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Corsica GR20 Trek North

Challenging hiking in Corsica

This is the northern section of the classic GR20 Haute Route in Corsica, one of Europe’s most challenging and beautiful long-distance walks. The local people call the route 'Fra li Monti', which means 'across the mountains', it is a magnificent traverse of the north of the island, encompassing an impressive range of mountains. For some of our guests taking two weeks holiday to hike this route is not practical, nor does everyone want to hike the more challenging northern section. We have now divided the GR20 into two neat sections, a week to hike the north and a week to hike the south. Or combine the two and hike the entire route. The GR20 is a trek of a lifetime that should be on every hikers 'bucket list'!


  • Experience the extraordinary beauty of Corsica
  • Wild swimming in crystal clear mountain pools
  • Hike the infamous northern section Europe's toughest trek
  • Join the elite group of GR20 long distance hikers
  • Witness a truly spectacular island mountain landscape
  • Six days of stunning hiking and light 'scrambling'
  • Good quality hotels, private gîtes, and high mountain refuges
  • Luggage support on days when it is possible 

Rising abruptly from the Mediterranean sea, with granite peaks soaring to over 2500m (8200ft), Corsica is known as 'the Scented Isle'. Famous for its dramatic coastline and pretty mountain villages, the rugged island of Corsica reveals its most spectacular scenery only to those who are prepared to explore on foot. 

Is this trip right for me?

The GR20 in Corsica is a very tough trek with long walking days in succession.  It certainly earns its reputation as one of the toughest treks in Europe. You must be fit and accustomed to walking in the mountains, and happy to deal with sections of rocky scrambling where you might need to pull on chains, and climb ladders. Please read our full trip grading here to check if this is the trip for you.

I am really pleased I saw the real Corsica with its enormous mountains, beautiful streams and forests, and colourful local characters. The accommodation was much better than I had anticipated…apart from some thunder storms the weather was kind to us - not the unrelenting sun I was expecting. Emma was a great leader, knowledgeable and always positive. Our group was fantastic - fun and always supportive.

- Ineen, Australia 2016


  • Your GR20 adventure begins at Bastia airport, where we will meet for our transfer to Calvi. Alternatively, you can fly direct to Calvi and meet at the group hotel. For more details consult the 'Arrival & Departure' section under 'Trip Information'. 

    In the afternoon you can sit on the beach or explore the lovely harbour town of Calvi, said to be the birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus. It was during the period of Genoese domination of the island that Christopher Columbus was reputedly born in the town, a claim that is supported today by a monument built into the walls of the citadel. There are many shops and restaurants to be enjoyed before we head for the mountains. 

    The town was briefly occupied by English naval forces in 1794, a battle in which the famous English Admiral, Lord Nelson lost his eye. Today, the town is a base for a regiment of the French Foreign Legion, and soldiers are often seen running in full kit up the steep mountain trails around Calvi. 

    Your guide will brief you on the trip ahead, at approximately 1915 hrs, and answer any questions you might have about the itinerary and terrain. 

    Note that dinner is not included on the first evening, however, your guide will book a restaurant as Calvi can be quite busy. If you would prefer not to eat with the group please let your guide know.  

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Today you begin a journey taking you from north to south of this beautiful island. Corsica is often referred to in the French language as 'L'Ile de Beauté', the Isle of Beauty. Over the course of a spectacular two weeks we will cover a total of 180km (112 miles), with approximately 12,000m (39,360ft) of ascent and descent. It is a wonderful adventure and although this trip is not for the faint hearted we firmly believe that the rewards are immense. 

    This morning we leave Calvi behind and drive for about 20 minutes to the village of Calenzana. This is where the GR20 officially beings, and no doubt we will be taking a few photos to mark the occasion. We ease into things today, giving us time to get used to the conditions, and to enjoy the views of the coast and the mountain villages. It is also an introduction to the vegetation and in early summer the trail is scented with wild jasmine, and the aromatic 'curry' plant. Today is definitely a day for wild swimming, and the beautiful crystal clear water of the many rock pools will be a theme for the northern section. We usually stop to 'cool off' in rock pools before tackling the final climb to Bonifatu where we will spend the night in a gîte

    Ascent: 800m (2624ft) Descent: 540m (1771ft) Distance: 11km (6.8 miles) Duration: 5h00

