Above and Below the World

Corcega GR20


Activity type:

Categoria de Senderismo - Hiking activity


  • Starting and ending point: Monte d’Oro Hotel, Vizzavona | l’Onda Reguge
  • Distance and durartion: 13,2 km | 8h
  • Elevation: +1.400 m/-1.150 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Type of route: Lineal

Download GPX track:


Map and profile of the trip:

We begin the ‘Phase 2’ of the Corsica GR20, the approach to the great northern mountain ranges of the north from Vizzavona.

This is a hiking full of contrasts, in the beginning through beech forests and waterfalls, always with the view of the impressive Monte d’Oro, splendid and full of shades of golden lights in the early morning. We will leave the forest behind to enter rocky terrain and make the summit of this emblematic massif. Full of emotions, we will climb the slope of the Muratello pass and end the day in the peculiar refuge of l’Onda.

CORSICA GR20 phase 2: DAY 6th-7th-8th

GR-20. HIKING DAY 6: Vizzavona, Monte d'Oro Hostel, 1.000m - l'Onda hut, 1.430m

8.15h (6h45' in movement) 13,2km +1.400m/-1.150m

After preparing and having breakfast in the room of the Monte d’Oro hostel, bread with jam and chocolate and muffins 😊 we left at 6:45 a.m. to start the day.

We walk about 200 m along the road towards Vizzavona to take a path to our left, following the indications to the English waterfall. The path is a forest track set up with ‘multi-adventure stations’ for children and with 2 bars, so the place is very touristy and it is better to go early to avoid crowds of people spending the day there. We didn’t meet anyone because it was so early, and the bars were still closed.

So, we leave the track behind to enter a somewhat difficult path between rocks and roots. Shortly after, we deviate for a moment towards the river to see the English waterfall closely (1,090m) and taking photos while enjoying the solitude of the moment. The views of Monte d’Oro are spectacular under the first lights of the day, making the textures and colors more pastel and striking.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Monte d’Oro, under the early morning ligth from Vizzavona

Corcega GR20 Corsica

English waterfall

From here we follow the GR20 that takes us into a wonderful forest with tall and majestic trees and the path becomes “a little more pleasant” walking through this fresh forest between streams in l’Agnone valley.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Edu looks small among the colossal trees of the forests of the Valle de l’Agnone

Little by little we leave the forest behind to start climbing through an area of ​​stones and bushes more typical of the high mountains. We will cross several streams and a surprising footbridge, from Turtettu, while the sunligth already begin to reach us.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

l’Agnone valley

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Turtettu bridge

The ascent at this time is somewhat more vertical and through rock, but without being technical at all, and 3 hours after starting we arrive at the junction to climb Monte d’Oro, just before the GR20 turns sharply to the W direction, to the Collado de Muratello. You have to be aware of this crossing since it is not signposted and we could pass it perfectly. We have to look for some yellow marks on the stones.

As we were good on time, we decided to go up. We leave the backpacks a little higher than the junction, to be able to climb without weight, and we see that we are not the only ones who have thought the same! We will now follow the yellow markings and the stone piles towards the summit.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Going up to Monte d’Oro summit

The path begins easy, both the road itself and the indications, without problems to follow them. We soon arrive at the passage of a small gap, where with a short climb we pass it and from here there are more stones and the path becomes steeper.

We are advancing at a some point we will have to help each other with our hands to advance, thus reaching a small plain, the Plateau de Scampiccioli (2,190m), a small plateau with grass that precedes the final climb up the southeast ridge, until we reach the summit of Monte d’Oro (2,389m). This final climb is not complicated and little by little everyone can climb it, although in rainy day or bad weather conditions we strongly discourage it since a fall could have serious consequences. From the detour to the top it will take us 1h10′, although if you go at a good pace, it can take 1h. Surprisingly, there are quite a few people there! Some people eating, others sunbathing … and actually it is a very sunny day, also today!

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Panoramic views from Mone d’Oro summit, 2389m

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Monte d’Oro summit

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Cross with altitude indication 2.389m,  at Monte d’Oro summit

From the top, we thoroughly enjoyed the views; all the mountains and valleys around, how fantastic! We take pictures and eat a snack. After resting, we went down the same path, taking 1h, and my knees are already starting to hurt a lot, so I have to advance slowly on the descents.

