Our experts have put together the types of accommodation that walkers stay in during the GR20. It is important to note that it is not 5-star luxury, save that for your next Corsican holiday!
As a result of the remote walking locations and altitude of the climbs involved in this trip, the accommodation you will encounter is of an extremely basic nature, so any expectations of complete comfort should be left at home! Throughout your time completing the GR20, you will experience a mix of accommodations, all simple, there is no doubt you will feel closer to nature. If sharing your personal space with strangers of all nationalities does not faze you, then keep reading for the fantastic opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Corsican mountains.
There are a few options as you make your way along the route. From Park refuges, shepherds' cabins, Gites and even the chance to upgrade at certain spots for a night of luxury (with a real bed) in a basic hotel!
To give you an idea and to manage your expectations, here is a breakdown of what is available:
Although not the most glamorous, accommodation on the GR20 will consist of multiple park refuges. These refuges are owned by the Parc Naturel Regional de Corse (PNRC). They are old-fashioned, simple and on the small side, which helps you to throw yourself into the trip and the natural elements surrounding you. There are multiple refuges used along the route, and due to their location, tents can be pitched on a rocky surface.
Typically, you can expect the following if your accommodation choice is a refuge:
- Outdoor showers (cold) with basic toilets
- Outdoor kitchen with cooking facilities
- Indoor kitchen and eating area
- Dormitory with a lower and upper bunk, mattresses will be side by side with a cover for you to place your sleeping bag on
- Radio link with the mountain rescue service
- Bins for disposal of any rubbish
- Tents are 2-man
Sheperds' cabins or bergeries are available in the South and North sections of the GR20. They have now been transformed into places of residence to welcome tired hikers. The cabins tend to be a little more comfortable than park refuges because they are privately owned and run as businesses. Often family-run, they offer a warm welcome at the end of your day's hiking and a decent home-cooked (but simple) meal.
Dormitories will vary in size, sleeping varying amounts of people, with decent facilities in beautiful locations.
In the South section, the following are available to you:
- Bavella – A famous beauty spot nestled beneath some of Corsica's most amazing mountain pinnacles. Here Les Aiguilles offers a small dormitory and hot water, plus a good restaurant.
- Col de Verde - Relais San Petru is located at the start of the Taravo Valley in the heart of the mountains. This private gîte offers a bar and restaurant.
- Capanelle – Managed by a brother and sister team, this gîte sits at the base of the Monte Renosu mountain which, in winter, is a ski area. With good washing facilities, various-sized dormitories and plenty of hot water, you will experience the full mod cons – washing machine, clothesline, a well-stocked shop and somewhere to charge your phone! Plus, a restaurant and bar serving good hearty meals that are mostly Corsican.
There are a few hotels along the GR20 route, where you can upgrade your night's rest for a proper bed! Not to be confused or even compared with hotels in main tourist areas. The facilities available are still limited, but a mattress and basic bedroom will provide a night of luxury should you wish! All the hotels have varying levels of comfort.
They are found at the following stops on the GR20:
- Vizzavona – The central spot of the full GR20, here you will find Le Vizzavona. 123 bedrooms available with full board situated on lovely grounds
- Col de Vergio – Located on the Northern section, Castel di Vergio, originally built as a small ski resort the hotel has evolved and is now a hub of activity. A popular stop for walkers to swap tips and stories, here you will find a hotel offering 29 comfortable bedrooms with balconies and ensuites plus a bar, ice creams and the opportunity to charge your mobile and your battery pack!
- Haut Asco – Also located in the Northern section ‘Le Chalet’ offers comfortable bedrooms, a bar and a restaurant. A large sunny terrace offers the ideal spot to relax after your day's hike.
If this sounds like a walking holiday that suits you, book your GR20 experience today!