    Accommodation: Gîte

  • It's an early start this morning for what is a long, and challenging hike, but the spectacular landscape more than makes up for the effort. The terrain is a good introduction to the rest of the first week, as we climb up into the forest and through the cirque de Bonifatu, until we reach the Carrozzu refuge where we will take a break before heading across the 30m (98ft) Spasimata footbridge, known as one of the most photographed spots on the route. We then climb up the Spasimata rock slabs using fixed cables and chains, nothing difficult but requiring steady footwork, to eventually at the Muvrella valley. Muvrella is the Corsican name for mouflon, a type of wild sheep, and with luck we may see some. The mouflon is believed to be the ancestor of all modern sheep breeds. Passing the Lac de Muverella, we have a rocky ascent to the Bocca di a Muvrella, this is a pass at 2000m (6560ft). We then have a tricky, but short, section to our second pass, the Bocca di Stagnu at 2010m (6592ft). The views from here are fantastic as we can see the western coastline, and mountains. then its downhill all the way, with a steep descent with some scrambling down to the old ski station of Haut Asco at 1422m (4664ft) and our hotel. 

    Ascent: 1480m (4854ft) Descent: 600m (1968ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 8h30-9h00

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Today we head towards the highest mountain in Corsica Monte Cinto, which sits at 2706m (8878ft). The first known ascent of Monte Cinto was on 6 June 1882, by a party led by Édouard Rochat who reached the summit via the mountain's southern slopes. On 26 May 1883 a party led by the English mountaineer, Francis Fox Tuckett, including François Devouassoud, a Chamonix born mountain guide, and the landscape painter Compton, also ascended the mountain by the pass that now bears Tuckett's name. Tucker was one the main figures of the so-called Golden Age of Alpinism making ascents of 269 European peaks, and crossing 687 passes! 

    Eventually, after passing Monte Cinto and the remote Lac de Cinto, we continue up to a high pass, the Bocca Crucetta at 2450m (8036ft). Time for lunch and photos, before we make our way down to the Tighjettu refuge and the Bergeries de Vallon where we will camp. You do not need to carry camping gear, but do need a lightweight summer sleeping bag. The Bergeries de Vallon is an old shepherd's hut situated in a really lovely setting, with rock pools nearby for bathing. 

    We will ask anyone who struggled with the terrain yesterday to sit out this day, and as it is not possible to drive to Vallone, you will miss two days of hiking and take transport to Castel de Verghio to rejoin the group. 

    Ascent: 1600m (5248ft) Descent: 1600m (5248ft) Distance: 13km (8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

    Accommodation: Camping - tent and sleeping mat provided  

    NB: Tonight you will not have access to your luggage due to the remote location of our overnight. 

  • This morning you will no doubt welcome an easier start to our day. We begin by walking through the laricio pine forest. The laricio, also known as the black pine, produces an oil which has been used traditionally to cure acne, common colds, and viral infections. It can also be used for treating cracked hands and feet in winter, and for sealing wooden roofs. After contemplation of this useful tree we begin a rocky scrambling section to reach the Bocca di Foggiale. We are rewarded with great views both behind us to the Calacuccia lake, and ahead of us to the Golo valley. From here we traverse the mountainside to the Ciotulu I Mori refuge which sits below the Paglia Orba peak. After a stop for drinks and snacks, we stroll along an easy high level trail with views to the seas, before heading down to the river Golo. The pools here are stunning and the water is so clear that you can see the trout swimming. You will have noticed a theme developing here. Hike, swim, hike swim! We then have a final river section to hike before entering the forests and heading for Castel de Verghio, an old ski station. 

    Ascent: 970m (3181ft) Descent: 1020m (3345ft) Distance: 15km (9.5 miles) Duration: 6h00-6h30

    Accommodation: Hotel 

  • We are up early and ready to face another challenging day with some stunning scenery to entice us onwards. You will notice that the landscape begins more mellow, as we climb up to the Bocca San Pedru at 1452m (4762ft), and then over a second pass the Bocca a Reta at 1881m (6169ft) as we hike towards the beautiful high meadows of the Lac de Nino at 1743m (5717ft). Surrounded by pozzines, which are little ponds in the midst of grassy meadows, it is a grazing area for horses, cattle and wild pigs. After the Lac de Nino, we will take a short break at the working farm of Bergeries de Vaccaghja.

