Trekking in late April and early May


Posted: Tue, Mar 24, 2015, 15:06

Hello everybody!

We plan to visit Corsica this spring and do some trekking. The dates of trip are fixed and allow us 14 full days of travelling on this magnificent island. We arrive at 19/04 and depart at 02/05. Now the question is in route selection.

As I understand GR20 route is the only one of long distance passes we can't walk at this time of the year. All other are accessible without special equipment gear at this dates. Am I right?

I want to walk challenging trek and to be all days in the mountains. But all other routes are only 5-11 days long. Tra Mare e Monti is the longest, but the easiest of all. Mare a Mare Centre looks promising but is only one week.

Can you give me advice how to combine routes, so I will get 2 week long tough route, passable on this dates?



Posted: Tue, Mar 24, 2015, 22:01

April into May on the high level route would give you a hard time. When I was on my skis in France and into Italy last week the first three days of the week were windy and cold but later with sunshine and with fresher snow and at the same time the Mediterranean was getting quite stormy weather and I believe Corsica got some big precipitation i.e. I guess more snow at higher levels. Check out the Randoblog on the PNRC site.
I would think that maybe getting shelter and food would perhaps be a bit of a problem before the 'season for walking' begins? This would mean carrying your own supplies for parts of your stay. I have only ever been to the island in June, July and September.
The MM Centre, for example, crosses the GR20 at the Bocca di Laparo at 1500 mtrs.
Off the top of my head. From Corte travel the MM Nord for four stages or so then continue towards Calinzana on the Mare e Monti around six stages. You still have some time of around four days available for maybe a couple of stages at a higher level on the GR20 from Bonifatu....if the weather is o.k. and the snow has retreated?...up to Refuge de Carozzu and then onto d'Ortu di u Piobbu with a last day down to Calinzana which would give you three days of higher level travel but remember this is at around the 2,000 metres level. If I were you I would keep in touch with the Randoblog for the GR20 to see how much of winter is still around.
For me I found both the Mare e Monti Sud and the Mare a Mare Sud to be the easier routes on the island. The Mare e Monti Nord is a very beautiful walk.




Posted: Tue, Mar 24, 2015, 23:49

Hi Aleksey,
Don't underestimate the Tra Mare e Monti - it has tougher sections, and is a good hike. I went in October 2014. Not all the gite d'etapes were open so a tent was essential, but there were shops along the way so not too much food had to be carried. It is no where near as hard core as the GR20, but for an early/late season hike in Corsica I would recommend it.
Happy hiking,


Posted: Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 9:17

Guys, thank you for your help!


Randoblog turns out to be an excellent source of information on snow and weather conditions!

I put the route you proposed on Google Map. Looks very interesting!


I learned from this site that we need to carry food with us, but thought all the huts are opened in the winter. Now I see the tent is essential gear. Thank you for sharing this!


Posted: Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 10:13

Here is the link to the map:

There are 14d of travelling with two challenging passes - 3d of G20 in the end and 4d of MM Nord in the start. If we are out of time or the weather is bad we can skip GR20 and travel from Foret de Bonifatto directly to Calenzana.

I see the route from Albertacce to Tuvarelli passes through villages every walking day. Are there food shops in all this villages so we don't need to carry more than one day food supplies?


Posted: Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 10:28

The refuges on the GR20 are left open for shelter and self cooking.
On the route that I suggested which incorporates a bit of the MM Nord and the Mare e Monti Nord most of the accommodation is in Gites and if needed in hotels.
Will the camping sites be open for business in Corte? There is a refuge at Sega which I think should have a room left open? or camp there nearby. There are two possibilities after Sega (big signpost here) either over the bocca a l'Arinella to reach Calacuccia/Albertacce and then onto Col de Verghio or up to the GR20 where nearby is the refuge of Manganu or the Bergeries de Vaccaghja. You would get shelter at Manganu but I would doubt if anyone would be around at the Bergeries.
At the Verghio there is an hotel and camping Thereafter Gites/
We camped at Evisa at a site above the village but I doubt if this would open. The rest of the nights on the Mare e Monti were on either Gite terraces (we could buy meals here) or in bivouacs at the cols.
We have always taken our lightweight tent for our Corsican multi day walking. Oh! camping possible at Bonifatu.