- Ascent: 650 meter
- Descent: 1200 meter
- Time: 6hr
This is a very pretty stage along the shoulders of the solitary Monte d’Oro. There are splendid views back from where you came and towards ranges still to cross. There’s also a seemingly endless descent all the way down to Vizzavona, which is steep and technical in parts. If you have difficulty descending then this stage will take a lot more than the allotted 6 hours.
You start by climbing steeply from Refuge de l’Onda towards a nameless pass underneath Punta Muratello. From here there are two options: You can climb all the way up to Monte d’Oro and follow a path on the other side of the mountain down to Vizzavona or you can start descending immediately along the valley carved by the L’Agnone Ruisseau. The Monte d’Oro alternative adds some 2 hours to the hike but is recommended when energy levels are high and the weather is good. Whatever alternative you choose, the descent will be long, steep and technical.
The main GR20 goes drops down some very steep slabs where trust in the grip of your shoes is vital. Along the way there are multiple scrambles but most are easy to navigate.
Before long you reach L’Agnone Ruisseau, a pretty river that at times cuts deeply through the rock. There is still a long way to descend before reaching the Cascade des Anglais, a popular destination for day hikers. There is a bar for those in need of refreshments. From Cascade des Anglais there is still some 1hr 30min to walk before reaching Vizzavona. Mostly through lush and beautiful pine forrest.
Vizzavona is a small town with a restaurant and a pizzeria that opens very late. There is also a basic campground with warm showers, proper toilets and a basic shop selling overpriced foodsupplies. There is also a railroad connecting Vizzavona to Corte, Bastia, Calvi and Ajaccio. Visiting Corte on a rest day is splendid idea.
Vizzavona is also know as the midpoint of the GR20. After completing the Northern part of the GR20 the Southern part will look and feel a lot gentler. This does not mean that the South part is not worth hiking though, there is plenty of spectacular scenery to cross before you reach Conca.