Corsica GR20 North, Vizzavona – Ajaccio

Corsica

Holiday overview

Destination

Corsica


Type

Guided


Difficulty

Strenuous


Month

Available all year


Price

£ 745 pp


Duration

6 nights


Contact Us

This is the guided North section of the GR20.   Fixed English speaking departure dates for 2016: 18th June, 16th July, 13th August & 17th September.   The GR20 traverses the island diagonally following the high granite barrier of mountains that form the natural boundary between the two regions of Corsica. The trail offers some […]

This is the guided North section of the GR20.

 

Fixed English speaking departure dates for 2016: 18th June, 16th July, 13th August & 17th September.

 

The GR20 traverses the island diagonally following the high granite barrier of mountains that form the natural boundary between the two regions of Corsica. The trail offers some fantastic scenery, along with an insight into the authentic and traditional working mountain communities. You may meet the last of the shepherds that still follow the age-old ‘transhumance’, whereby they pass the summer months with their flocks on the high fresh pastures and the winters down by the coast.

 

You stay in a variety of different accommodations, a mix of camps, refuges, gites, or shepherds cabins, situated in places of exceptional beauty. Your evening meals are prepared for you.The GR20 is for walkers who have a very good fitness level. It does not require any climbing techniques or special skills, but you need to be able to walk with confidence over a variety of rugged terrains and to have a head for heights.

 

The trail winds through some incredible mountain terrain, over high ridges, down deep chasms and bare granite slopes. There are many steep ascents and descents and the ambience is strictly alpine. An exceptional walk, reputed as the best and most challenging in Europe. Please note that due to the nature of this walk we cannot offer it for one person walking alone.

 

Price:
£745 per person

It is possible to upgrade to double rooms for 3 nights along the route for £125.00 per person sharing a room.

 

Included:

  • Accommodation on full board
    • Please note that accommodation along this route is basic – at several of the stops there will be no WC or showers.
  • Internal transfers
  • Backpack is transferred between stops when possible (see Additional Info)
  • Travel dossier with maps and route notes.
  • Guide

 

Not Included:

  • Flights to Corsica
  • Holiday insurance
  • Drinks
  • Lunch on day 1
  • Evening meal on day 7
  • Additional activities
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.

 

Departure Dates:

Fixed English speaking departure dates for 2016: 18th June, 16th July, 13th August & 17th September.

Day 1:  Ajaccio to Vizzavona
The holiday starts on Saturday afternoon in Ajaccio. Our meeting point is the ferry terminal. The first transfer will take us directly to Vizzavona where we check into our first accommodation. The journey time from Ajaccio to Vizzavona is just 1h30, train or bus. You will have an introductory briefing and first evening meal in Vizzavona.
Overnight: Gite
Access to your main luggage tonight.

 

Day 2:  Vizzavona to l’Onda
This is the first section of the GR20 north. You make your way steadily uphill, walking alongside the Agnone torrent. The highest point of the day is the Muratello breche at 2100m altitude. This gives way to a splendid ridge, that offers daunting views in all directions. Don’t be surprised if from time to time you are sharing the trail with goats and sheep, this is traditionally an island of shepherds. The trail drops abruptly down leading to the shepherd’s cabin called l’Onda.
Distance: 10km
Duration: 6h00.
Altitude gain: +1220m
Descent: 710m.
Overnight: Camping at l’Onda private shepherds cabin.

 

Day 3:  l’Onda to Grotelle
From l’Onda a short uphill pull takes you back to the ridge above the refuge. The trail is rocky and the going slow. After 4 hours you arrive at Petra Piana for a break. Continuing on, the terrain is almost lunar. You pass a mountain col and continue on the high route. The views are spectacular, with Corte, the island’s historic capital in the distance. We leave the GR to plunge down the Cirque des Cascades, this wild descent brings us into the Restonica valley and our nightstop, Grotelle.
Overnight Camping.

Access to your main luggage tonight.
Distance: 14km
Duration: 7h00
Altitude gain: +1080m
Descent: -1150m
Overnight: Camping beside private cabin. Toilet, hot shower, copious food and Corsican hospitality.

 

 

Day 4:  Grotelle to Camputile
From Grotelle, we walk up past two superb lakes, firstly, Melo lake and higher up, Capitello lake. These high altitude glacier lakes are a lovely vision and make for good rest and relax opportunities. We take a steep corridor up to the GR20 ridge and stay high for some time. The high point is the Breche de Capitello at 2200m. Once across this point it’s a steep rubbly descent through a beautiful rocky granite landscape. Continue down to the Camputile plateau and our private shepherd’s cabin where we stay in tents.
Distance: 8.5km
Duration: 6h00
Altitude gain: +940m
Descent: -720m
Overnight: Camping at private shepherd’s cabin
No access to your main luggage tonight.

 

 

Day 5:  Camputile to Castel
We take the trail gently up hills to Lac de Nino. This lake is surrounded by green spongy turf and runnels of water. It’s a favourite grazing spot for animals.
Distance: 12km.
Duration: 5h30.
Altitude gain: +500m
Descent: -680m
Overnight: Camping, gite or hotel at Castel
Access to your main luggage tonight.

 

Day 6:  Castel to Tighiettu Refuge
We walk through a pine tree forest, up the Golu valley to a cabin called Radule. The GR20 crosses the river, where there is a huge rock pool, which is a great place for a dip before continuing up to Ciottolu di Mori. This refuge is nestling between two big mountains, and at 2000m altitude it is the highest on the trail. A steep plunge down the other side leads to the cabin of Vallone. Time for a swim before the last pull up to Tighiettu refuge.
Distance: 13km
Duration: 7h00
Altitude gain: +900m
Descent: -660m

 

Day 7:  Tighiettu to Haut Asco – Ajaccio
From your nightstop you walk up past the foothills of the Monte Cinto and past the park refuge: the climb is steep, rocky and steady. After a couple of hours, you arrive at Bocca Minua (2218m), the entrance way to the daunting Cirque de la Solitude. This cirque is spectacular, the path literally plunges down to the depths of this wonderful chasm. There are chains in some places that will help you on the difficult bits. Once in the base of the cirque, the trail pulls up and out abruptly the other side to the exit pass. Once out of the cirque and back in the sun, the trail goes downhill all the way to the old ski station of Haut-Asco. At the end of the trek, time for a drink, to collect luggage and finally take the bus down the valley to Ponte Leccia and back to Ajaccio (3h00)
Distance: 7km
Duration: 7h00
Altitude gain: +880m
Descent: -1100m

PRICE

£745 per person based on two people sharing.

 

ACCOMMODATION:

6 nights accommodation in mix of camps, refuges, gites, or shepherds cabins.

 

INCLUDED:

Full board accommodation, transportation as necessary within the programme, luggage transfers (except day 7), route instructions and maps, emergency back-up.

 

GETTING THERE:

By air to Ajaccio  airport. There are also numerous flights to Bastia airport further North. Private transfers are available from Bastia to Ajaccio.

There is also the option to take a scenic local train from Bastia to Ajaccio (between 4 and 5 hours) which costs approx. 35 Euros per person.

 

What to take:

Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sunblock/cream, compass, torch, first-aid kit.

 

Insurance:

We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.
Contact us now to book this walk or make an enquiry.