Stage 15: To Conca

  • Ascent: 250
  • Descent: 1050
  • Time: 5hr

The last stage is one of the highlights of the GR20. As you descend the terrain remains rugged and interesting as you exchange pine forrest for a desert like landscape. There are several short, steep ascents that will keep you from cruising downhill. As you approach Conca the temperature rises and the smell of the Maquis becomes more and more apparent. All the way down you will keep looking up to towering, red rock formations around you and the sea ahead of you. On warm days this is not a place to linger in the afternoon sun so an early start is advised. Once in Conca you can catch the afternoon shuttlebus to Porto Vecchio.

Rugged peaks on the way to Conca on the GR20
Soon after leaving Refuge d’ I Paliri you exchange pine forrest for a rugged desert

The day starts off as an easy forrest walk but soon the forrest thins out and the climate becomes more desert like. Soon after you enter the desert there is a series of short ascents on rugged terrain as you traverse a ridge system and cross the Bocca di u Sordu. After crossing Bocca di u Sordu the descent starts properly and you finally have the feeling that the hike is ending.

Rugged terrain on the way to Conca on the GR20
The terrain remains rugged as you approach Conca

Before you reach Conca the GR20 has one last challenge as you have to climb up to Bocca d’Usciolu. From Bocca d’Usciolu you can finally see Conca lying ahead and you drop straight down to the road on the upper perimeter of the village.

First view of Conca, terminus of the GR20
From Bocca d’Usciolu you can finally see Conca, southern terminus of the GR20

After arriving on the road in Conca there is still some 3o minutes of road hiking downhill to the church in the centre of the village. On the church there is a sign signifying the official end of the GR20 Next to the church there is bar where you can celebrate finishing the GR20 with food and drink. When I finished the hike in 2014 the shuttlebus left at 3:00 pm and stopped right across from the bar. If you miss the bus you can camp at the refuge in town.

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