    The next section feels remote and the trail seldom travelled. It is not easy to find the route and today we really feel like we are exploring off-the-beaten track.  Our overnight is at the end of a trail through pine forests and away from the crowds, with several great rock pools nearby if you fancy a swim.  

    The Refuge is run by Frederique and Marie, a mother and daughter team, who will also be providing our meals. Tonight we will camp and their free range chickens roam amongst our tents, although thankfully the cockerel doesn't seem to wake too early! Their Border Collie dog delights in rounding up the chickens. 

    Ascent: 965m (3165ft) Descent: 1200m (3936ft) Distance: 23km (14.3 miles) Duration: 8h00-8h30

    Accommodation: Mountain Refuge - either dormitory or in tents in the grounds

    NB: Tonight you will not have access to your luggage due to the remote location of our overnight. 

  • A shorter day today so we are able to be more leisurely and take our time as we descend from the mountains via the stunningly beautiful Tavignano gorge. The source of the river Tavignano is in the heart of the island, just south of Monte Cinto the highest peak in Corsica. The river flows generally east through Corte and on to the sea. However, before reaching civilisation again we have the opportunity to swim in the clear, clear water below the bridge which takes us to the other bank and down the valley.

    After passing through the gorge we will arrive at the historic town of Corte. The town is famous for being the capital of the Corsican independent state during a period of resistance in the 1700's. The leader of the movement was Filippo Pasquale di Paoli a patriot who led the Corsicans, first against the Genoese, and later against French rule of the island. Corsica officially became a French province in 1770. With all of this history in mind we aim to arrive in Corte with some time to explore the town. We have not included dinner on this night to give you the chance to 'do your own thing' and eat out in a local restaurant.

    Ascent: 720m (2361ft) Descent: 1400m (4592ft) Distance: 13km (8.1 miles) Duration: 5h00-5h30

    Accommodation: Hotel

  • This morning is your departure day. For details please refer to the 'Arrival & Departure' section under 'Trip Information'.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 


On all our trips we aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard. Note that for this trip we have not provided details of ALL the accommodation we will use. This is because the best accommodation is in short supply and we prefer not to 'give away' our best kept secrets.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender, what we call a 'twin' means two single beds in one bedroom. If you are booking as a single traveller you will share with someone of the same gender. In many cases a single room is available for a supplementary fee, but these can be in short supply and require early booking. Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility.

The accommodation on the GR20 has somewhat of a reputation, but we can confidently say we offer the most comfortable GR20 on the market. For this trip we have chosen hotels and privately-run gîtes which make our trip very comfortable when compared with other companies - but do not expect luxury. The accommodation is basic, simple and clean and includes: 3 nights in hotels, 2 nights in gîtes, & 1 or 2 nights camping. Your luggage will be transported to each accommodation except on 2 nights (Day 4 & 6) when you will be staying in remote locations. On these nights you will be required to carry a few extra items in your day pack.

A single room may be available for solo travellers in Calvi, and Corte, but will incur a supplement and is dependent on early booking as the number of single rooms is limited. 

Calvi Hôtel


The Calvi Hôtel is in a gorgeous location right beside a sandy beach on the outskirts of the town of Calvi. A short walk under the palm trees and you will find yourself right beside the sea. The hotel is light, airy and modern. There are also a number of seaside bars within easy reach of the hotel. You can walk into town to explore the historic streets in 10 minutes or so.



Hotel Le Magnolia, Calvi


We begin our trip with a very comfortable hotel in the heart of the gorgeous town of Calvi. The Hotel Le Magnolia has lovely spacious rooms with en suite facilities and air conditioning. The hotel is situated between the church and the market square, 50 metres (164ft) from the port and just a 5-minute walk from the beach. It has a  patio and garden, and the building is reminiscent of the last century, the 'belle époque'. 

Hotel Le Chalet, Haut Asco


Tonight our destination is the Hotel Le Chalet which is situated at the foot of Monte Cinto, the highest mountain in Corsica. It was built in 1964 and has 28 bedrooms with en suite facilities. It has a terrace which is a great place to enjoy the views and watch the sunset. 


