“The GR20 climbs high into the mountains and stays there for days on end, leading ordinary walkers deep into the sort of terrain usually visited only by mountaineers. The scenery is awe-inspiring, with bare rock and vertical lines in some parts, contrasting with forests,
lakes and alpine pastures in other places.”
– Paddy Dillon, The GR20 Corsica
The ‘GR20’ – Europe’s toughest long distance trail.
A Long Distance Walk In Europe
Crowned as the toughest long distance hike in Europe, the ‘GR20’ route at approximately 180 kilometres, (or 112 miles), is a long distance trail that traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. Part of the extensive ‘GR’ network, which stands for Grande Randonnée, meaning ‘big excursion’ in French, this trail is just one of several long-distance footpaths and trails that Europe has to offer.
Established in 1972 by the Regional Natural Reserve of Corsica to allow walking enthusiasts to discover the beautiful interior of Corsica, the GR20 is most definitely a long and tough trek which requires a high level of fitness, lots of mountain walking experience and surefootedness for the rocky landscape and mountain ridges you have to traverse. You also need a head for heights – this trek is not suitable for vertigo sufferers! Despite these prerequisites, the trail has grown in popularity every year and receives between 18,000 and 20,000 hikers each season. However only one third of this figure actually complete all sixteen stages.
Having a tight schedule, we completed the 16 stage route in just 12 days; however this trail really pushed us to our limits and tested our resolve.
Heading across the Corsican mountains on our mini-adventure in the Med!
We completed our thru-hike between August 2nd and August 15th 2015. Our daily trip reports with accompanying photographs are included below:
You can export a GPX/KML file from this by clicking on the ‘GR20 Corsica’ link below.