refuges usually have one large dormitory with long wooden bunk beds equipped with mattresses. You can also sleep in a tent near the refuges. You can rent a tent at the hut as well. It is forbidden to camp in other places along the trail. Independent of which accommodation type you choose, you must always bring your own sleeping bag.



Huts do have electricity. However, charging your phone or camera can be quite a challenge given the number of trekkers and the limited number of sockets. Make sure to carry extra batteries with you.



What to expect in the huts:

- Indoor kitchen and eating area
- Dormitory room with bunk beds
- The bunk beds have two levels and have mattresses side by side. Bring your own sleeping bag
- Cold outdoor showers and toilets
- An outdoor kitchen with cooking facilities
- Bins for rubbish

Do you need help to arrange the accommodation on the GR20? Here you can find all our options for this trek!

Food in the GR20 trek


Half board is not included when you book your accommodation. You can choose to carry food with you or you can get your meals at the huts. You can always find a freshwater spring in the vicinity of the refuges. You can also buy food and book a hot meal and breakfast. Bear in mind that the hot meals must be reserved on arrival.

Breakfasts are often prepared the night before and handed out so you can leave as early as you want the next day. As regards lunch, if you are passing arefugebetween 12h and 14h you will often find a small lunchtime menu with choices, such as cheese and omelets, pasta, Corsican soup, and plates of smoked charcuterie. If you order dinner (remember to ask for it as soon as you get tot he hut!), it is usually served from 19h onwards. There may be more trekkers than seats available, so be patient. Dinner usually consists of three courses which vary from hut to hut. Bear in mind that you will be in the mountains, so don't expect over elaborated dishes. Also, you will be expected to bring your own knife to mealtimes, so don't forget to carry one!

Menus vary from one hut to the other and their meals usually depend on the stock they have. Hot dinners can cost between 15-20 euros, while breakfast and dinner cost around 8-12 euros each. Refuges are the only places where you can buy food and get drinking water along the trail. However, there are some stages where you can go shopping in the villages below.


All refuges have an indoor kitchen that you can use. These are equipped with gas, water, and kitchen utensils. Remember to always keep a lighter, or match with you! You might find there are only 4 gas rings available for a large number of hungry trekkers, so try to be patient.


Highlights on the GR20 trail


This spectacular trek is full of stunning views and breathtaking rock formations. Here are some of the highlights you will encounter during your trek:

- Cirque de la Solitude: a steep and challenging part between Refuge d'Asco Stagnu and Refuge de Tighjettu, where hikers have to climb using the chains bolted to the rock.
- Lac de Nino: a glacial lake in the middle of the grassy meadows between Refuge de Ciottulu di i Mori and Refuge de Manganu.
- Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello: two glacial lakes surrounded by rugged rocks between Refuge de Pietra Piana and Refuge de l'Onda
- Monte d'Oro: the 12th highest summit of Corsica.
- Monte Incudine (2134 m): the highest mountain of Corse du Sud (Southern Corsica) with great vistas of the Plateau de Coscione between Refuge d'Usciolu and Refuge d'Asinao.
- Aiguilles de Bavella: spectacular cliffs between Refuge d'Asinao and Refuge de Paliri.



Stages on the GR20 - Which itinerary should I follow?


Here is a detailed 15-stage itinerary for the full GR20 trek. Remember that if you don't want to complete the whole trek, you can start from any end of the route and end half-way, in Vizzavona.

Stage 1: Calenzana - Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu


The 1st stage of the GR 20 trail starts in Calenzana (275 m) and climbs to Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu (1570 m), which is also its highest point of today's stage. The total ascent is 1295 m and the total descent is only 50 m. The route is difficult and about 10 km long. To complete this stage it will take about 6h30 when walked from Calenzana, or 5 hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Capu a e Vacche (624 m)
- Capu di Pratu (828 m)
- Capu Jovu (Ghiovu; 1629 m)
- Cirque de Bonifatu

Stage 2: Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu - Refuge de Carrozzu


The 2nd stage of the trail starts in Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu (1570 m) and ends in Refuge de Carrozzu (1270 m). The highest point is the ridge at 2020 m above Col d'Avartoli. Today's total ascent is 667 m and the total descent is 917 m. Today the route is also challenging. This stage is 8 km long, with an average walking time of 7 hours when walked from Ortu di u Piobbu or about 5 hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Cirque de Bonifatu

Stage 3: Refuge de Carrozzu - Refuge d'Asco Stagnu


The 3rd stage starts in Refuge de Carrozzu (1270 m) and ends in a ski resort of Haut Asco, at the d'Asco Stagnu refuge, 1422 m. The highest point of the day is Col de Stagni, at 2010 m. The total ascent is 790 m, total descent is 638 m. The route is 6 km long and the average walking time is about 6 hours when walked from Refuge de Carrozzu or about 5 hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Monte Cinto (2706 m)

Stage 4: Refuge d'Asco Stagnu - Refuge de Tighjettu


The 4th stage starts in Haut Asco (1422 m) and ends in Refuge de Tighjettu (1683 m). The highest point is Col de Minuta, locates at 2183 m. Today's total ascent is 999 m and the total descent is 738 m. The route is 8 km long and the average walking time is about 6 hours in both directions.

