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Trekking the GR20 Corsica

AuthorPaddy Dillon
PublisherCicerone Press
ISBNISBN-10: 1 85284 321 7 (First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978 1 85284 477 6 (Second Edition)
ISBN-13: 978 1 85284 635 0 (Third Edition)
ISBN-13: 978 1 85284 852 1 (Fourth Edition)
Also available in eBook and Kindle formats
Price£14.95
Snow-streaked mountains tower above Ascu Stagnu, three days into the GR20.

Snow-streaked mountains tower above Ascu Stagnu, three days into the GR20.

Walkers high above Vizzavona, with Monte d’Oro in the background.

Walkers high above Vizzavona, with Monte d’Oro in the background.

A walker on the Bocca di Foggiale on the approach to the Refuge di Ciottulu di I Mori.

A walker on the Bocca di Foggiale on the approach to the Refuge di Ciottulu di I Mori.

Many years ago Alan Castle wrote about the GR20 for Cicerone. The route changed and the book was revised piecemeal, but it became clear that a new guidebook was needed. Connie Roos went to research the route and prepare a new guide, but she was struck dead by lightning shortly before the finish.

I took on the project late in the year, but still managed to check some low-level, snow-covered stretches of the GR20. The high-level GR20 was checked the following summer, along with routes up some nearby mountains. The guidebook therefore includes the main route of the GR20, alternative routes, and ascents of nearby mountains.

The whole route, along with more links to nearby villages, was walked, checked again and completely re-written for the current full-colour edition, which contains plenty more photographs and full-colour mapping. The GR20 has the reputation of being the toughest waymarked trail in Europe, and anyone attempting it needs to plan carefully. However, despite the rigours of the route, it is within the capabilities of fit walkers who take care where they are putting their feet. The information in the guidebook makes it perfectly clear what is required.

In a review in TGO (The Great Outdoors) magazine, Martin Salter-Smith said "Paddy Dillon's detailed route descriptions, realistic timings and an acknowledgement of the mental, as well as the physical challenge to be overcome... is well phrased and should be read and carefully digested by walkers... a handy reference... helpful details... the colour photos capture some of the atmosphere of the journey... this is a well-researched and practical guide which will be drooled over on wet winter evenings, and thumbed again in remote refuges where the summer scent of the maquis drifts in from the tangled hillsides of the Mountain in the Sea."

All PNRC refuges must be booked and paid for in advance of starting a trek along the GR20. Full details at www.parc-corse.org.

Please note that the route through the Cirque de la Solitude was CLOSED following a fatal accident there on 10th June 2015. A new route passes close to Monte Cintu, running from Pointe des Eboulis to Bocca Crucetta, then descending to the Refuge de Tightjettu. Full details are included in the fourth edition of the guidebook. If you are using an older edition, check the new route here.

Walk Contents

Stage 1A Calenzana to Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu (high level)
Stage 1B Calenzana to Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu (low level)
Excursion Ascent of Monte Corona from Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu
Stage 2A Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu to Refuge de Carozzu (high level)
Stage 2B Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbu to Refuge de Carozzu (low level)
Stage 3 Refuge de Carozzu to Ascu Stagnu
Stage 4 Ascu Stagnu to Auberge U Vallone
Link Auberge U Vallone to Albertacce
Stage 5 Auberge U Vallone to Hotel Castel di Vergio
Excursion Ascent of Paglia Orba from Refuge de Ciottulu di I Mori
Stage 6 Hotel Castel di Vergio to Refuge de Manganu
Link Bergeries de Vaccaghja to Corte
Link Refuge de Manganu to Soccia
Stage 7 Refuge de Manganu to Refuge de Petra Piana
Link Breche de Capitellu to Bergeries de Grotelle
Excursion Ascent of Monte Rotondu from Refuge de Petra Piana
Stage 8A Refuge de Petra Piana to Refuge de l'Onda (low level)
Stage 8B Refuge de Petra Piana to Refuge de l'Onda (high level)
Link Bergeries de Tolla to Tattone and Vizzavona
Stage 9A Refuge de l'Onda to Vizzavona (low-level)
Stage 9B Refuge de l'Onda to Vizzavona (high-level)
Stage 10 Vizzavona to Bergeries d' E Capanelle
Link La Foce to Bocca Palmento
Stage 11A Bergeries d' E Capanelle to Bocca di Verdi (low-level)
Stage 11B Bergeries d' E Capanelle to Bocca di Verdi (high-level)
Stage 12 Bocca di Verdi to Refuge d'Usciolu
Link Refuge d'Usciolu to Cozzano
Stage 13 Refuge d'Usciolu to Refuge de Matalza
Link Tignosellu to Zicavo
Link Zicavo to Refuge de Matalza
Stage 14 Refuge de Matalza to Refuge d'Asinau
Alt Stage 13/14 Refuge d'Usciolu to Refuge d'Asinau (direct)
Stage 15A Refuge d'Asinau to Village de Bavella (low-level)
Stage 15B Refuge d'Asinau to Village de Bavella (high-level)
Stage 16 Village de Bavella to Conca