Grand Randonnee walking holiday in Corsica, France

“Tackle the Grand Randonnee 20, Europe’s most challenging long distance hike, on a seven-day self-guided trip through the interior of Corsica. ”


Grand Randonnee 20 | Calvi | Calenzana | Bonifatu | Spasimata footbridge | Valley of the Muvrella | Monte Cinto | Vallone | Lake of Nino | Bocca di Fuciale | Corté |

Description of Grand Randonnee walking holiday in Corsica, France

An ideal week-long hike for fit walkers with map-reading abilities and up for a challenge, the Grand Randonnee 20 is 200km of rugged alpine terrain that has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s classic routes.

This self-guided trip sees you embark on the walk of a lifetime. Choose either the north or south sections, or link both together to do the entire trail, with maps, route notes and luggage transfers included to ensure your can focus on the terrain.

Highlights include crossing the famous footbridge of Spasimata (GR20 North), 30m long and suspended over a tumbling waterfall – if you’ve ever researched the GR20, chances are you’ve seen the bridge. You’ll walk through fragrant pine forests, the foothills of Monte Cinto, Corisca’s highest mountain, and valleys full of mouflons (wild sheep). There will be opportunities to cool down with wild swimming in rivers, alpine lakes and rock pools, and of course too many splendid viewpoints to mention.

In the evenings you’ll stay in remote shepherd’s huts, dormitory-style mountain refuges or campsites with outstanding night skies above you. Over meals and campfires you can share your Grand Randonnee stories with other walkers, and pack up easily next day as your luggage is transferred between locations.

A couple of important points to note. This trip requires a minimum of two people to operate. Available dates depend on whether you take the north of south GR20 route. And because some stages of the walk require you to scramble over rocks or climb ladders, you’ll need to not only be reasonably fit but also not a vertigo-sufferer.

Travel Team

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Departure information

GR.20 North: Every Sunday from 6 Jun to 19 Sep.
GR.20 South: Every Saturday from 29 May to 25 Sep.
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Whilst perhaps the toughest walking trail in Europe, the GR.20 is also the most rewarding. Corsica’s fragile interior boasts forests, glacial lakes, snow capped peaks and a self guided walking holiday, which consists usually of just 2 people, is possibly the lowest impact method of travel to experience this precious wilderness. Every traveller is issued with our Responsible Travel Guidebook with tips on how to further minimise their impact when they travel

Our environmental sustainable principles:
True sustainability is a guiding aspect in all aspects of our business planning and operations. Specifically our tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long-term.

Where possible, we engage in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.

Our Responsible Travel Guidebook:
Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while travelling.

Global Warming and Carbon Balancing:
The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely!

The Impacts of this Trip

Along your travels you will stay in mountain refuges, owned & operated by local families. Your food will be largely sourced from suppliers on the island and money spent during your travels will directly benefit the families and small villages. By travelling through these lesser explored regions you are helping to maintain certain traditions, as locals preserve a way of life thanks to the income of tourists.

Our responsible travel principles:
Our company aims to maximise the positive benefits of tourism for host communities. This includes training and employment of local staff, using local suppliers and assisting in the development of sustainable local businesses.

We actively minimise the negative effects that tourism can have by ensuring that tourism does not divert resources away from local communities or drive up prices on local resources.

We provide opportunities for real cultural exchange, where locals and visitors alike can share and learn from each other in an environment of mutual respect.

We contribute to the welfare of the host community. This is epitomised in our Community Project Travel program where we organise for our travellers to spend time in disadvantaged villages upgrading basic facilities such as health, education and water access.

We strive to educate our travellers about the destination and its local cultures as well as providing guidelines on appropriate behaviour to minimise impact.

No local payments policy:
Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travellers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travellers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.


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