Highlights:
- Monte Cinto (2706 m)
- Punta Minuta (2556 m)
- Lac Du Cinto (2289 m)
- Refuge de l'Erco (1667 m)
- Lozzi (1029 m)
- Calasima (1100 m)



Stage 5: Refuge de Tighjettu - Refuge de Ciottulu di i Mori


The 5th stage of the GR 20 trail starts in Refuge de Tighjettu (1683 m) and ends in Refuge de Ciottulu di i Mori (1991 m, the highest point of the stage). The total ascent is 607 m and the total descent is only 78 m. The route to Ciottulu di I Mori takes about 4 hours.

Highlights:
- Paglia Orba (2525 m)
- Col des Maures (2155 m)
- Calasima (1100 m)
- Albertacce (840 m)
- Col de Vergio (1477 m)

Stage 6: Refuge de Ciottulu di i Mori - Refuge de Manganu


The 6th stage starts in Refuge de Ciottulu di I Mori (1991 m) and ends in Refuge de Manganu (1601 m). The highest point of the trek is Col de Reta, located at 1883 m. Today's ascent is 643 m, with a total descent of 1033 m. Today's trek takes about 8 hours in both directions.

Highlights:
- Calasima (1100 m)
- Albertacce (840 m)
- Col de Vergio (1477 m)
- Lac de Nino (1760 m)
- Monte Ritondu (2622 m)
- Lac de Creno (1310 m)
- Orto (700 m)
- Soccia (750 m)
- Guagno

Stage 7: Refuge de Manganu - Refuge de Pietra Piana


The 7th stage of the GR 20 trek starts in Refuge de Manganu (1601 m) and ends in Refuge de Pietra Piana (1842 m). Today's highest point will be Breche de Capitellu, located at 2225 m. The total ascent of this stage is 830 m and thetotal descent is 589 m. This stage is 10 km long and the average walking time is about 6h30 when walked from Manganu or 6 hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Monte Ritondu (2622 m)
- Col du Fer de Lance
- Lac de Melo (1711 m)
- Lac de Capitellu (1930 m)
- Lavu Bellebone (2321 m)
- Lac de Creno (1310 m)
- Orto (700 m)
- Soccia (750 m)

Stage 8:Refuge de Pietra Piana - Refuge de l'Onda


The 8th stage starts in Refuge de Pietra Piana (1842 m, the highest point of the stage) and ends in Refuge de l'Onda (1430 m). It's an easy trek with a total ascent of 490 m and a total descent of 902 m. The route is 10 km long and the average walking time is about 5 hours when walked from Refuge de Pietra Piana or about 15 minutes longer in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Monte Rotondo (Ritondu; 2622 m)
- Canaglia (600 m)
- Tattone (600 m)

Stage 9:Refuge de l'Onda - Vizzavona


The 9th stage of this trail, and the last one of its northern section, starts in Refuge de l'Onda (1430 m) and descends to Vizzavona (920 m), which is the midpoint between the northern and southern halves of the GR20. The highest point is at 2141 m, the total ascent is 711 m and the total descent is 1221 m. The route is 10 km long, on average it takes 5½ to 6 hours to complete it when walked from Onda or about 7 hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Bocca du Porco (2159 m)
- Lac d'Oro (1970 m)
- Quagno
- Tattone
- Canaglia

Stage 10:Vizzavona - Bergeries de Capannelle


The 10th stage, and the first one of its southern part, starts in Vizzavona (920 m) and climbs to Bergeries de Capannelle (1586 m). The highest point is Col de Palmente at 1640 m, the total ascent is 890 m and the total descent is 224 m. The route is 15 km long. The average walking time is about 5½ hours when walked from Vizzavona or 4½ hours in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Monte d'Oro (2389 m)
- Monte Calvi (1461 m)
- Ghisoni (665 m)
- Lac de Bastani
- Monte Renoso (2352 m)



Stage 11:Bergeries de Capannelle - Refuge de Prati


The 11th stage of theGR 20 starts in Bergeries de Capannelle (1586 m) and ends in Refuge de Prati (1820 m). The highest point is at Col d'Oru (1840 m). The total ascent is 642 m and the total descent is 408 m. The route is 16 km long and the average walking time is about 6 hours in both directions.

