GR20 Trek – North and Monte Cinto

Rated 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
(3 customer reviews)

Altitude 2706m, Grade T4 & Backpacking

This trek takes in the highlights of the Northern GR20 route, with spectacular scrambling and dramatic scenery and an ascent of Monte Cinto, Corsica’s highest peak

Description

GR20 North

Corsica is renowned for its rugged terrain and the GR20 haute route weaves its way through the finest mountain scenery the island has to offer. This week along the northern section allows you to sample the highlights and most rugged and challenging parts of the GR20. Throughout the GR20 North trek you will be amazed by the magnificent scenery that has made this one of Europe’s best mountain journeys. Following a rock fall in June 2015 in the once famous ‘Cirque de Solitude’, the GR20 North now takes an alternative route, crossing over the Monte Cinto ridge line. Monte Cinto is Corsica’s highest peak at an altitude of 2706m. This new path provides a spectacular longer route to a higher altitude than the original Cirque route.

Trip dossier

GR20 North and Monte Cinto

Day 1 Fly to Bastia and take the arranged transfer to Vizzavona, a small hamlet in a large forest with a small railway station. It’s often a hive of activity for walkers setting out or finishing up their treks, as it is the half-way point of the GR20. After tonight, we won’t have access to our luggage again until day 4, so we will want to take the opportunity to pack our rucksacks with everything we will need for the following 3 days. Tonight we have a welcome dinner, briefing and overnight in a hotel. We settle into our accommodation and enjoy a stroll in the woods, or relax at the nearby rock pools. If time allows we can take the GR20 path towards the dazzling Cascade des Anglais, a popular resort for the English at the beginning of the 20th century. There are some old buildings that were once grand hotels, representing a former glory.

Day 2
After breakfast, we have a short transfer to the hamlet of Canaglia, where we start walking in the Manganellu Valley. This is a pretty morning’s walk to ease us in to our trek. Our path leads us beside a colourful green torrent of water, with tumbling waterfalls and deep pools. The lariccio pine trees that surround our route give way gradually to fragrant alder bushes as we start to gain altitude. We will reach the refuge of Petra Piana (1840m) in the early afternoon. This small refuge is nestled on the lower planks of the Monte Renoso; we will camp here for the night. No access to main luggage. 5 hours walking.

Day 3 From Petra Piana a short uphill section takes us to the high ridge above the refuge. The trail is rocky, almost lunar in ambiance. We pass a mountain col and continue on the high route. The views are spectacular, with Corte, the island’s historic capital in the distance and a series of wonderful glacier lakes to discover. From the Breche de Capitello, a steep, rocky descent leads to the refuge of Manganu and the Camputile Plateau. The views over the Camputile Plateau, which is used as a grazing ground, are stunning. No access to main luggage. 7 hours walking.

Day 4 A half hour walk takes us across the plateau to the shepherd’s cabin of Vaccaja (1621m). From here the well-marked GR20 continues gently uphill, a relaxing walk through beech woods, and across the green spongy turf at Lac de Nino. At 1743m this glacier lake is in a lovely, sheltered bucolic spot, surrounded by a spongy peat, with runnels of water and wells, ideal grasing ground for ponies and other animals in the summer. The air is fresh, tinged with the scent of alder and the fragrance of the high mountains. From the lake a classic walk leads along a high ridge with magnificent views of Monte Cinto and Paglia Orba and the occasional blue glint of the beckoning sea. We drop down at the Col St Pierre (1452m), to join a flat horseshoe-shaped trail to Castel di Vergio. 6 hours walking. Access to main luggage tonight.

Day 5 Following the GR20 we walk to Radule, a huddle of stone cabins well camouflaged against the mountain rock. The trail then follows the Golu torrent up the valley towards its source. Midway up the valley, we cross the torrent, a good place to take a break on the smooth sun-baked rocks, a paddle and a swim for the brave. The trail shortly leaves the valley floor and heads up to the ridge line. From here there are clear views of the villages dotted on the west coast and the indented outline of the coast. This high alpine environment is home to the wild mountain mouflon (wild sheep). We reach Corsica’s highest refuge, Ciotulu di Mori (1990m). From here we head for the Col de Foggiale, where the GR20 plunges steeply down, a stunning descent through a chaos of harsh granite rock and giant, grand, old pine trees. Once down to an altitude of 1400m and near the Viru torrent, we approach the Bergerie de Vallone. The bergerie sits in a valley surrounded by the high granite cliffs of the ‘Grande Barriere,’ the ridge that contains most of the high summits of Corsica. We set up our camp nearby and dine in the cabin. It is possible to bathe in the pools of a nearby river. No access to main luggage. 5 to 6 hours walking.

