GT20 – La Grande Traversée

Equal parts rugged and refined, the Mediterranean island of Corsica blends picturesque seaside towns and pristine beaches with thick woodlands and jagged peaks, making it the ideal destination for a cycling holiday. Following the recent opening of La Grande Traversée, or GT20 for short, a 600-kilometer route across Corsica, Pol Tarres and friends flew to the island for exactly that: an unforgettable bike adventure in an unbelievable locale. Read on to enjoy their experience.


We wanted a challenge, a challenge in which we not only had to pedal but also enjoy new landscapes and, as always, soak up the culture and enjoy the gastronomy of the places where we go. We had always had Corsica in our sights and now, with the recent launch of the GT20, it was the perfect time to do this adventure. We have always thought that the islands have a different “something” that attracts us a lot, we like to pose and do adventures, in this case, we crossed Corsica from north to south in 5 days.

Whether you are an expert or you are just starting out in cycling, Corsica is your destination to practice your passion and the GT20 “la Grande Traversée”, the new 600km cycling route with a +9,500m that crosses the Island of Beauty from the north to south, starting in Bastia and ending in Bonifacio. You will be able to see the impressive landscapes and at the same time the amazing contrasts of sea and mountains that the island has, cross the authentic inland villages, discover the cultural heritage and taste local products such as wine, honey, the “brocciu” (goat and sheep milk cheese) and olive oil among others.

The GT20 is accessible to everyone, with any type of bicycle, and, although it is designed to do 12 stages, the most ambitious cyclists will be able to do it in less, it is an open route and eachone can adapt it to their tastes and needs.


Every day our perception of the island changed: before going we thought that there were only white sand beaches, turquoise blue and transparent water. And it was not like that at all. In the first GT20 part, in Cap Corse, we rode along the coast with roads touching the sea, passing through fishing villages and cliffside villages. We pass by the Molino Mattei viewpoint where you can see the west side of Cap Corse.

From there, you kept seeing the sea but from the height of the cliffs to the town of Saint-Florent. After going around around Cap Corse you enter the interior of the Balagne, an area where you can enjoy small towns with a lot of history and full of GT20 – CORSICA artisans that the route goes through. In the last part of this area, before reaching Porto and Piana, the GT20 goes along a road that goes up and down enjoying the views of the Gulf of Porto, the Capo Rosso and the “ Calanches de Piana”, a UNESCO world heritage site, where the next day we would go on a boat trip to see it up close.From this point the GT20 enters the island and we would only see the sea at some points but in the distance. On the third day we faced the longest and hardest climb of the entire route, Porto Vergio, 32km and +1450m, passing through areas that reminded us of landscapes from Avatar,to reach the final part, where autumn was imposed, dyeing the landscape of yellows, oranges and browns. From there we descended to the Niolo region along a fast and fun road, to end up in a gorge of granite rocks with ocher tones that reminded us a lot of Morocco.



In the 4 stage we were surrounded by mountains, we crossed the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, the Marmanu forest, and passed through inland villages such as Corte, Zicavo or Zonza, from which you can have a spectacular view of the Incudine mountain massif ( 2,134m ).
On the last day we rode over the mountain pass of Col de Bacino, the last of the GT20, to descend to Sotta and finish the route in Bonifacio: a beautiful town hanging on some white cliffs, preserving the medieval atmosphere of when it was founded, it is an essential town to visit and an unbeatable point to finish the route.


During the days we were there, we came across “bikepackers”, cyclists with ebikes, road, mountain bikes, and even city bikes, and they were all following the GT20. The GT20 runs largely on secondary roads to be able to not only enjoy quiet and safe cycling, but also the landscapes without losing any comfort: accommodation to sleep, restaurants to eat, and museums and historical heritage to visit, which is great for a few days of sightseeing by bike without missing out on everything the island has to offer. The entire route is marked with signs at all the intersections with which it is very easy to follow the route without getting lost at any point, so the GPS is not even necessary, it is very convenient.

One of the things we appreciated the most was time. Corsica is a destination that can be enjoyed all year round, and for cyclists the seasons of spring and autumn are great. During the first and last hours of the day it cools down a bit and then, with the sunrise, temperatures remain between 20 and 26º, perfect for practicing sports. In addition, at this time you can enjoy the island with fewer tourists and fewer cars.

Production – ApperStudio

Riders – Pol Tarrés

Mire Simó miresimo

Suzie Marachet suziemarachet