Highlights:
- Monte Renoso (2352 m)
- Lac de Bastani (2089 m)
- Lac de Rino (1882 m)
- Monte Grosso (1895 m)
- Pozzi (1783 m)
- Punta Capanella (2032 m)

Stage 12:Refuge de Prati - Refuge d'Usciolu


The 12th stage starts in Refuge de Prati (1820 m) and ends in Refuge d'Usciolu (1750 m). The highest point is Punta della Capella at 2041 m, with a total ascent of 677 m and a total descent of 747 m. The route is 11 km long and the average walking time is 5h45 when walked from Prati or 6h30 in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Monte Grosso (1895 m)
- Palneca
- Ciamannace

Stage 13:Refuge d'Usciolu - Refuge d'Asinao


The 13th stage of theGR 20 trailstarts in Refuge d'Usciolu (1750 m) and ends in Refuge d'Asinao (1530 m). The highest point is at Monte Incudine (2134 m). Today's total ascent is 845 m and total descent is 1065 m. The route is 14.5 km long. The average walking time is 8 hours when walked from d'Usciolu or about 30 minutes more in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Zicavo (750 m)
- Bergeries de Bassetta
- Platau de Coscione

Stage 14:Refuge d'Asinao - Refuge de Paliri


Today the trailstarts in Refuge d'Asinao (1530 m) and ends in Refuge de Paliri (1055 m). The highest point is at Cold de Pargulu (1662 m), with a total ascent of 429 m and a total descent of 910 m. The route is 13 km long and the average walking time is about 7 hours when walked from d'Asinao or about 20 minutes longer in the opposite direction.

Highlights:
- Aigulies de Bavella (1611 m)
- Quenza (813 m)

Stage 15:Refuge de Paliri - Conca


The last stage descends from Refuge de Paliri (1055 m, the highest point of the stage) to Conca (252 m). The total ascent is 160 m only and the total descent is 926 m. The route is 12 km long and the average walking time is 5 hours when walked from Paliri or 6h15 in the opposite direction.

Here you will find this and other itinerary options for the GR20 trek!

Safety - Is the route well signposted?


Just like the Tour du Mont Blanc, another famous French trek, the GR20 is well marked with red and white rectangles on rocks, boulders, and trees. There are also small stone heaps along the trail. Alternative paths are marked with a different color. Bear in mind that it is easy to get on an alternative path without meaning to or to lose your way, so having a good map and a compass is necessary.



As stated above, huts do have electricity. However, charging your phone or camera can be quite a challenge given the number of trekkers and the limited number of sockets. Having a charged phone is not just a luxury, it is also a safety measure. You might not need it for yourself, but if you come across an injured trekker, you will need to ask for help and a charged phone is key. Make sure to carry extra batteries with you or a solar charger.

What should I bring? - GR20 kit list


Packing the right clothes and equipment is essential for any trekking adventure. For the GR20 trek, you must make sure that you carry clothes for warm temperatures during the day, but also for quite chilly nights and mornings. Make sure that you don't overpack. 2 or 3 t-shirts are ok, you can wash them at the hut at night and they will be ready to use again the next morning.

- Rucksack (35-45 liters)
- Hiking boots, worn in
- Socks
- Shorts and T-shirts
- Swimwear
- Waterproof jacket
- Warm fleece
- Thermal hat and Thermal gloves
- Waterproof trousers (optional)
- Hat
- Sun cream and lip balm
- Sunglasses
- Water bottle and/or camel bag
- Tupperware lunch box (optional)
- Fork or spoon
- Penknife (knives are often not provided in the refuges)
- Basic first aid kit
- Toilet paper / pocket tissues / plastic ziplock bags
- Small mirror (optional)
- Walking poles
- Headlamp
- Casual Wear for the huts
- Earplugs (optional)
- Sleeping bag -5° comfort
- Energy bars and snacks



Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature is one of the pleasures of trekking in the mountains. However, sometimes we need an extra push to keep going. When you feel like giving up, having the right playlist in your bag can help you to get the motivation necessary to reach the top. Here are ourtop picks for your GR20 trek playlist. Don't forget to take your headphones and some extra batteries in your backpack!

Where can I book my GR20 hike?


It can be quite a hustle to arrange the accommodation for the GR20, and that is where we come in. If you need help booking the accommodation for the full GR20 or one of the two halves, we can give you a hand. Our trekking experts can book the huts for you so that you can prepare for your hiking holiday in France without stress. Just contact our trekking experts, let them know what you would like to do and when, and get ready for your GR20 trek! Here you can find all our offers for the GR20 in Corsica.

If you have any questions about the GR20 trek, please contact our trekking experts. They will be happy to help you!

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