Day 6
From Bergerie de Vallone we take a trail which ascends up to the Refuge Tighhiettu. Then we head north westwards into the wild Crucetta valley and ascend to the high pass of Bocca Crucetta 2450m and the Pointe des Eboulis at 2600m. Once up and over the Monte Cinto ridge there is a long descent to the new hotel at Haut Asco. This is the hardest and highest part of the trail. 10 hours walking. Access to main luggage tonight.

Day 7 Today we have a long walk across some rugged and rocky terrain. We start out on a steep trail through forest and over rocky slabs to reach the pass at Bocca di Stagnu (2010m). Here on a rocky ridge is a great viewpoint, looking over to Monte Cinto (2706m). We then continue, beneath the peak of Muvrella, to reach another small col. There is a fantastic viewpoint of Calvi before we descend steeply to reach the small Muvrella Lake. More descent takes us along the western side of a steep valley on a rocky path, with fixed chains in places, then across the river on an exciting suspension bridge. A short climb takes us to the Refuge de Carrozzu (1270m). From here we leave the main GR20 and descend west through the Bonifatu forest to the road head at the Bonifatu gite (550m). A short transfer will take us to the pretty coastal town of Calvi. Access to main luggage. 7 to 8 hours walking.

Day 8 Our last morning on the island. After breakfast in Calvi there will be a single arranged transfer to the airport in Bastia for your flight home.

  • Estimated International flights from London (flight inclusive package)
  • Travel from Bastia airport to Vizzavona on set transfer on arrival
  • Travel to Bastia airport on set transfer on departure
  • Accommodation – 1 night Hotel, 3 nights gite, 3 nights Cabins / Refuges / camping
  • Meals – 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 evening meals
  • Qualified UK or Corsican group tour leader
  • A logoed Adventure Peaks top
  • Some baggage transfers (partly backpacking)
  • 24 hour back up and support from UK staff
  • 15% discount off the RRP on clothing and equipment purchased at the Adventure Peaks shop
  • Transfers outside set times and destinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals except those specified in ‘Inclusions’
  • Drinks and personal spending
  • Personal equipment
  • Visas if required

It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.

Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.

It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

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3 reviews for GR20 Trek – North and Monte Cinto

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Alex the guide was fantastic, he helped and was professionally in all areas. You need to keep this man. This was a fantastic experience in a beautiful country. The walking was superb.

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I just wanted to drop you a line following our trip to the GR20 north, my Dad and I.

    We had such an unforgettable time. The weather was perfect all week, apart from one day in the Cirque de Solitude which was rather changeable and made for a lot of suspense. But moreover we were so impressed with and so thankful for our local guide Denis Allemand who made our trip just so magical and special. A gifted guide, and one who is also incredibly intelligent sharing with us so much knowledge about Corsica, the GR20, the flora and fauna, an accomplished mountaineer and climber who inspired us both. I learned a tremendous amount in one week ! And on top of this his personality and sense of humor, and his love of working with English speaking groups. Extremely grateful that we had the privilege of walking with him.

    Thank you also to you and your team. I was extremely impressed with the organization of everything. So slick and smooth. The only qualms we had were regarding the overview of the week/ itinerary which proved to be a little inaccurate regarding the hours of walking, and the parts about the dips in the rivers. We didn’t have any time for that. I am sure that Tony our other fellow on the trip will give you feedback on that. This didn’t bother me too much, but rather something that both my dad and Tony had spoke about during the week. All in all for me, an unforgettable week with my dad !

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The trip was amazing!
    Unforgettable, five stars, superb. Also the quality of the food was excellent more than expected. The leader was friendly, fun, excellent humor (a legend) he kept us briefed constantly and consistently. We all felt so lucky and privileged to have the guide we had who inspired and thoughts also much. If I returned I would request him.

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Deposits

The Initial Deposits for this booking will be :£200 per Person


Land Only Availability Days Price Book
21st Jun 2020 - 28th Jun 2020
8
19th Jul 2020 - 26th Jul 2020
8
With UK Flight dates Availability Days Price Book
21st Jun 2020 - 28th Jun 2020
8
19th Jul 2020 - 26th Jul 2020
8

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