Duration: 7 nights
Walking: 6 days' walking: 5-8 hours a day
Difficulty level: Tough - read more on our walking gradings
Accommodation: Camping, simple refuges and shepherds' cabins - all shared dorms with limited showers and wcs
Start and finish point: Bavella to Vizzavona. Fly into / out of Figari
Departure dates: Sundays from 5th May to 15th September
The south section of the GR20 is considered the 'easier' half of the toughest trek in Europe. It remains extremly challenging, even though it is seen as an introduction to the GR20.
The walks are still lengthy, between 5-8 hours a day, and the experience needed to complete this section remains the same as the north. On this trek you will be reunited with your main bag five out of the seven days, which means on some days you can carry less kit, making the experience a little gentler. Accomodation is still basic with limited facilities, camping or staying in simple refuges in remote yet stunning locations throughout the week. Altitude gains are lower too on the south section, facing an average of 700m each day.
The GR20 is becoming more and more popular, but it remains the most difficult trek in Europe. To overlook this could put inexperienced walkers in danger. There is a need to prepare for this trip properly and to not overestimate your ability. The GR20 is for hikers in very good physical shape who already have the experience of high mountain trekking over several days, and are able to manage to self guide their walking with all that that involves: determination, effort, map skills and orientation, be aware and can handle adjustments in the weather.
This walk is very challenging, You need to be sure footed and have appropriate scrambling experience - you need to know how to place your feet on rocky ground.
We recommend at least three sessions a week of aerobic exercise and regular hill walking. It is good to get in some hill walks on rough, uneven terrain, to build up ankle strength. Train to walk downhill, get used to knowing where to put your feet. Aim to progress walking downhill at a reasonable pace, two walking poles will reduce the shock on your legs.
Relevant walks you should have undertaken before the GR20:
1. Ascending Snowdon by Crib Goch
2. Descending from Blencathra in the Lake Dristrict by Sharp Edge
3. Scrambling along the Aonach Eagach ridge end of Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands