The complete guide to GR20 Corsica

The GR20 is a famous hiking trail in Corsica. It is considered by hikers to be one of the most difficult long-distance trails in Europe, and attracts walkers from all over the world every year. The GR20 crosses the Isle of Beauty from north to south, through the Corsican Regional Nature Park, and offers breathtaking views of varied and magnificent landscapes.

Preparing for the GR20

Before venturing onto the GR20, careful preparation is essential to ensure a successful experience. To plan your trip properly, start by choosing the dates of your hike and booking the refuges in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. The GR20 is very busy during the summer months, so you need to plan ahead if you want to have space in the refuges.

The GR20 is reputed to be one of the toughest hiking trails in Europe, so make sure you’re in good physical condition by training regularly with specific strength-building exercises for mountain hiking. Finally, don’t forget to equip yourself properly with appropriate clothing, sturdy hiking boots and all the equipment you need for your safety, without carrying a bag that’s too heavy. Never forget that weight is your worst enemy on a trek.

The stages of the GR20 - Northern Section

The northern part of the GR20 is reputed to be the most demanding, but also the most spectacular in terms of scenery. Here are just a few of the first essential steps:

  • Stage 1: Calenzana to Ortu di u Piobbu – Begin your adventure in Calenzana and climb to the Ortu di u Piobbu refuge, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf of Calvi. Please note that in the hot season, this stage may be closed due to the risk of fire. Find out more about this step.
  • Stage 2: Ortu di u Piobbu to Carrozzu – Continue your journey through the Cirque de Bonifatu and down to the Carrozzu refuge, surrounded by majestic ridge landscapes. Find out more about this step.
  • Stage 3: Carrozzu to Asco Stagnu
  • Stage 4: Asco Stagnu to Tighjettu
  • Stage 5: Tighjettu to Ciottulu di i Mori
  • Stage 6: Ciottulu di i Mori to Manganu
  • Stage 7: Manganu to Petra Piana
  • Stage 8: Petra Piana to Onda
  • Stage 9: L’Onda to Vizzavona

The stages of the GR20 - Southern Section

  • Stage 10: Vizzavona to E Capanelle
  • Stage 11: E Capanelle to Prati
  • Stage 12: Prati to Usciolu
  • Stage 13: Usciolu to Asinau
  • Stage 14: Asinau to Matalza
  • Stage 15: Matalza to I Paliri
  • Stage 16: I Paliri to Conca

Our personalized hiking souvenir posters

Summary table of GR20 stages:

StageAscent (m)Negative ascent (m)Distance (km)
1. Calenzana to Ortu di Piobbu136056012
2. Ortu di Piobbu in Carrozzu7909206.5
3. Carrozzu in Asco Stagnu13606407.5
4. Asco Stagnu to Tighjettu13607209
5. Tighjettu to Ciottulu di i Mori73033010
6. Ciottulu di i Mori in Manganu82062015
7. Manganu to Petra Piana6903709.5
8. Petra Piana at Onda6207906.5
9. L’Onda in Vizzavona80013109
10. Vizzavona to E Capanelle111046014
11. E Capanelle in Prati62037016
12. Prati to Usciolu6805109
13. Usciolu to Asinau89093016
14. Asinau to Matalza8207209.5
15. Matalza to Conca620101013
gr20 les etapes rando montagne

The distance of the GR20

The GR20 crosses Corsica from north to south over a distance of 180km divided into 15 stages, with a positive vertical drop of around 10,000 meters.

Practical tips for a successful GR20

For a successful experience on the GR20, here’s our advice:

  • Manage hydration and nutrition: Drink water regularly and carry energy snacks to maintain your energy levels throughout the hike.
  • Respect the environment: Protect nature by not leaving litter behind and by respecting local rules for preserving the ecosystem.
  • Listen to your body: Listen to your body and take breaks if necessary to avoid injury or exhaustion.
Shopping Cart