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“GR20 South to North - 10 Days”
Review of GR20

Ranked #111 of 385 things to do in Corsica
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I just came back from a south to north trip on the GR20 in early September. We took 10 days and while the double stage days we picked were long, they were not particularly difficult for the most part. I highly suggest doing the entire route if you have the time and I think we could have comfortable completed it in 8-9 days without feeling too rushed. The scenery was great and the south allows for a lot more solitude, at least at this time of year. The weather was also never too hot and we only had 3 rain days but never enough to hinder our progress or dampen our morale. I highly suggest to bring more cash with you than you think you will need. The huts are expensive! I also suggest camping or renting a tent, as it provides more solitude. I recommend south to north because you don't get stuck in large crowds and I felt like there was a lot more to do in Calvi post trip. The beaches in Porto-Vecchio are not as easily accessible.

For a detailed trip report with timing, elevation, and distance check out https://jamieroselevin.squarespace.com/adventure/2013/9/20/gr20-day-1 and scroll through to see the day by day including info on Porto-Vecchio and Calvi.

23  Thank JRKuhar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 26 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2013

I am regular visitor for the Walking trails in Corsica. This year on account of the problems being experienced on the Northern part of the route I chose to head South after arriving to Poretta Bastia to begin the walk from Conca which is the finishing village for those beginning in the North.
Set off from Conca camping on the 4th of June,2013 and headed Northwards with the full expectation that the snow would be 'thinned out' by the time that reached the area around Petra Piana to Manganu which is along with the Cirque de Solitude are the two high sections where the snow would be most problematic. Since I was travelling with full tent and camping kit the addition of winter gear, to use on maybe a couple sections, this would have made my rucksack even heavier.
A few patches of old snowfields were crossed above Asinao heading up to the Monte Alcudina Col on day three. No further snowfields until the Muratello crossing, above refuge l'Onda, on the 11th, of June. A few further small patches of snow on the crete leading to Petra Piana refuge. On the 13th,June, as expected the traces of winter were in evidence soon after leaving the refuge and this continued mainly on snow until through to the Breche de Capitellu, above the lac of the same name , and up to the highest point on the route Bocca a e Punta. Further big snow slopes all the way from the Bocca down to where I could get onto the path leading to Manganu. No further areas of snow until reaching Bocca Minuta, above the Cirque,from berg Vallone. A few sections of neve remained in the cirque both descending and going up to the Bocca Tumasginesca which gave access to along area of snow before gaining the path down to Haut Ascu on the 15th, June. Fine very warm weather for the final three stages down to Calinzana which I reached on the 18th. A very fine journey through the beautiful mountains of Corse.
Since Calinzana is the starting place for both the GR20 and the Mare e Monti nord there are opportunities for a change of plans if weather or conditions are against going on the high ground. In fact from the MM Nord via Bonifatu all of the GR routes on the island can be accessed. Mare a Mare Nord at Evisa, and using a bus ride through Ajaccio and Porticcio the MM Centre and the Mare e Monti Sud which has a connection with the MM Sud at Burgo gite.
There is plenty of scope on this island for many years of walking. :-)

8  Thank gaffr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

I was part of a group of 4 friends walking North to South starting in Calezana on June 9th 2013. On arrival at Calvi we got a taxi to the camp site in Calezana. Lots of amenities, kitchen and good showers. From there we walking to the Refuge at Caruzzu. Stony, cold shower and the rain didn't help.
Great days walking from there though pretty hairy at times. The chains helped us cross the Spasmata gorge. Up the wall of snow and then up some more before a long descent, more snow, forest till we got dry at the Haut Asco ex ski resort. The Cirque de Solitude and prior stages were either closed or only accessible with crampons and ice axes. We spent the next day in Corte before resuming the trail the following day.
We were off the trail so a taxi from Corte to get back to the trail up to Petra Piana. What a refuge. Great climb up to the 2000m camp site. Basic, but great. What a view especially the stars at night. Next day down and across to L'Onda. Nice flat camp site, local donkey and lots of goats. Nice terrace bar. Costs were a bit restrictive. 6 -6.50 euros for a large can of the lovely local Pietra beer. Camping 7 euros a pitch. I took my own food.
So another great ascent and a massive down across three snow ledges down through the woods at the end to Vizzavona. Stony campsite. Good facilities. Up and up to Capenella. Limited camping pitches. Next to Uliscoli. Very windy. We hired a two man tent here. One toilet one shower, basic. From here to Prati. Lovely flat site with great views, lots of space, one of my favourites. From here down to Pairelli. A long walk where we doubled up. Hot now in the southern section. Good site and good facilities if a little spread out. Final stage of the walk to Conca and the GR20 bar at the end of an excellent trip.
Advice would be take enough money. A stick was a good idea for the descents. My bag was very heavy, probably too much food. If you can afford to eat at a refuge do so, limits the amount of food you need to take. Wear boots. Nice to have something else to change into in the evenings though. One set of clothes but it was wet, cold and very hot so cover all bases. I would do this again definitely.

4  Thank Ben P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

7  Thank DougBanks7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!

4  Thank Lana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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