Above and Below the World

Corcega GR20 Corsica


Activity type:

Categoria de Senderismo - Hiking activity


  • Starting and ending point: Casas de Bavella | Corsican Highlands
  • Distance and durartion: 16 km | 10h
  • Elevation:: +1.520 m/-1.280 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Type of route: Lineal

Download GPX track:


Map and profile of the trip:

A complete and long day full of emotions and contrasts that will make us admire the stupendous grandeur of the Corsican mountains, the richness of the ecosystems and the contemplation of beautiful panoramic views; crossing the spectacular Agujas de Bavella massif (without a doubt, the alpine variant is highly recommended), reaching the summit of Mount Incudine, 2,135m to finally reach the idyllic setting of the ‘Corsican plateau

CORSICA GR20 Phase 1: DAYS 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th

GR-20. HIKING DAY 2: Casas de Bavella, 1.100m - Corsica highlands (tent), 1.500m

10h (8h in movement) 16 km +1.520m/-1.280m

We get up at 5:30 a.m. and take our breakfast (they leave a tray prepared with our name in the kitchen). There are many people (many with new gear and hiking boots that go in guided groups) and a lot of movement making a lot of noise and slamming doors already at this time of the morning. In fact, during the night the people in the room next to us were making a lot of noise and banging until late at night …

Any way we have breakfast with som toast with jam, coffee with milk and 2 glasses of juice (a bit poor breakfast considering what we paid). We grab the backpacks and at 6:15 a.m. we are already on our way.

We start on the road until after the town, and when we reach the hill´s highest point, on the right hand side we take ‘the alpine variant’, highly recommended since it will offer us sections of ridge and spectacular views of the Agujas de Bavella, but if it rains, we would have the alternative to take the GR20 that passes through the forest.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Views of the Agujas de Bavella on the outskirts of Casas de Bavella

So we take this variant, now following yellow markings. At the beginning, on the forest path, we pass 2 groups of quite numerous hikers and the path soon begins to climb steeply over stones, it´s a quite a long climb, with spectacular views of the Solenzara valley early in the morning.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Start of the ‘alpine variant’ with the early morning lights

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Steep climb over stones at the start of the ‘alpine variant’ (following yellow markings)

We continue up until we reach the Acceddu peak (1,500m) (we have spent about 2h here) and from here we begin to go down around the mountain.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Rocky landscape in the alpine variant of Agujas de Bavella

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Fabulous landscape around the Agujas de Bavella in the early hours of the day

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Fabulous landscape around the Agujas de Bavella in the early hours of the day

After a new small climb we find a chain to go down over a slippery stone (about 7 or 8 meters long) that forces us to go down backwards, facing the rock while holding the chain with our hands. I did not do very well, but the guide of one of the groups that we passed helped me by explaining this technique of going down with your feet and with your back to the slope.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Chain of about 10 meters to lower a vertical smooth slab

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Views of the vertical chain, do you see it?

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Close-up to a group of hikers going down the vertical chain strech.

After the chain, it climbs up to another pass, the Alto di a Vacca (1,550) and finally the Alto de Bocca di u Pargulo (1,660m). Turning our eyes back we contemplate all the raised towers that make up the Agujas de Bavella massif, how beautiful! We take the opportunity to stop and eat a little with these fantastic views.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Views of the ‘holey’ Trou de la Bombe, in the surroundings of the Agujas de Bavella

Corcega GR20 A&B_Agosto 2020 Dia 2

Bocca di Pargulu

We return to the path, which surrounds the mountain and begins the descend through the forest, a descent of less than 1 hour but quite long with a final zigzag section until we find our GR20 path again. From here we appreciate the ease of a flat and easy section, also through pine and birch forest. We cross a few streams where we found a lot of people, and in some of them there are people taking a dip, it is not surprising, it is really warm!

It is already 10 am, and taking advantage of one of the rivers, we also make a break and eat a little before continuing to the Asinau refuge. From here it is about 45min uphill and it is already very hot, so the climb becomes a bit tough.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Climb to the Asinau refuge

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Asinau hut

Once in the hut we take water, rest a little and go up! Now it is about 2h of non-stop climb to reach the summit of Mount Incudine (2,135m), the key point of this tough stage.

It should be noted that climbing Mount Incudine from the Asinau refuge does not present any possible alternative, so in case of bad weather and rain it would be better to refrain from going up or going down.

We started to go up at 11:00 am with the sun hitting us and with the backpacks full. The climb is quite steep and it gets taller and taller. We are moving slowly through stones and smooth granite slabs, but we are grateful that there are also easy sections along the way where we can catch our breath and rest if necessary. Some sections we have to help ourselves to climb with our hands and so on until we reach the hill (where we arrive at at 12:30 pm). We rest a bit, we enjoy the views and the needles through which we have passed this morning and even the refuge of Asinau, down there it already looks tiny!

This hill represents an intersection of roads; The new GR20 route descends towards the Matalza refuge on the left and the old GR20 route that goes to the right, going up to Mount Incudine (2,135m) and then down the Corsican plateau. We decided to go along the old route and in about 20 minutes we reach the summit of the mountain (1:00 p.m.), where we follow yellow marks, but also the old GR marks. At the top where there is a characteristic wooden cross, we enjoy good views of the mountains and the coast, 360º views!

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Reaching the top of Mount Incudine

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Monte Incudine summit

Once at the top, we go down the other side, without stone slabs, but rather an easy path, a constant descent in sections with loose stones, but always on a good track.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Easily going down the other valley of Mount Incudine

We go down and the path becomes increasingly flat with slides until we turn abruptly to the West, where little by little we are losing height and the heat returns to be the protagonist. We now enter a stream forest with beech trees and thus we enter the wonderful Corsica highlands.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Corsica highlands

Later we find different streams and all of the sudden we found a footbridge through which we cross the Forcinchesi river. We continue along a pleasant path between meadows with bushes and streams. We find a track that indicates Matalza but we ignore it and we continue on our way.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Beautiful riverside trees in the Corsica highlands

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Forcinhesi river footbridge

We cross a first stream and then another. At this moment we see that the clouds that have been forming during the afternoon are taking on volume and a dark gray color. It does not look good so we are looking for a possible place to pitch a tent. And how fortunate we are that above this second stream we find a small flat terrain on elevated (and prepared for bivouac) in a beautiful place, I would say idyllic among these majestic trees and with the small stream just below.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Camp site

We settled in and it just started to rain! We wait for the rain to pass (it happens in about 1h). After the summer storm, we let things dry, we take a bath in the river and enjoy this beautiful place 🙂

Finally we prepare the dehydrate dinner with the Jetboil and with a beautiful sunset we go to sleep very happy.

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