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The GR20 - The most famous hiking trail in Corsica

If you are used to hiking, especially in Europe, it is almost impossible you never heard of the GR20, often designed as the most difficult hiking trail in Europe. Every year, thousands of seasoned hikers decide to throw themselves into the adventure, and sometimes, they don’t know what they are up to. Indeed, the GR20 is a real “star” in the to-do list of many hikers… or not! It is something you dream about, even though you are not used to long-distance hikes.
But why is this trail particularly famous? What makes it so legendary, and often considered as the toughest long-distance hike in Europe? Is it truly the most incredible trekking experience you read about everywhere? Here are a few answers. 

The GR20 - The most famous hiking trail in Corsica

The GR20: what is it?

The GR20 crosses the island of Corsica diagonally, starting from Calenzana in the North and ending in Conca in the South (and vice versa, depending on the way you decide to do it). It follows the mountains that divide the island in two for almost 200km, which is why the path often leads you above 2000 meters above the sea level. The GR20 in numbers, it's: 

  • About 180km long
  • 16 stages
  • 16 days
  • 7 hours of hiking per day on average
  • 11 000 kilometers of ascent in total

A memorable experience in many ways

“The toughest long-distance hike in Europe”: by now I think you understood it is not exaggerated. The length of the stages, the daily ascent, the steep and extremely rocky ground… all these factors have to be taken into account if you wish to join the adventure!  

But the difficulty of the stages is not the only reason explaining the tough reputation of the GR20: the lack of comfort in the accommodations on the trail is a main part of it. Indeed, don’t expect to sleep in comfortable beds, alone in your room. You will be in mountain huts or under a tent, depending on what you prefer and on the weather conditions of the day. You may not have hot showers every night, but hey, it is part of the experience, right? Moreover, don't forget that your “hut keeper” for the night will prepare a nice and generous meal so you can relax and recover from your long day of hiking.

Friendliness and sharing are the real key values on the GR20 !

When to go?

  • JULY and AUGUST: contrarily to what one might think, they are the less busy months on the GR20. And if you worry about the heat, stop, because you will be in the mountains, often above 2000m, and it is always way cooler than you think !
  • JUNE and SEPTEMBER: they are good months for hiking in Corsica, but the paths and the huts are often crowded, which can make your experience not so enjoyable.
  • MAY: It is possible to go on the Southern part of the GR20 , even though there can be snow. The Northern part is even more exposed to snow, which makes it very complicated to go before June, especially since the hut keepers are usually not there before beginning of June. 

1.Posted by Jean-Paul Courville on 07/05/2019 9:29 AM (from a mobile)
I am interested in the GR20 for sure but are solo hikers allowed for the self guided?

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