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“GR20 in 6 days”
Review of GR20

Ranked #71 of 330 things to do in Corsica
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“GR20 in 6 days”
Reviewed 3 July 2013

We fast packed / ran a sections of the trail finished just a couple of days ago... the most challenging thing we have done for sure, mainly due to the fact we were doing 2 or 3 stages a day. Our last stage was 53km due to being held up by storms the previous day! However, with some good general endurance fitness it can be done comfortably in 7 and at a push 6, - 5 is for the truly hard core! :-)
Some good food along the way - to be fair we would have hoovered anything up! 6 Euros a Beer is well worth it after a hard slog....stage 7 was the trickiest for us, although the cirque needs care too, stage 7 had a lot of snow - so without poles and running shoes, this was a little sketch... next time we will bring trekking poles .... not for the faint hearted but don't make the mistake that so many seemed to have made and bring an enourmous 20kg pack..... our packs were 6.5kg.... the way forward! Bon chance

Visited June 2013
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7 Thank DougBanks7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Albany, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“American's perspective”
Reviewed 2 July 2013

My husband and I did the GR20 June 2013. We started June 12th and planned about 14 days to hike it. We planned to go north to south, but when we arrived in Corsica we discovered a snow storm had delivered a ton of snow especially to the higher northern peaks on May 22nd, so we made some new French friends who we so kind to give us a ride to start at the south end instead (they have the same original plans as us). The Cirque was supposed to be especially treacherous with snow and we heard that a woman had been killed while we were there and several others injured. We spoke a little French, enough to figure out that many people coming from the north were taking the bus around about two stages to skip the Cirque section. We hiked right up to this part, through parts with quite a bit of snow the last couple days, and then I injured my leg so instead of taking the bus around the Cirque we bailed the last 3 stages in the north. We were astonished that at this point many people were all of a sudden changing their minds and starting to go through the Cirque instead of around it, since the snow was apparentle lessening. Everyone we talked to from the north had different opinions about the safety and we were there for enjoyment, not to prove anything to anyone, so we were happy to enjoy 9 full days of hiking and then since I hurt my knee we had a difficult time hiking out as it was (had to go down about 1200 m steep rocks with my pack on) to get down to the nearest town.
There was a ton of rock scrambling and hiking along scree and exposed areas. You will not enjoy it if you are not okay with a perpetual "view" right below you. Also, we tried to combine stages right in the beginnning and found that we hiked slower than our English guide book (published by Cicerone) and had a little trouble not reaching a place to sleep at night because of that. Better to plan extra days in and be cautious and take your time.
We cooked some of our own food that we purchased at the refugees, which was the same food at every refuge--white sliced bread, tomato sauce, pork and beans, tuna in oil or tomato sauce, cookies/chocolates, etc. We also ate at a few which was about 19 or 20 Euros per person and tasty especially if you like cheese a lot...
We filtered and chemical treated every drop of water we drank so that we were completely cov ered. There are animals running around all over the place. It wasn't until we went to a small town off the trail that I got food poisining at a restaurant (in Levie).
The views are magnificent. I took prophylatic action against blisters and still got some and I know my blister spots like night and day. It is a difficult hike! Carry as little weight as possible! That was another plus of a water filter, because especially in the south there were quite a few rivers and we could carry minimal water and refill in 5 minutes.
It did get quite cold at night and was windy at the refugees. Showers are glacial. I skipped a few times and was glad to have some body wipes instead.
We didn't meet any Americans on the trail until we hiked the entire South and were into the North section. And the locals speak very little English although some of the other hikers did and were very nice.
Definitely bring a camera! We didn't see anyone else taking oodles of pictures like we were, but whatever! We bought trekking poles at the grocery near Calvi when we arrived, as well as ethanol for our camp stove.
And sunblock and TP--1 solid roll was about right per person, although you can buy it at some of the refugees. I found my bowels just kind of stopped working on a dry food diet....so I didn't use as much as I thought, although my nose ran the entire time so it did come in handy!
Good luck!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Lana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“GR20 Costs”
Reviewed 8 October 2012

I completed the GR20 from north to south in September 2012. As I couldn’t find any other blogs accurately describing the budget required for the food at the refuges, here are my notes on costs and other comments for the benefit of future GR20ers.

Evening Meals can be purchased at all refuges apart from the Refuge d'Asco Stagnu (see below) for €16-20 per person. This comprises soup, main course (e.g. pasta, sausage/lentils) and a sweet (e.g. cake, cheese).

Breakfast can be purchased at all refuges apart from the Refuge d'Asco Stagnu (see below) for €6-10 per person. This comprises bread, jam and tea or coffee.

