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The Grande Randonnée 20 trail crosses Corsica from Calenzana village in the heart of Balagne, above Calvi, in the northwest, to Conca, a small village perched above Porto-Vecchio in the southeast of the island. It can be considered as divided into two distinct parts: Northern Corsica and Southern Corsica, separated at the Vizzavone pass, approximately halfway through the route.

It's called Fra li monti

It's called 'Fra li monti' ('through the mountains'). Its marking is white and red like all GR trails.
One of the most hiking trails in Europe but also one of the most difficult. Nearly 200km through the mountains and 15,000 meters of cumulative elevation gain across the island of beauty, between steep mountains, alpine pastures, plateaus, and picturesque villages.
You should plan for about 16 days to complete it.
You will need to prepare your trek well!
It's called Fra li monti

What is the most favorable time to embark on this adventure?

Contrary to popular belief, the most favorable months are July and August. Despite higher temperatures, trails and refuges are quiet, even too quiet... The atmosphere is relaxed at the stops, there is time to meet the refuge keepers and fully enjoy the surroundings.
But it must be admitted that temperatures are milder in June or September. That's probably the period I would choose.
In winter (from February to April), only experienced cross-country skiers with a high mountain guide can attempt the adventure. The winter variant of the northern part of the GR20 is known as the Alta Strada, the famous Corsican High Route.
What is the most favorable time to embark on this adventure?

From North to South or from South to North?

It's better to start strong and therefore tackle the most difficult stages in the North and finish smoothly, with less elevation gain in the South. If you want to test your lungs and feet, it will be preferable to start from the South. In addition to starting smoothly, you will have the sun at your back to walk, which is definitely more comfortable!

Where to sleep?
The mountain refuges along the GR 20 offer basic accommodation and food, accommodating between 25 and 50 people. They are managed by the Regional Natural Park of Corsica (PNRC). It is mandatory to book your nights at the refuge or your tent pitches. The downside: less flexibility on your route.
In the case where you want to remain free from these constraints, you will have to accept the hazards of non-booking (usually prohibited), namely the least comfortable pitches if there are places available, and meals. Otherwise, you still have the option of complete autonomy... with your own equipment!

From North to South or from South to North?

What equipment do you need for the GR 20?

If you plan to sleep in mountain refuges:
Bring a medium-weight sleeping bag (5°C) and possibly a lightweight mattress, waterproof jacket, rain poncho, fleece, t-shirts, shorts, pants, 2 pairs of socks and underwear, a small flexible water bottle + a 1.5-liter water bottle, snacks + picnic for the day, maps & topography for variants and peaks, camera... approximately 8 to 10kg of equipment.
For adventurers who want to go fully autonomous:
Bring a bivouac tent < 1.5 kg + sleeping bag -5°C, mattress, waterproof jacket, fleece, rain poncho, a change of socks and underwear (washed every evening), a flexible water bottle + 1 or 2 1-liter bottles, stove + gas bottles + cookware + freeze-dried food (morning and evening meals), picnic purchased at refuges, mini-pharmacy, and walking sticks, approximately 20-25 kg.
Remember that this hike in Corsica goes through high mountains and requires good physical condition and self-confidence to walk on a variety of rugged terrain.
Don't go unprepared: gather information from multiple sources, and at the very least, have a topographic guide.

The main stages of the GR20 trail are as follows:
- Calenzana
- Ortu di u Piobbu Refuge
- Carrozzu Refuge
- Asco-Stagnu Refuge (Haut-Asco)
- Tighjettu Refuge
- Ciottulu di i Mori Refuge
- Manganu Refuge
- Pietra Piana Refuge - Onda Refuge
- Vizzavona
- Capannelle Sheepfolds - Ciottulu di i Morige de Prati Refuge
- Usciolu Refuge
- Asinau Refuge

What to see along the GR 20?
The GR20 itself is a beautiful tourist and natural attraction, attracting several thousand hikers each year. But along the way, you can stop to visit some beautiful sites in Corsica:
Cirque de la Solitude, a steep and difficult part of the 4th stage, where you'll need to climb using chains bolted to the rock.
Lake Nino, a glacial lake amidst green meadows, 6th stage.
Lake Melo and Lake Capitello, two other glacial lakes surrounded by steep rocks during the 8th stage.
Monte d'Oro, the 12th highest peak in Corsica on the 9th stage.
Monte Incudine, the highest mountain in southern Corsica with beautiful views of the Coscione Plateau on the 13th stage.
Aiguilles de Bavella, spectacular cliffs during the 14th stage.
The record was broken last June by Corsican trail runner Lambert Santelli. At 34 years old, this ultra-trail runner from Lavatoghju set the record for the crossing of the mythical GR20 in 30h 25min.

So, are you ready to embark on the adventure?

What equipment do you need for the GR 20?

It is highly recommended to book your excursion as soon as possible, as spaces are limited to 12 per vessel. In case of bad weather, we either reschedule the booking based on availability or provide a full refund.
Not suitable for pregnant women and people who have undergone back surgery.

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