You can take the ferry from mainland France or Italy to the island of Corsica, but would only recommend this if you are travelling with a car as public transport is not frequent.
If you decide to fly you will travel to Bastia airport where we will collect you on the Sunday. You can also choose to arrive the evening before and meet the group at Bastia airport for the transfer to Calvi. Alternatively, you may prefer to fly direct to Calvi and meet at the group hotel, particularly those coming from the UK, as there is a direct flight from Stansted to Calvi every Sunday.
Arrival at Bastia Airport
We have included a single-timed transfer from Bastia Airport to Corte on the trip Arrival day. If your flight is significantly delayed you may need to take a private transfer and it is worth checking your travel insurance will cover this journey or 1h10. Bastia has the largest choice of flights from various European destinations.
For those joining at the airport, you will meet the group between 1100 hrs - 1300 hrs, depending on flight times. We will let you know the meeting time when we have everyone's flight details, usually about two weeks before departure. If everyone arrives on an early flight, we will depart early.
There is a choice of airports in terms of flying 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 gives various options.
Bastia Airport is 17 km (10.6 miles) from the town centre. If you’re staying near the airport, then we recommend Hotel Poretta, Hotel Le Lido or Chez Walter. Or Hotel Pineto in Biguglia, next to the sea, which is 9km (5.6 miles) from the airport.
Buses run (infrequently) from the airport to Bastia centre.
Departure from Bastia Airport at the end of the trip
At the end of the trip, we include an early single-timed transfer to take us to Bastia Airport and you can take any flight departing after mid-day. Note there is not a great deal to do at Bastia airport (and no lounge), so if you have a long wait at the airport, we would recommend booking a day room at the Hotel Poretta (the nearest hotel to the airport, and it has an outdoor pool).
Departure from Figari Airport
We would recommend looking at flights from Figari airport at the end of the trip. It is a lot nearer to Porto Vecchio (25 minute drive instead of 2.5 hour transfer). The only reason we don’t offer it for our group departure is because historically Bastia has offered a much greater choice of flights than Figari. In summer 2022 for travellers from the UK. we would suggest Figari will be a better option than Bastia as there are direct flights from Figari to both London Gatwick and London Heathrow, and NO direct flights from Bastia to the UK. A taxi from Porto Vecchio to Figari costs around 40€ - 55€. We can help co-ordinate taxi shares for those who would like to take this option.
Travel in / to Corsica - General
If you are doing anything different from our itinerary, such as extending your holiday and staying on in Corsica, it is worth noting that the public transport system isn't as frequent as one might hope, and that taxis are expensive. A good resource for onward travel is the Corsica bus website.
If anyone would prefer a private transfer from Bastia Airport (or town centre) to Calvi, just let us know and we will arrange this for you. The approximate cost is £300. Note that if your flight is significantly delayed and you miss the group transfer, you may need to take a private transfer: it is worth ensuring your travel insurance covers this.
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.
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.
Dormitory nights in Refuges/Gîte
Personal First Aid
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 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 £465.
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.
The southern section of the GR20 is easier than the northern section with its precipitous rocky ridges and rocky scrambles. In the south there is less exposure and the days are easier, but the southern section is still a tough trek and very challenging. It is an excellent opportunity to experience Corsica and if you find the trip within your 'comfort zone' you could perhaps tackle the northern section the following year?
You must be fit and accustomed to walking in the mountains. There are some rocky sections where you will use your hands and your feet, and one occasion when you will use a chain as security while ascending a rocky section. 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.
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 each night, 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.
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 your arrival day and in Bonifacio on your rest 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 route 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:
4252 OT Monte Renoso
4253 OT Petreto-Bicchiasano and Zicavo
4253 ET Aiguilles de Bavella and Solenzara
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 dinners in Corte and Porto Vecchio. 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 one 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 Corte and Bonifacio. 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.
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.
Generally, in the towns tap water is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating you must not drink the water. At all times you can ask your guide/instructor for advice. 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:
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.
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.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|LCS1||Sat 29 Jun||Sun 07 Jul||
Sat 29 Jun - Sun 07 Jul
|Price: £2525||Spaces available||Book|
|LCS2||Sat 07 Sep||Sun 22 Sep||
Sat 07 Sep - Sun 22 Sep
|Price: £2525||Spaces available||Book|
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|LCS1||Sat 28 Jun||Sun 06 Jul||
Sat 28 Jun - Sun 06 Jul
|Price: £2629||Spaces available||Book|
|LCS2||Sat 13 Sep||Sun 21 Sep||
Sat 13 Sep - Sun 21 Sep
|Price: £2629||Spaces available||Book|