A much less expensive option is to purchase food (available in at the supermarket in Calenzana) and at most refuges (see below) and cook it yourself on the gas stoves that are freely available in the refuges. Cup, pots, pans, plates and cutlery (apart from knives) are available at all refuges so there is no need to bring your own. Recommend that you bring 2-3 weeks supply of coffee or tea with you (e.g. in coffee sachets/tea bags) plus jam/marmalade cartons as required. You will then only need to purchase bread in the refuges for your breakfast. Don’t forget to bring a lighter or matches (for 2-3 weeks) for the gas stoves.

The refuges mostly sell basic foods, e.g. bread, pasta, cheese, tins of ham and tuna, each at around €3-5.

The refuges sell drinks, e.g. local red wine (€6-8 per 75cl bottle), cold beer (€4-6 for 50cl, €3-4 for 33cl), coke (€3 for 33cl), etc.

The Refuge d'Asco Stagnu in Haut Asco doesn’t do meals (you can order them from the hotel nearby) but does have an excellent store to purchase meals for cooking, coffee sachets, etc. for the next few days.

There are also good stores in the following refuges:
• Refuge de Tighjettu
• Refuge de Pietra Piana
• Refuge de l'Onda
• Refuge d'Usciolu

The other refuges have very limited stores.

For a treat, I recommend:
• The Gîte U Fugone in the Bergeries de Capanelle does an excellent demi-pension for €35 per person.
• The Hôtel Monte d’Oro in Vizzavona does fantastic evening meals, e.g. entrecôte steak for €18 and a wonderful buffet breakfast for €15.

Credit cards may be used in the SPAR supermarket in Calenzana (not in the SPAR in Calvi) and in the Hôtel Monte d’Oro. Everywhere else, payment is in cash only.

PS: The GR20 is a tough, rough, gruelling marathon but it is also a wonderful walking experience through magnificent scenery and should be on the list of all serious mountain walkers.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
63 Thank TA_Member36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Amazing - don't be phased by the 'toughest trail in Europe'-stories!”
Reviewed 26 July 2012

I just got back from hiking the GR20 with a friend, and it was an incredible experience. We're both in our 20s, reasonably fit, had done lots of hiking before but the last time was over a year ago, used to walking a lot but not in the mountains. Before starting I read a lot of blogs and reports on the trek, which all seem to agree on the fact that it is terribly difficult and you need years and years of training and experience. I was really scared I wouldn't be able to do it after reading all those stories, but really, it was not as bad as the internet makes it sound.
As long as you have a relatively good level of fitness, a good deal of optimism and stubbornness and a not-too-heavy pack, you should be able to do it! The scenery is amazing and the views are incredibly rewarding. Yes, there is a lot of climbing to do, but once you reach a saddle or a summit you'll know exactly why you did it;)
It is true that meals in huts are a little expensive, but one has to keep in mind that all supplies, food and other, are brought in using pack horses or mules, or sometimes even backpacks, from the nearest village, which may be as far as 4 or 5 hours away. That should put the prices into perspective a little. We carried a bunch of dehydrated meals and complemented those with Corsican cheese (available everywhere), bread (available sometimes) and the occasional omelette, served in some of the huts. Overall, we may have spent a bit more money on drinks and stuff than we would have elsewhere, but on the other hand there is absolutely nothing else to spend money on in the mountains so all in all it was still a cheaper holiday than if we'd, say, gone to the beach.

In summary: if you like hiking, have the perseverance to go through with a 15-day trek and are at least relatively fit, don't get scared away by all the fanatics blogging about how they started training a year in advance, just go and do it! If it doesn't work out, there's always the amazing Corsican beaches;)

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
29 Thank MariavV89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A little critic”
Reviewed 13 September 2011

I haven't walked GR20 myself; but I was in one of the "gite's" the shelter homes so to speak for hikers. The whole thing is so commercialized that I promised myself not to do GR20. The "gite"s are expensive because they do not have a competition; ok; let us have only one to protect the nature but why should they abuse that? I mean what is this not to sell bread or coffee or water in their little shops? That means you have to eat their 20 euro diner menu. If all the beds in the gite are taken; then you sleep in the kitchen. OK! this is adventure and people know that it is not 5 star hotel comfort. But why charging people the same amount as if they had a bed? All of these things are inacceptable for anyone who does not like to be treated like a fool. May be high season should be avoided and then it will be ok. but anyway; the gite we stayed; some of the staff were so rude that it made me think what is all about? Hiking? seeing nature? going introvert and think? or paying for sleeping in the kitchen floor and paying too much for everything just because you have no other option...

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
15 Thank heatmiserIstanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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