GR20 gluten free

SandraR

Posted: Fri, Sep 20, 2019, 19:05

I did the GR20 over the summer and found a few, but quite sporadic tips on this topic online when I was preparing, so I thought I'd give back a bit and write up my experiences.

First of all, it's mostly true that you can can't rely on the huts. You may occasionally get lucky that the daily menu happens to be gluten free (I got a nice beef, carrot and potato stew once), but more often than not it will be pasta-based in some form). Smaller "snack" type items you will find in most places would be omelette, local goat cheese and salami. Occasionally one of the little kiosks may also have a canned tuna salad or so, but definitely not something to count on.

The solution that worked quite well for me instead is to self-cater and send a few packages with supplies to a few places with reasonable road connections along the way so I wouldn't have to carry it all for the whole time. You'll have to call and ask permission beforehand, and typically you'd have to stay with them for at least one night. Places that agreed to accept my packages include Hotel Ascu Stagnu, Hotel Castel Di Vergio, B&B Casa Alta in Vizzavona (who deserve a huge shout-out for being the best hosts ever in so many respects - highly recommended for anyone who wants to treat themselves a bit along the way), Refuge de Matalza. All of them were also able to cater to gluten free needs for dinner, and Hotel Ascu Stagnu also has a little selection of GF items in their shop if need a last minute stock up option.

Obviously I was quite concerned about the extra weight, so I had a friendly nutritionist help me figure out the following general meal plan: Oatcakes with a little sachet of nut butter (Pip&Nut) and a vegan protein shake for breakfast, oat based cereal bars as interim snacks, and freeze-dry hiking meals for lunch and dinner (Expedition Foods have a little GF range - I took the 1000 kcal versions for calorie count initially, but found it hard to finish a whole thing for lunch when it's 30 degrees, so next time I'd probably stick with the regular). Complemented with any fresh fruit or vegetable that could be found along the way.

We didn't bring a cooker or anything btw. You can usually cook water for the meals in the communal kitchen, or otherwise ask nicely in the hut kitchen - they usually don't like you to bring your own food into their restaurant areas, but they were nice enough when we explained the reason).

Hope that helps for starters - It's a bit more organisation with the packages, but definitely doable and absolutely worth the effort.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Sep 20, 2019, 20:57

Thanks for your useful report SandraR. I understand that for those who have to follow a specific diet any multi-day trek can be a nightmare.

--Michele