Just over 20 km, or half an hour, from Porto-Vecchio lies the enchanting Ospedale Forest, a walker's paradise with excellent hiking for all abilities. There are many clearly marked paths in this vast forest, set amongst laricio pines interspersed with huge granite boulders.
WalkingThere are easy, flat walks along the Sentiers des Rochers (Rock Path), also known as Sentier des Tafoni. Much of the forest was destroyed by fires earlier this century, however the scenery (especially on the higher slopes) is still stunning.
The Mare a Mare Sud hiking trail, which runs from Porto-Vecchio on the east coast to Propriano on the west coast, crosses through this area.
DirectionsTo reach Ospedale Forest, take the D368 northwest out of Porto-Vecchio, following the winding road 19 km to the village of Ospedale. The panoramic views back down to the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio from the D368 are exceptional. Ospedale Forest proper starts a couple of kilometres up the road, with various car parking areas.
Barrage de l'OspedaleA few kilometres further along, the D368 passes the vast lake of the Barrage de l'Ospedale (Dam of Ospedale), a man-made reservoir supplying Porto-Vecchio with water. Encircled by dramatic mountains and pines, this is a beautiful location and well-worth a stop. There are parking areas all along the lake, although the best views are from the parking at the furthest end of the reservoir. There is an Adventure Park (Extrem Sud) by the lake, offering canyoning, tree-walking, hiking and Via Ferratas. Quad biking is also available with Corsica Mountain Quad.
Piscia di Gallo WaterfallThe Piscia di Gallo waterfall is an impressive 60 m high waterfall. It is reached by a 90 minute scenic hike along a rocky gorge which, although not too strenuous, can be tiring in very hot weather. The start of the walk is 1 km from the Ospedale Barrage on the D368, by a large car-park and restaurant/snack bar (which can get quite busy with coach parties in summer).