The first 20km of this route follows what in recent years has become the finale of the Criterium International stage race. As you can see from the profile it rises up quite sharply with an average gradient in the 10-20km section of 8% and a maximum of 12% to the Col. You can take a look at the climb on YouTube.
The landscape as you rise up from the coastal plain becomes a combination of pine forest, incredible sculptured granite and gigantic boulders. Just below the village of Ospedale there is a panoramique view point on your left surveying the bay of Porto-Vecchio and just across the ribbon of sea, Sardinia in the distance. You may not want to stop as it will disrupt your rhythm on what is the hardest section up and on through the village (hopefully you don't need to stop!). The Col comes after the village and is unremarkable. Continue on the D368 along the east side of the reservoir, Lac de l'Ospedale, and across the barrage and through the upland plateau before descending over the Cols of Illarta and Pelza. Look out for the left turn at the latter for the D67 for Pacciunituli famed for it's megalithic menhirs ( an alternative is to continue on to Zonza and loop back to Levie). Stay on the D67 and aim for San-Gavino and then the D268 south and onto Levie. Take the D59 to Carbini and look out for a rather unusual church called St Jean-Baptiste which has a detached bell tower - it looks like they've been pushed apart. You're back ascending now a different part of the Ospedale massif and the high point is the Col de Bacinu with it's menhir style WW2 memorial.
From here it's all downhill back to Porto Vecchio staying with the D59 until you see a left for the D159 (just at the start of the long straight) which you should take and then look out for signs back to town.
© M.Lund 2013-23