Bergeries de Vallone


This evening we are truly under the stars as we camp beside the ancient shepherd's hut at the Bergeries de Vallon. You do not need to carry any camping gear as we will organise tents and sleeping mats. You do, however, need to carry your sleeping bag. Tonight you will not have access to your luggage due to the remote location of our overnight. The Bergeries de Vallon is an old shepherd's hut situated in a really lovely setting, with rock pools nearby for bathing.  


Hotel Castel Vergio, Castel de Verghio,


We finish today at the old ski station at Castel de Verghio, where we have our hotel of the same name. Well, nearly the same name, but as often in Corsica there are several variations on spelling!  The hotel is high in the mountains and right on the GR20, as well as several other hiking routes. It was fully renovated in 2010 and now has 29 bedrooms with balconies, and en suite facilities.  


Refuge de la Sega


We are in the forests in the mountains for our overnight at the Refuge de la Sega. The Sega is run by Frederique and Marie, a mother and daughter team who give a warm welcome. The refuge is in a lovely location away from the crowds, with stunning rock pools nearby for a freshening swim before dinner. The accommodation will be either in dormitories, or in tents in the grounds of the refuge.


A 'refuge' is simple accommodation in the mountains where we can sleep and have our meals provided. They are run by 'guardians' or 'guardiennes' if the team is female. For many it is a way of life, rather than a career and we are grateful for these people who are happy to spend the summer months in remote areas providing hikers with a service. Thank you!

Hotel du Nord, Corte


In Corte we stay in the Hotel du Nord which dates back to 1861. It has now been renovated to offer guests comfort without losing any of its charm. The rooms are equipped with an LCD TV with Satellite connection, a telephone, a hairdryer, a fan, and free Wi-Fi connection. The hotel is situated in the mountains, but in the centre of Corte. It does a great breakfast buffet!


  • Arrival

    Getting to Corsica is easiest by plane, however, you can take the ferry from mainland France or Italy.  Public transport is not very frequent in Corsica so if arriving by ferry we would only recommend you do this by car and not as a foot passenger.

    If flying to Corsica, your trip begins at Bastia airport, and is designed to meet any flight arriving in Bastia before 1300 hrs on the Sunday. You can also choose to arrive in Bastia the evening beforehand and then meet the group at Bastia airport for the transfer to Calvi. We cannot collect you in Bastia town as it is not en route to Calvi. Alternatively, you may prefer to fly direct to Calvi and meet us at the group hotel, particularly those coming from the UK, as there is a direct flight from Gatwick to Calvi.

    Arrival at Bastia Airport

    We have included a single-timed transfer from Bastia Airport to Calvi on Day 1. Bastia has the largest choice of flights from various European destinations. However, in Summer 2022 there are no direct flights from the UK to Bastia, so for UK guests we would also recommend looking at the direct flight from London Stansted to Calvi. We will be able to meet flights that arrive at Bastia Airport before 1300 hrs.

    For those joining us at the airport, you will meet the group between 1100 hrs - 1300 hrs, depending on people's flight times. We will communicate the meeting time once we know everyone's flight details, usually about two weeks before departure. If everyone arrives on an earlier flight, we will depart early. 

    There is quite a large choice of airports from which to fly to Bastia: if the UK flights don't work for you, then you can look at arriving from Paris, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Lille, Vienna and Basel. Skyscanner is a great website to look at flight options.

    Bastia Airport  is 17 km (10.6 miles) from the town centre, so decide whether you want to stay near the airport (and therefore near the beach), or in a town-centre hotel. If you’re staying near the airport, then we recommend Hotel Poretta, Hotel Le Lido or Chez Walter. Or for a treat, then the lovely Hotel Pineto in Biguglia, next to the sea which is 9km (5.6 miles) from the airport. 

    If you’re going to stay in the town centre, then the Hotel Best Western is reasonably priced and not too far from the bus stop, or if you’d like to be nearer the old town, then Hotel Les Gouverneurs is an excellent 4* hotel, and the Hotel Central Bastia an excellent 3* hotel.

    Buses run (infrequently) from the airport to Bastia centre.

    Arrival at Calvi

    It is also a really good option to fly to Calvi and make your own way to the group hotel. We normally hold a briefing before dinner and would ask that you arrive by 1800 hrs. Note that Calvi is only suitable for the arrival at the beginning of the trip - your departure airport will need to be either Bastia or Figari.

    Departure from Bastia Airport

    At the end of the trip, we include an early single-timed transfer from Corte to Bastia Airport for flights departing after mid-day. If you have a long wait for your flight, we recommend booking a day room at the Hotel Poretta which is within walking distance of the airport, and has an outdoor pool. With a lot of luggage you may want to get a taxi to the hotel even although the distance is short. 

    Departure from Figari Airport

    Figari airport is only a 25 minute drive from our end hotel in Porto Vecchio, compared to 2h50 to Bastia. We do not include this for the group departure transfer as Bastia has more flight options. A taxi from Porto Vecchio to Figari is not expensive and we can help co-ordinate taxi shares for those who would like to this option.

    Travel in general

    If you are planning to extend your holiday and stay on in Corsica it is worth noting the public transport system is not frequent and taxis are expensive. A good resource for onward travel is the Corsica bus website.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. 

    At least once each summer we experience unseasonal conditions that really do make every item on the kit list essential. If you do not have the correct kit, our guide may ask you to leave the trip until you have purchased the necessary items. Every year we experience unseasonal snow at least once. It can also rain very heavily and temperatures can go from being around 35° Celsius (96° F) one week, to below ) 0° (32° F) the next. So, if it rains, you will need waterproof jackets AND trousers, and will be glad of several pairs of gloves. If it snows, you will need decent hiking boots (NOT hiking trainers), walking poles, warm clothes and warm hat and gloves. It is also possible to experience a heatwave. If this happens, you will likely require numerous sachets of rehydration salts and will need to carry 3-4L of water. A sun hat will be absolutely essential.

    For a fuller explanation of the kit listed below you can check out Lindsay's tips and tricks for the GR20 here


    • Summer walking boots - these should be waterproof and comfortable. The terrain is very rough and your boots should be in good condition, there is nowhere to buy new kit on the route apart from Corte. We have no objection to you using ‘low cut walking shoes’ if you are used to them
    • Walking Poles – highly recommended. There are very long and steep descents
    • Rucksack – 35-45 litres. Any bigger and it will be too heavy. Check before you arrive that you can fit everything you need for an overnight stay, including your sleeping bag. You may also be asked to carry a small item of group kit. Your rucksack should have a chest and waist strap and you should try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner and cover - either a plastic bag or a roll-top 'Exped' bag. It rarely rains, but when it does it can be torrential!
    • Water container – able to carry at least 4 litres of water. We advise a hydration tube system such as Platypus, plus 1 litre Nalgene bottle. It is difficult to drink enough if you have to remove your rucksack to access a bottle. For some days 2 litres will be sufficient, but other days there are no opportunities to fill up
    • Plastic box – eg Tupperware box. This is for your lunch as some refuges provide a pasta or lentil salad. Approximately 0.6-0.8 litres will be enough. Label it with your name, both on the lid, and the box, and if you are vegetarian make this obvious on the box
    • Fork/spoon/spork - for eating picnic lunches
    • Mobile phone – there is phone reception for a large part of the trip. It is a good idea to have a phone in case of emergency or if you need to leave the group for any reason


    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain showers in the mountains and you must be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - You should be able to take them on and off without removing your boots. We reserve the right to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - walking trousers which allow free movement. You may find it is too hot for trousers, but they offer protection on the days when we walk through the 'macquis' (thorny scrub)
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Gloves – we recommend 2 pairs (a thin pair and a thicker warmer pair)
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops – wicking shirts are better than cotton as they dry faster
    • Fleece jacket/top
    • Socks - technical walking socks (2/3 pairs)
    • Underwear
    • Duvet jacket / or second warm top
    • Thermal leggings - optional, and only needed if a cold day
    • Lightweight footwear for hotel use

    Dormitory nights in Refuges/Gîte 

    • Sleeping bag - a lightweight sleeping bag, which for some parts of the journey, you will need to carry on consecutive days. It can be chilly at night, but a 3-season sleeping bag with a comfort rating of around 3 to 5° Celsius (37-41°F) will be enough. A lightweight one should be around 1kg (2.2lbs) or less
    • Sleeping bag liner – good for warm nights when a sleeping bag is too hot
    • Pillow - a lightweight/compact pillow or inflatable pillow. In some of the refuges pillows are not supplied
    • Ear plugs - strongly advised
    • Head torch - lightweight
    • Book/Music device – optional
    • Spare clothes to change in to in the evening
    • Wash bag – small lightweight mini-bottles/packets. Most airport departure lounges have a good stock of miniature shampoo, toothpaste, soap etc
    • Travel towel – towels are provided in the hotels, but not the refuges/gîtes
    • Toilet paper - bring a roll of toilet paper as many refuges do not provide it


