- Ascent: 450
- Descent: 950
- Time: 6hr 30min
Again, there are two ways to get to Refuge d’ I Paliri. The official GR20 is a low level hike around the Aiguilles de Bavella, the high level alternative is highly recommended and actually takes about 30 minutes less to complete. The high level alternative is described below.
This stage is quite long but luckily relatively easy. There is plenty of tree shelter along the way and ofttimes the trail is flat. As you lose height you exchange the mountain environment for a much warmer climate so the final two hours of the day can feel quite tiring. On weekends and holidays the area around Aiguilles de Bavella will be very busy with day hikers as the Aiguilles are easily reached from col de Bavella.
The day starts with a short descent to Ruisseau d’Asinau. You cross the river and then follow it downstream along a broad and level path. After about 45 minutes a small path branches off to Aiguilles de Bavella. As you take this path you immediately climb up steeply through pine and then birch forrest untill you reach the rocky top of the Aiguilles. There are some minor scrambles but these will pose no problem for a seasoned GR20 hiker.
From the top of the Aiguilles you can look down toward the very rugged end of the GR20 where bare rock and forrest alternate untill the sea finally is reached. The more immediate landscape is dominated by rocky towers with the most curious colors and shapes. The whole landscape feels as a Mediterranean version of the Dolomites. Eventually the path goes down steep switchbacks all the way down to Col de Bavella.
Col de Bavella has a small shop, cafe’s, restaurants and is an ideal place to take a lengthy afternoon break. There is no campground but other accommodation is available.
After col de Bavella there are still two tiring hours to Refuge d’ I Paliri through rugged pine forrest. There are numerous ups and downs and sometimes awesome views down remote forrested valleys. As altitude is lost the temperature rises and the athmosphere can become quite oppressive.
Refuge d’ I Paliri is a basic refuge situated on a rocky plateau and has amazing views on rock and rugged forrest. Be careful to take water from the designated source, other water is contaminated and leads to food poisoning.