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Best Hiking Trails In Corsica: GR20, Mare E Monti, Mare A Mare

Explore the stunning natural beauty of Corsica on some of the best hiking trails in the world. From the challenging GR20 to the scenic Mare e Monti and diverse Mare a Mare, find everything you need to plan your hike, including , accommodation options, and local cuisine recommendations.

Best Hiking Trails in Corsica

Corsica is a paradise for hikers with its rugged mountain landscapes, crystal-clear streams, and stunning coastline. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or an adventurous beginner, Corsica has something to offer you. Here are the three best hiking trails in Corsica that should be on your bucket list.

GR20 Trail

The GR20 trail is the most famous and challenging hiking trail in Corsica. This 180 km trail takes about 15 days to complete and requires a good level of fitness and experience. The trail crosses the island from north to south, passing through the heart of the Corsican mountains. You will be rewarded with breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and rocky ridges. The GR20 trail is best tackled from June to September when the weather is milder and the mountain huts are open. Here are some highlights of the GR20 trail:

  • The Cirque de la Solitude: a dramatic rocky amphitheater that will test your agility and courage.
  • The Lac de Melo and Lac de Capitello: two stunning glacial lakes surrounded by peaks over 2,500 meters high.
  • The famous Aiguilles de Bavella: a spectacular rock formation shaped like needles that towers over the Bavella Pass.
  • The Col de Vergio: the highest point of the trail at 2,147 meters, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Mare e Monti Trail

The Mare e Monti trail is a 10-day hike that takes you from the west coast of Corsica to the east coast, passing through the Corsican maquis, quaint villages, and rocky ridges. This trail is less challenging than the GR20 but still requires a good level of fitness and some experience. The best time to hike the Mare e Monti trail is from May to October when the weather is warm and dry. Here are some highlights of the Mare e Monti trail:

  • The Scandola Nature Reserve: a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its red cliffs, turquoise waters, and diverse marine life.
  • The Calanques de Piana: a stunning series of red granite cliffs and coves that offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Col de Verghio: a mountain pass that connects the Mare e Monti trail to the GR20 trail and offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.

Mare a Mare Trail

The Mare a Mare trail is a 7-day hike that takes you from the east coast of Corsica to the west coast, passing through the Corsican maquis, chestnut forests, and picturesque villages. This trail is less challenging than the Mare e Monti and the GR20 but still requires a good level of fitness and some experience. The best time to hike the Mare a Mare trail is from April to October when the weather is mild and the trails are less crowded. Here are some highlights of the Mare a Mare trail:

  • The Col de Bavella: a mountain pass that offers stunning views of the famous Aiguilles de Bavella and the Corsican coastline.
  • The Alta Rocca region: a mountainous area famous for its granite cliffs, deep canyons, and wild rivers.
  • The Gulf of Valinco: a beautiful bay on the west coast of Corsica that offers sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and charming fishing villages.

Planning Your Hike in Corsica

Are you planning a hiking trip to Corsica? Congratulations! You are about to embark on a breathtaking adventure. Corsica, also known as the “Island of Beauty,” boasts some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe. But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to plan your trip properly. In this section, we will cover the best time to hike in Corsica, the required permits and fees, and a packing list for hiking in Corsica.

Best Time to Hike in Corsica

Corsica has a Mediterranean climate, which means that the best time to hike is during the spring and autumn months. During these months, the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. The summer months can be quite hot and crowded, making hiking more challenging. Winter hiking is also possible, but it’s important to be prepared for colder temperatures and the possibility of snow and ice.

Required Permits and Fees

If you plan on hiking on the GR20 trail, you will need to purchase a permit. The permit costs 7 euros per person per day and can be purchased online or at the start of the trail. It’s important to note that the GR20 is a challenging trail, and hikers are required to have a certain level of fitness and experience. If you are planning on hiking other trails in Corsica, you do not need a permit, but it’s always a good idea to check with the local tourist office for any specific regulations.

Packing List for Hiking in Corsica

When it comes to packing for a hiking trip in Corsica, it’s important to pack light and pack smart. Here are some essential items that you should consider bringing:

  • Good quality hiking boots with ankle support
  • A waterproof jacket and pants
  • A warm fleece or down jacket
  • A hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • A hydration system or water bottle
  • Snacks and energy bars
  • A map and compass
  • A first-aid kit

It’s also important to pack your backpack properly to distribute the weight evenly and make sure you have easy access to your essentials. Remember to pack out all of your trash and leave no trace behind to keep Corsica beautiful for future generations.

Safety Tips for Hiking in Corsica

Hiking in Corsica is a thrilling adventure, but it is important to prioritize safety. Here are some essential to keep in mind while hiking in Corsica.

Weather Conditions to Watch Out for

The weather in Corsica can be unpredictable and change quickly. It is crucial to check the weather forecast before heading out on a hike. Additionally, be prepared for sudden changes in weather by packing appropriate gear such as rain jackets and extra layers. If you find yourself caught in a storm, seek shelter immediately and wait for the weather to pass before continuing your hike.