    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses – essential. The sun can be extremely strong in the mountains
    • Small bottle of Antibacterial hand wash
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel as not all the accommodation will supply these
    • Swimwear – Corsica is famous for natural rock pools, so we will swim in these when we can
    • Flip-flops/sandals/crocs – for evenings to give your feet a break from your boots. As light as possible so that you can carry them with you for the nights when we do not have access to luggage
    • Head scarf/bandana to soak in the rivers to cool of - very useful
    • Washing liquid for clothes

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Pain killers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Re-hydration sachets – eg 'Dioralyte'
    • Throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters/tape - we advise that you use 'Strappal' tape
    • Selection of normal plasters/Band-Aid
    • Diarrhoea treatment - eg 'Immodium'
    • Antihistamine tablets
    • Insect repellent – there are mosquitoes at lower elevations
    • Insect - 'Afterbite' to reduce itching when bitten


    • Passport and a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash – most refuges do not accept a credit card
    • Waterproof bag for documents 
    • GHIC - if travelling from UK for medical cover

    Optional items

    • Penknife – to cut up lunch, meat/cheese
    • 'Thermarest' – mattresses are provided on the nights we camp so it is not worth buying a 'Thermarest' for the trip. However, if you have a light one and wish to use it then bring it with you
    • Water purifying tablets – water at refuges is sourced from springs. If you wish to purify your water that is a personal choice
    • 'Buff' – good for extra warmth if the weather changes, or sun protection for your neck on a hot day
    • Camera – spare memory cards
    • Multi plug adaptor – for charging various items
    • Travel kettle/tea bags- most hotels do not provide tea and coffee making facilities
    • Padlock - for your luggage being transferred 
    • Power pack - for charging phones/gps etc
    • Teabags - some accommodation provide kettles in the bedrooms

    Additional Information

    Walking Boots

    We cannot stress enough that the GR20 is rugged underfoot, and if your walking boots are showing signs of wear, the GR20 will almost certainly finish them off. Make sure your boots are in good condition before arriving as there are no gear shops on the hike, apart from a small shop in Corte in the middle of the trip. If you have any new equipment such as a rucksack or walking boots, it is a good idea to have used them a few times before the trip in order to avoid blisters/sore spots.

    Walking Poles

    Walking poles will really help your knees, and if you haven’t used them before, it would be a good idea to practice beforehand so they are not a hindrance. 


    With regard to hydration we keep up a steady pace for much of the day and it can be difficult to take in enough water if you have to remove your pack to access your water bottles, and for this reason we recommend a hydration system. However, having witnessed various disasters over the years with hydration systems, for example, your entire supply of water disappearing due to a leak, we recommend using a hydration system AND water bottles to avoid this situation. There are not always places to fill up water during the day, so on some days we have to carry all of our water for that day.


    1x Medium sized kit bag/holdall or suitcase, preferably on wheels. Keep the weight to 15kg (33lbs) or below. Luggage with wheels is best. Be aware that your luggage is being transported by taxi and the taxi companies only accept one bag per guest. If you have more than one bag we may have to pay extra and if this is the case we would ask you to refund Tracks and Trails. Ensure you are able to carry your luggage upstairs if necessary, as some of the hotels do not have lifts, and you may have to walk across rough ground on campsites with it. Carry enough dry bags/plastic bags to protect the contents of your luggage bag, which on occasion may be left outside. When it does rain it can be torrential and you may find the contents are wet.


    Dinners and lunches are plentiful, but the breakfasts in the more basic accommodation are standard French Refuge issue, ie dry bread and jam. You may want to bring extra items such as dried fruit, energy bars etc. Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mixes are also recommended especially for those with vegetarian, gluten free or celiac diets. Please read the section under 'Trip Information' which refers to 'Food and Water' as it is not easy for remote locations to cater for gluten free or vegan diets. 

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. The single supplement for this trip is £265-£550.