Once at the crossroads, we take the backpacks again, and we continue the march. It took us another 30 minutes to climb until we reached the Bocca Muratellu pass. To say that the last meters before arriving are very steep and with this sun beating down they become quite tough. Once at the hill, we return to rest a bit to face the last section of today until the refuge, which can already be seen down in the valley.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Panoramic views near the Muratello pass

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Muratello pass, 2.120m

Corcega GR20 Corsica

On the Muratello pass with the impressive Monte d’Oro behind

We resume the march, now downhill, with a lot of stone and not very pleasant. The knees hurt!

It took us about 1h30 ‘to descend, making a couple of stops in between to rest. Once down, the descent softens a bit to reach a beautiful meadow with good views of the mountains that we will walk the next few days. We continue and to reach l’Onda hut, we have to deviate from the GR20 path to take one last descent, short but steep and at this point, not very appealing. Finally, we get to the refuge (it is approximately 3:00 p.m.).

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Going down to l’Onda hut

Corcega GR20 Corsica

L’Onda hut camping area

The hut has a camping area and in front there are bergeries, where they serve food (with a small shop to buy as well). We take half board (the food is paid in the bergeries) and we go to the camping area to settle in with our tent. It is still early but there are already enough people and more that will be coming, so better to take a flat place now that we still have time.

After we settled in, we took a shower, saying that they have hot water and the showers are correct. As we have time we take the opportunity to wash clothes and hang them in the sun. Later, hut’s guard “the Italian sergeant” passes by to charge us for the tent slot, and he goes through each of the tents to charge, 8€ per person.

It turns out that you can reserve and pay the huts in advance, we thought you could not and that is what I read in other blogs, but you can do it through the website of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, or at least this is what he tells us. Although in no shelter we have availability problems, but it is good to know.

Corcega GR20 A&B_Agosto 2020 Dia 6

L’Onda hut camping area

It turns out that you can reserve and pay the huts in advance, we thought you could not and that is what I read in other blogs, but you can do it through the website of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, or at least this is what he tells us. Although in no shelter we have availability problems, but it is good to know.

In the bergeries we are call at 6:30 p.m. for dinner, we go there at that time but until approximately 1 hour later we do not start eating … they are very slow serving and the place is crowded.

Corcega GR20 Corsica

Bergeries at l’Onda hut

The shepherd from the Bergeries goes through the tables with 1 pot of Corsican vegetable soup and a large saucepan, distributing just, and no more, 2 saucepans per person and the other guy, the guard, passes with a tray of bread so that you can take only 1 piece and when it arrives at our table, everyone has already taken theirs and they touch the smallest pieces, what a shame!

After a while, about another hour, the shepher passes out to distribute the second plate and as they have done with the first, he goes around the tables with everything counted; 1 ladle of stewed meat and a piece of semolina, pretty horrible all, but we are so hungry that we eat it.

It is already 8:30 p.m. and since it seems that they are late, they serve desserts more quickly; a large piece of cheese with 1 piece of bread (the cheese is good and homemade, from the goats of the bergeries themselves) and finally a chocolate mousse, also good.

We ask for next day breakfast, which is delivered in a small plastic bag, since we want to leave before 7, where they put us some bread, butter and jam, 2 juices and 2 plastic bottles, one with coffee, and the other with 1 finger of milk … well, actually we expected it even worse, so we quickly go to bed, because tomorrow a long and hard day awaits us.

P.S. Information about the shelters: When designing the route and reading the comments of the people from the shelters on the GR20, we tried to avoid them as much as possible since you eat poorly and few, the bathrooms are dirty, etc … We corroborate that we did not like the food or the service in l’Onda, but at least hot water comes out in the showers and depending on the shelter and the people who use them , the bathrooms will be more or less clean, or rather, more or less dirty. In general, it is said that the showers have always been good for us and with hot water and only in the l’Onda hut did we found the bathrooms quite dirty at the end of the day.

It must be said that in the camping areas there is gas for cooking and in some places even kitchen utensils, which is very convenient! In addition, they also have picnic tables and benches in the camping areas.

Half board price in Bergeries of l’Onda hut information:

  • Half board price in Bergeries de l’Onda for 2 people: 64€
  • 2 people tent slot at l’Onda camping area: 16€

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