Which GR20 route should you choose?

Updated on Feb 01, 2023 by Ella Brundle

Blog > Which GR20 route should you choose?

There are three ways to do the toughest trek in Europe, here our experts break down the options to help you choose which is best for you.

We offer three ways to tackle the GR20, you can complete 13 of the full 16 stages on our North & South adventure over 14 days, or, take on one of the individual sections - the GR20 South or the GR20 North. Each has its benefits, challenges, and differences, and one may be more suitable for you. Find out more about them below:  
 

GR20 South - May to September  


The southern half of the GR20 is considered the ‘easier’ half, however, this is still one-half of the toughest treks in Europe – so do not be fooled!   

It is seen as an introduction to the trek, so if you would like to face the challenge that is the GR20 but do not feel up to the complete route, then trying the southern section is worth it. You will be walking for around 4-8 hours a day and will be reunited with your bag more frequently, which means that you can carry less kit, making it slightly easier than its northern counterpart.  

The walk itself involves some technical ridges and an elevation gain of 700m each day. Below are the walking points day by day:  


Day one – Bavella to Asinao Bergerie, Aiguilles de Bavella   
Day two – Asinao to Croci Bergerie*, Mt Alcudine  
Day three – Croci to Usciolu Refuge, Coscione Plateau  
Day four – Usciolu to Verde*, Usciolu Ridge  
Day five – Verde to Capanelle* – below Mt Renoso  
Day six – Capanella to Vizzavona*, Bocca Palmente   

* Your bag will be delivered to this point.  

GR20 North – mid-June – mid-September  


The northern section is considered more challenging than the southern route due to the alpine granitic environment, on top of the great distance that is covered in this section. Starting in Vizzavona you will trek through some challenging terrain, and experience high ridges, deep chasms, and bare granite slopes. You will face continuous steep ascents and descents, so stamina and perseverance are vital! The northern route has fewer bag drop-offs making it slightly harder, as you may need to carry gear suitable for several days at a time. Below are the walking points for each day:  


Day one - Vizzavona to Petra Piana Refuge, Manganello Valley  
Day two - Perta Piana to Manganu Refuge, Breche de Capitello  
Day three - Manganu to Vergio*, Camputile Plateau & Lac de Nino  
Day four - Vergio to Ballone Bergerie, Golo Valley below Paglia Orba  
Day five - Ballone to Haut Asco*, Mt Cinto  
Day six - Haut Asco to Bonifatu*, Bocca Murvella & Cirque de Bonifatu   


* Your bag will be delivered to this point.  

The GR20 North and South 

This is the big one! A 14-day hike takes you through Europe's roughest terrain and its most breathtaking scenery. For many hikers, this is a bucket list walk, and it is not to be taken lightly. You will experience 13 sections of the hike that navigates the island diagonally travelling South to North. Expect to walk for 6-9 hours a day with elevation gains of up to 1000m. Whilst this hike is becoming more and more popular, it is vital walkers who attempt it understand how important training and preparation are to aid completion. You can find out more about five things to do to prepare for your hike here.  

Safety on the GR20 route  

Safety is paramount, and it is not unheard of for people to abandon the trek, having underestimated the hike and overestimated their fitness and walking capabilities. Abandonments are most commonly down to injury or illness and its important to have the support you need. That’s why anyone taking on the challenge with us, will have access to support from specialists on the ground, who are experienced on the GR20.  


If any of these three options entice you to try the GR20 for yourself, you can book your walking package with us today! 

Posted in Great Outdoors | Tagged Walking & Hiking

 

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