Meg Hourihan: Apparently Corsica is home to the GR20, “the spectacular and arduous 130-mile route that many claim is Europe’s best backpacking trail.” Oooh! Perhaps my next trip to France will involve a visit to the GR20. Spectacular and arduous are two of my favorite hiking-related adjectives!
A few years back (Easter of 2000) Sarah and I had the opportunity to visit Corsica. We stayed in Ajaccio, Corte (up in the mountains) and Bastia. We hiked the section of the GR20 near Corte until a storm made us turn around back to the hotel. Of the trip I would say the area around Corte was the most scenic, but Bastia was great fun — it blends the best of Mediterranean France with Italy (which is actually closer). It was a bit hard to get around in inland Corsica as English was very rare, my French is horrible, and most people speak an indigenous language.
Another little known hiking destination of choice is the Picos de Europa in Spain near Fuente D. There is cable car that will take you to the top of the mountain (and back down if you’re so inclined). Sarah and I opted to hike down. We encountered a herd of goats that was quite curious about us and a point in the trail where the only way down is via the rope that is attached to the rock face. Challenging, but fun. The best part is that you can stay in a Parador right at the base of the mountain.
Perhaps I’ll have to scan some pictures to attach to this post.