Eat and drink on the GR20

 

Every park refuge, in season, offers meals and has a small shop. However, you will find that the meals and produce for sale, varies enormously in every place. The offer is influenced by the refuge’s location, when and how it was last re-stocked and whether the guardian has a second activity, that might influence the produce he sells.

A lot of people choose a compromise between ordering an evening meal prepared by the guardian some nights and buying food to prepare themselves on others. Nobody wants to be weighed down carrying all their meals, but ordering breakfasts and evening meals daily is a considerable budget.

What’s missing?

You often hear complaints that there is too much food repetition, not enough bread, or fresh fruit available. However, given the limited facilities that the guardians have for getting the supplies in and for the cooking, the food is pretty good. They also have to select produce that is going to resist the strong heat. 

You will find apples, oranges and tomatoes for sale and the vegetables are abundant in the Corsican soup which is a favourite starter. 

 

 

Meals in the refuge

During the months of June, July, August and September, the refuges offer a breakfast and evening meal that you can order upon arrival mid afternoon. The breakfasts are often prepared the night before and handed out so that  you can leave as early as you want in the morning.

If you are passing a refuge between 12h and 14h  they often offer a small lunchtime menu with choices, such as, cheese and mint omelette, pasta, Corsican soup, and plates of smoked charcuterie.

If you order an evening meal, they tend to be served from 19h00 and there are often two sittings depending on the amount of walkers present. This will be three courses which is different in every nightstop. You need to reserve as soon as you arrive, don’t leave it too late. You will be expected to bring your own knife to mealtimes!

All refuges have an indoor kitchen that you can use.  It will be equipped with gas, water and kitchen utensils.  (Always keep a lighter, or matches with you.)  You might find there are only 4 gas rings available for a large volume of hungry people, patience is needed. You have to survey your pots and pans, if you turn your back on boiling water, chances are it will go on somebody else’s pasta!  You are asked to wash and dry anything you use.

Every refuge  has an additional outdoor kitchen for campers.

Example of prices

Menu gr20

Exemple prix menus

Exemple menus

What you can find in the refuge shops

The guardians sell products that won’t go off quickly and will survive a journey. The majority of refuges bring in produce by helicopters several times during the season and replenish during the summer by using mules and carrying produce in by foot. The prices are reflected in the difficulty this entails.

 
 
 

Water

There are natural fresh water springs outside all of the refuges. I systematically filled up with two liters of water before leaving every morning and sometimes at midday.  I used a water pouch with pipe. There are often springs along the way but not always. You will see springs marked on the map with a small blue tear. On the ground, they are sometimes indicated with a sign and you will find a black pipe has been inserted to make it easier to fill up.

You should never drink directly from the rivers.  It is well worth carrying a packet of water purifying tablets, in case you are on a long section where there are no fresh water springs. You will always find water that can be made safe by using a purifying tablet.

 

Charcuterie

Another popular starter is 'Assiette de charcuterie' or dried pork. This is also a good picnic option  because it doesn't go off and its easy to transport.  The charcuterie is produced locally and is one of the best in the world, the pigs are free range,  they have a good diet and the meat is dried for months, so it won't go off in your rucksack.

Coppa and Lonzu - are quite different, they are made from different parts of the pig. The coppa is a combination of meat and fat, whereas the lonzu is a lot leaner.

Saucisse - pork sausage

Figatelli - liver sausage

Prizuttu - wonderful dried ham often cut with a thick border of fat

Pancetta - smoky bacon

 

Cheese

There is a long tradition of sheep and goat rearing on the island, there is a  lot  for sale and a lot incorporated in the meals on the GR20. Generally, the cheese is either brebis (ewe's milk) or chevre (goat's milk.) Then the family name of the producer is given to the cheese.  You will come across brocciu, this is a whey cheese akin to ricotta. It's creamy and is often on the menu in cheese and mint omelette, or cannelloni stuffed with brochiu and mint. 

Restauration

Prepared meals :

Couscous: 6 - 8€

3 course menu: 20 - 25€

Plate of smoked meats: 10 - 14€

Sandwich: 5 - 7€

Omelette: 12€

 

Menu gr20

Refuge shops

A bag of biscuits: 5€

A tin of ravioli: 4 - 5€

 

 

Drinks

A tin of Pietra 50 cl: 6 - 7€

Orangina, coca-cola: 3 - 5€

Coffee: 3 - 4€

 

 

 

 

Drinks Prices

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

What is a Pietra and a Colomba

These are two great local beers, Pietra was the first beer to be brewed with a mix of chestnut flour and barley malt.  Corsicans and visitors alike, love it.  it  is amber in  colour and has a strength of 6%.  Sold throughout the GR20, it's expensive and worth it!

The Colomba beer has captured the taste of the maquis, it has a subtle, herby, aromatic taste of juniper and myrtle, it's paler in colour than the Pietra, almost white and has 5% strength.

 

Pig Savvy

There are a lot of ravenous pigs wondering around on the GR20, they will find food if it’s lying about.   Be canny with your rucksack during the day, you can always hang it in a tree if there is food in side and you are leaving it for a few minutes.  I have seen pigs run off with bags into the dense maquis, never to be found again. If you have passports, keys and other valuables inside, it can be a real drama.

 

Managing your waste

If I had any left over picnic, I would throw it under a bush where it wasn’t unsightly and an animal could eat it.  I would take orange or banana peels with me to the next refuge. At the time this was written, there were bins available at each refuge, you do not have to carry out your empty tins and packets. In some refuges you are asked to divide your waste into different bins. It’s worth bringing a couple of zip lock bags to help carry your picnic food.

Vers refuge ciotullu
Weather Alerts

Recognise the different warnings

sac-a-dos-rando.jpg
Equipment on the GR20

List of equipment to bring to do GR20.

repas-gr20.jpg
Eat and drink on the GR20

All the information you need, to find where to eat and drink on the GR20, restaurants, small shops, shepherds with cheese and sausage.

Carte haut asco tighjettu
In which direction?

In Which Direction. North to South, or South to North.

SHOES GR20
The Best Shoes on the GR20

The single most important equipment choice you make before leaving has got to be the choice of shoes.

Gr20 transport
Join the departure of the GR20 : train, plane, bus, ferry or taxi

Planes, buses, taxis: transport to join the departure of the GR20.

Budget gr20
How much does it cost?

How to calculate the price for your GR20, how much does it all cost, the refuges, the food, a coffee...

Carte haut asco tighjettu
IphiGénie and maps

The best maps of the route are produced by the IGN (Institut Géographique National) at a scale of 1:25,000.

Breche de Capitello
Is the GR20 for you?

The GR20 is certainly one of the hardest long distance walks out there. Several factors contribute to this, the rough rocky terrain, the unpredictable weather and micro climates.

State of the Refuge
State of the Refuges

The stone base layer, is what exists today of Carrozzu refuge. The above floor is the proposed design for the modernization.

Gr20 balises
Authorised or not on the GR20

The GR20 is protected by the Parc Naturel Régional de Corse. With such a large volume of people every year, there are certain rules in place to protect the area.

Chargeur usb
Electricity on the GR20

How about electricity on the GR20?