Corsica Haute Route - Trekking the GR20
Corsica & France, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £1,595 (land only) - from €1,895 (land only) - from $2,595 (land only)
The Mediterranean island of Corsica is some 180 kilometres (110 miles) long and 75 kilometres (46 miles) wide. Corsica lies 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of the French mainland and 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Italy.
For the most part, the terrain in Corsica is mountainous. About two-thirds of it consists of an ancient crystalline massif that divides the island a north-west axis. It is often called ‘The Granite Island'. Corsica has a cluster of 20 peaks exceeding 2,000 m / 6,500 ft. Its high point is at the summit of Monte Cinto (2710m.) (8876ft.)
Much of the island is covered with a scrubby underbrush, called maquis, that is composed of aromatic shrubs, together with holm oak and cork oak. The flowers produce a fragrance that carries far out to sea. Chestnut forests occur at higher elevations, while the Corsican, or laricio pine dominates the higher elevations. Forest covers about one-fifth of the island.
The time in Corsica is GMT +1 hour .
The official language of Corsica is French. However, there is a Corsican dialect, which the locals speak (which varies from the north to the south of the island). Whilst English is widely understood in the main towns, it is not so much in the mountains and we do recommend you try to learn some simple French phrases and greetings as attempts to speak in the local language will always be appreciated and is all part of the fun.
Corsica has a Mediterranean climate, with a long summer season extending from May through to October. The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 15°C / 59°F to 30°C / 86°F. It can be cool in the evenings at our highest overnight stopping places. The weather is usually stable at this time of year, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out.
The unit of currency in Corsica is the Euro. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com
You should take some Euros with you on your holiday to France. These are readily available at most banks in the UK. If you run out of Euros, dollars and sterling (cash or travellers cheques) can be exchanged once you are in Corsica, although only in the larger town. Credit and debit cards can be used in the larger towns and you will also be able to obtain currency at cash machines (ATM's).
You will need a valid passport. Nationals of the EU, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia do not require visas to visit France, Italy or Switzerland as tourists for up to three months. Nationals of other countries should check the visa requirement with the relevant embassy in their own countries.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. No special vaccinations are required for France. UK residents should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling. The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only, and you'll be treated on the same basis as an 'insured' person living in the country you're visiting. Remember, this might not cover all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS in the UK. You may have to make a contribution to the cost of your care. You can obtain an EHIC from the Department of Health by phone, online, or at the post office.
Additional Sources of Information
In Monte Viso's Horizon. Will McLewin.
GR 20 Corsica. Paddy Dillon (Cicerone Press).
Corsica Walking Guide. Bergverlag Rother GMBH.
Corsica. Insight Guide.
Corsica. Lonely Planet.
The Rough Guide to Corsica.
GR20 - 2 map set - 1:60,000 Libris
Lonely Planet - www.lonelyplanet.com
Rough Guides - www.roughguides.com