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  • hiking holiday in Corsica – where to stay?
  • Premier Icon Keva
    Free Member

    a couple of mates and myself are planning to go on a hiking holiday in Corsica at the beginning of October and are looking to rent a place to use as a base that will sleep three. Ideally we’d like to be in or near a small village not too far from the GR20. My mate has found a place in a very small village called Orto but looking on the map and doing a bit of online research it seems a bit remote, with no shops, cafe bars or anything. I’ve been looking around the area of Corte and the villages to the south but my mate is saying it’s too far from the GR20 which he wants to hike on. Has anyone here been or can anyone recommend anything that would be suitable?

    Premier Icon ElShalimo
    Free Member

    I did the GR20 in 2004, it’s linear and linking it up for day walks or even overnighters is quite difficult ‘cos it tends to be up high and away from villages.
    This might be helpful for linking up routes to towns: http://corsica.forhikers.com/long-distance-paths

    Premier Icon slowster
    Free Member

    My mate has found a place in a very small village called Orto but looking on the map and doing a bit of online research it seems a bit remote, with no shops, cafe bars or anything. I’ve been looking around the area of Corte and the villages to the south but my mate is saying it’s too far from the GR20 which he wants to hike on.

    I don’t understand why your mate thinks it’s essential to stay in a remote location like that purely because of its proximity to what will inevitably be only a small section of the GR20.

    The key to making such a holiday work will be good planning, especially surrounding transport and logistics, and a good degree of flexibility.

    Transport – presumably you will have a hire car, so given the relatively small size of the island and its narrowness, and the relatively short distance from the coast to the rocky spine along which the GR20 runs, there is no reason to stay in an out of the way location in the midlle of the island. As ElShalimo says, the GR20 is linear, so even with a car you are going to need to plan and research carefully to identify suitable walks. Apart from just doing ‘there and back’ day walks, you should be able to come up with some circular walks using sections of the GR20, and probably also use the train which runs through the island to do a walk where you use the train to get back to your parked car.

    A good degree of flexibility – at the beginning of October, there is probably a high liklihood of bad weather, e.g. thunderstorms, in the Corsican mountains on at least some days. I hope your mate isn’t the sort who, once he has got an idea in his head, is so rigid and blinkered in his outlook that he insists on doing a particular planned walk on a set day whatever the weather and circumstances.

    Much of the best of the GR20 walking and scenery is in the northern half, e.g. Cirque de la Solitude, so I would not stay in the south of the island.

    In your shoes, my preference would be stay in a resort hotel in Ajaccio or Calvi, and use the train (more so from Ajaccio) and car for walks inland, since those will be better places to be on days when weather is bad or you need a break from walking (the terrain is rocky and hard on feet and knees, especially if you are not conditioned/fit from hillwalking in the UK).

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Free Member

    I’ve been going to Corsica several times a year for the last 10yrs.

    Its a small island, so you don’t need to be close to the GR20, you just need a hire car. BTW, don’t expect to use taxis or busses.

    You do need somewhere with shops/café etc.

    Weather wise I’ve been many times in Oct and not had any bad weather (but that doesn’t mean you wont)

    Id be tempted to pick somewhere central, so its a similar distance either North or South. Google Zonza, its up in the mountains, central/southern, lots of restaurants/bars and still only 30 mins drive from either the West/East coast.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Free Member

    Why don’t you look into doing one of the shorter less hardcore routes and stop at the gittes along the way? We’ve done both north and south coast to coast walks & BIL has done GR20, late sept early Oct is a good time to go, but we did get very close to getting caught in a massive downpour last sept. Email in profile if you want any more advice – it is a fantastic place to walk, corte to refuge de la Sega is one of the most memorable stages of mare a mare Nord 🙂

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