  • We go to great lengths to work with first class guides who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.

    Please note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page. 

    We would like to make it clear that due to the wild and rocky nature of the terrain on the GR20 that your guide also has complete discretion to ask you to leave the trip if your fitness and ability adversely impacts on safety. 

  • Is this trip right for me?

    The GR20 in Corsica is a very tough trek with long walking days in succession.  We think it deserves its reputation as the hardest trek in Europe. You must be fit and accustomed to walking in the mountains.  There is a lot of rocky scrambling where you will use your hands and your feet, and on occasions you need to use fixed equipment such as ladders and chains. With this in mind, it is not a suitable trip for those who suffer from vertigo, nor is it a trip for those who are not sure-footed and confident, as there is more technical terrain than you might think for what is essentially a walking path. 

    The GR20 is quite a remote trek, and it isn’t very easy to “sit-out” for a day if you are feeling tired. As the days are long, we cannot afford to go too slowly (as you may be used to doing on other easier treks).  On the GR20 we have an average of 8h00 of walking each day, and some days are 9h00 to 10h00. We are not going to walk fast, but we need to maintain a pace which we would describe as 'steady' without too many stops. Some of the ascents are long, and the descents steep, and these can be problematic for those with weak knees.

    If for any reason your fitness is not at the suitable level for this trip we reserve the right, for safety reasons, to ask you to take public/private transport to the next possible meeting point with you group. Any costs in this regard will be paid for by you, the client. 

    We have graded the trip challenging:

    "Our toughest trips are those we deem to be ‘challenging’. By this we mean challenging physically and mentally. You need a high level of fitness, considerable previous experience of multi day walking trips, and a good attitude. You should enjoy walking for full days and be prepared to cope with regular ascents/descents of between 1300-1800m (4264-5904ft), and crossing passes at up to 3500m (11,480ft). You need to be able to deal with bad weather and to be able to look after your self in terms of being too cold, too hot, too wet, too tired. You do not need to be an athlete or a super hero, but you do need to know what it is like to walk all day to get to where you are going. You should be able to cope with rough and loose terrain, and deal with exposed sections of paths, and occasional sections of cabling or ladders to assist on steep ground. Expect to walk for up to 9 hours a day."

  • On this point-to-point trip you will have luggage support on all but 2 of the nights, which means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for this trip for guidance on the size of rucksack required. On the nights you are in the mountain huts you will need to carry just a few extra items in your rucksack.

    As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Many of the taxi companies who move your bags impose a 15kg (33lbs) limit and restrict the number of bags simply because they have to unload and reload the vehicle many times each day. If you take more than one bag you may be asked to pay a supplement. Also with regard to weight be aware that you may have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing several flights of stairs as not all hotels have elevators. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.

  • On our GR20 walking trip lunches are included in your trip fee except for Calvi on your arrival day. Your kit list will ask you to bring a plastic 'Tupperware' lunch box and cutlery as you will often be given a pasta or lentil salad as well as other items for lunch. Approximately 0.6-0.8 litres will be adequate. Label it with your name, and if you are vegetarian please make this obvious on the box.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • GR20 – Corsica by Paddy Dillon (A Cicerone Guide)

    Corsica Trekking GR20 by David Abram (Trailblazer Guide)

    Rough Guide or Lonely Planet Guide to Corsica

    Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have some maps of the route then the 1:60,000 Didier Richard maps cover the entire GR20 on two maps – Haute Corse and Corse du Sud.

    If you prefer to have the route in more detail, you need three of the French 1:25,000 IGN maps:

    4149 OT Calvi

    4250 OT Corte and Monte Cinto

    4251 OT Monte d’Oro and Monte Rotondo

    If you would like to order any of these maps in advance then please let us know and we can add them to your order – we can either post them to you, or give them to you at the start of the trip. The price is approximately £15 each for the IGN maps, and £14 each for the Didier Richard 1:60,000 maps, plus postage if applicable.

  • On the island of Corsica the weather during the summer months is normally clear and warm. The snow should have melted by around late June, and July is the hottest month with the least amount of rainfall, with June, August and September also being relatively dry. The temperatures in the summer can range from  5°Celsius  (41°F) to around 30°Celsius (86°F), but note that in July 2013 and 2015 it did reach 36°C (96.8°F).