Wildlife and Insect Safety

Corsica is home to a variety of wildlife, including wild boars and snakes. While encounters with these animals are rare, it is important to take precautions to avoid any potential dangers. Stay on designated trails and avoid wandering off into areas with dense vegetation where snakes may be lurking. If you do encounter a wild animal, give them their space and do not attempt to approach or feed them.

Insects such as ticks and mosquitoes are also present in Corsica. Be sure to pack insect repellent and check yourself for ticks after each hike. Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, so it is important to remove them as soon as possible if found.

Emergency Services and First Aid

In case of an emergency, it is important to know the location of the nearest hospital or emergency services. Keep a map on hand and be aware of your surroundings. Additionally, pack a first aid kit with essentials such as bandages, disinfectant, and pain relievers. In the event of an injury, seek medical attention immediately.

Overall, hiking in Corsica can be a safe and enjoyable experience as long as safety measures are taken seriously. By being prepared for weather changes, respecting wildlife, and having a plan in case of emergencies, you can have a successful and safe hiking trip in Corsica.

Accommodation Options for Hikers in Corsica

Corsica is a hiker’s paradise, and there are plenty of accommodation options available for those looking to explore the island’s breathtaking landscapes. Here are some of the top accommodation options for hikers in Corsica.

Mountain Refuges

Mountain refuges, or “refuges de montagne” in French, are a popular choice for hikers in Corsica. These rustic lodges are scattered throughout the island’s mountainous regions and provide a cozy and comfortable place to rest after a long day of hiking.

One of the most popular mountain refuges in Corsica is the Refuge de la Sega, located on the GR20 trail. This refuge offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is equipped with basic amenities such as bunk beds, a communal kitchen, and a dining area.

Another popular mountain refuge is the Refuge de l’Onda, which is located on the Mare e Monti trail. This refuge offers similar amenities to the Refuge de la Sega and provides hikers with a peaceful and serene atmosphere to rest and recharge.


For those who prefer a more rugged and outdoor experience, camping is a great option in Corsica. There are many campsites available throughout the island, ranging from basic tent sites to more luxurious options with cabins and amenities.

One of the most popular campsites in Corsica is the Camping Les Oliviers, located near the town of Calvi. This campsite offers tent and RV sites, as well as cabins and a swimming pool. It is also located near the beach, making it a great option for hikers who want to combine their outdoor adventures with a little beach time.

Another popular campsite is the Camping La Pinède, located near Porto Vecchio. This campsite offers tent and RV sites, as well as bungalows and a pool. It is also located near some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, making it a great option for hikers who want to explore the coastline.

Guesthouses and Hotels

For those who prefer a more luxurious and comfortable experience, there are many guesthouses and hotels available in Corsica. These options offer more amenities and privacy than mountain refuges or campsites, but can also be more expensive.

One of the most popular guesthouses in Corsica is the Auberge A Pignata, located near the town of Corte. This guesthouse offers comfortable rooms and a gourmet restaurant, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Another popular option is the Hotel La Villa, located near Calvi. This hotel offers spacious and luxurious rooms, as well as a pool and spa. It is also located near the beach and some of the island’s best hiking trails.

No matter what your preference or budget, there are plenty of accommodation options available for hikers in Corsica. Whether you choose a rustic mountain refuge, a scenic campsite, or a luxurious guesthouse, you are sure to find the perfect place to rest and recharge after a day of exploring the island’s breathtaking landscapes.

Corsican Cuisine to Try While Hiking

Corsica is known for its unique and flavorful cuisine that incorporates fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods. As you hike through the island, make sure to try these three must-try dishes:

Local Cheese and Charcuterie

Corsica’s abundant pastures provide the perfect environment for grazing sheep and goats, resulting in a variety of delicious cheeses and cured meats. One of the most famous Corsican cheeses is brocciu, a soft cheese made from whey and goat’s or sheep’s milk. It has a slightly tangy taste and is often used in savory dishes or as a spread on bread. Another must-try is the Corsican charcuterie, which includes dried and cured meats such as lonzu (pork loin), coppa (pork collar), and figatellu (pork liver sausage). These meats are often thinly sliced and served as an appetizer or in a sandwich.

Seafood and Fish Dishes

Corsica’s location in the Mediterranean Sea means that seafood is a staple in the island’s cuisine. One dish to try is the bouillabaisse, a fish soup made with a variety of fish and shellfish, vegetables, and herbs. Another popular dish is the grilled fish, which is often served with a side of vegetables and drizzled with olive oil. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the sea urchin, which is a delicacy in Corsica. It has a creamy texture and a briny flavor that pairs well with a slice of bread.

Corsican Wine and Beer

No meal in Corsica is complete without a glass of local wine or beer. Corsica produces a variety of wines, including red, white, and rosé, that are made from native grape varieties. One of the most popular red wines is Nielluccio, which is known for its fruity and spicy notes. Another must-try is the Pietra beer, which is made with chestnut flour and has a nutty flavor. It pairs well with the local charcuterie and cheese.

In conclusion, Corsican cuisine is a delight for food lovers, and there’s no better way to experience it than while hiking through the island’s beautiful landscapes. Make sure to try these must-try dishes and drinks, and let your taste buds explore the unique flavors of Corsica.

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