    It is generally hot and dry, but due to the mountainous nature of the terrain it is not uncommon to have sudden thunder storms, harsh wind, heavy rain, hail and sometimes even snow, so it is important to be prepared for any eventuality.

    At least once per summer we experience unseasonal conditions that really do make every item on the kit list essential. If you do not have the correct kit, our guide may ask you to leave the trip until you have purchased the necessary items. Every year we experience unseasonal snow at least once. It can also rain heavily and temperatures can be erratic, in the mid 30°Celsius (96°F) one week, to below 0°Celsius (32°F) the next. So, if it rains, you will need waterproof jackets AND trousers, and several pairs of gloves. If it snows, you will need decent hiking boots (NOT hiking trainers), walking poles, warm clothes and warm hat and gloves. It's also essential that you can put your waterproof trousers on without removing your boots.

    It is possible to experience several weeks of heatwave at a time. If this happens, you will likely get through numerous sachets of rehydration salts and will need to be carrying 3-4L of water, and a sun hat will be essential.

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

    You will need money for lunch in Calvi, and dinners in Calvi and Corte. For dinner we find that between 25-30 Euros per dinner is sufficient, while 10-15 Euros per day for drinks and snacks should be enough.  For your two week trip you should have between 150-200 Euros in cash. Bottled water, wine, beer and soft drinks are available at almost all of the refuges, and you might find that the hot weather makes you consume more cans of soft drink than would be normal for you. There are cashpoints at Bastia airport, at Calvi and Corte. Credit cards are not accepted in the refuges, and there will be no money-changing facilities throughout the trip so please do not bring cash in another currency, nor travellers cheques, as you will not be able to use them. Please note that arriving on a Sunday, the banks will be closed.

  • Food

    On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes.

    The breakfasts on this trip are continental style and usually consist of a hot drink with bread and jam. Some people find they prefer to supplement their breakfasts with other snacks. The picnic lunches are usually tasty, and plentiful, varying from sandwiches to local meats and cheeses to pasta or lentil salad and a piece of fruit. The dinners are hearty, but basic 3-course meals, perfect for hard days in the mountains.

    If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. However, a love of omelettes will be necessary! Corsican mountain refuges/gites have not fully grasped the concept of vegetarian food, and you will almost always be served an omelette, with varying accompaniments. Sometimes they will give you fish, so do remember to tell us whether fish is acceptable. We try to ask for different dishes such as pasta and tomato sauce, but this is met with reluctance. We recommend that you bring with you: nuts, dried fruit, crackers, oatcakes and extra snacks.

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this.  Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets, but in remote refuges in the mountains this is difficult. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/100 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    Due to rising temperatures in the summer months some mountain huts are having to restrict water usage. Which may mean that you are unable to shower in some mountain refuges.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

    We ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • We work with experienced and professional guides who are passionate about their work. Over the years we have always strived to pursue adventurous routes in special places where you can truly experience the pleasure of a long distance hike which takes you into the wild mountains and off the beaten track. With all our trips we work with qualified International Mountain Leaders who have spent years training to earn the right to work in the mountains. Tracks and Trails is a small company more interested in the enjoyment of our clients than making huge profits, and as a result we tend to have small groups, experienced leaders and happy clients.

  • Tracks and Trails pays guides/instructors a fair and appropriate fee for their professional service. However, if you feel your guide/instructor has provided an excellent service that went 'above and beyond' then it is at the discretion of each guest whether to tip or not.  Guests will often give a tip of between 2 - 5 per cent of the total value of their trip. It is entirely up to you and any gesture will no doubt be appreciated no matter the size. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

What's Included

  • The services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Seven nights accommodation: 4 nights in hotels, 1 nights in gîte, 1 night in a refuge & 1 night camping
  • Evening meals, except Calvi - Day 1, Corte - Day 7
  • All transport including airport transfers to and from Bastia
  • Luggage transfers on all but 2 nights
  • All packed lunches

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Evening meals in Calvi and Corte
  • Lunch in Caliv on Arrival Day
  • Transport, accommodation, expenses; if you cannot do the hikes
  • Personal drinks and snacks


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Grade: Expert


At a Glance

From Price £2195
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 2352m (7714ft)
Countries Visited France
Meet In Bastia Airport, Corsica
View all Walking Holidays

Hiking the GR20: Seen from the air!

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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