The Cascade de Piscia di Gallo or the Cascade de Piscia di Ghjaddu is, with a height of 60 meters, not only the highest waterfall in Corse. The waterfall has also got a special nickname because of the way the water flows out of the steep rock wall: the “cock piss”. You walk to the Cascade de Piscia di Ghjaddu in about one hour and is a nice (for Corsican terms) short hike to add to your daytrip through the inland of Corsica.
Where is the Cascade de Piscia di Gallo?
The Cascade de Piscia di Ghjaddu (Piscia di Gallo) is located 3.5km north of Lac de l’Ospédale, on a 45-minute drive northwest of Porto-Vecchio in Corse.
How do you get there?
The easiest and fastest way to reach the Cascade de Piscia di Ghjaddu is by (rental)car.
|From Porto-Vecchio||26 km||40 min|
|From Bonifacio||54 km||1u 10min|
|From Ajaccio||99 km||2u 11min|
By public transport
At the start of the walk to the waterfall there is no bus stop and is therefore not directly accessible by public transport. If you still want to travel by bus, you can do so until Zonza (13.4km) or L’Ospédale (7km). From here you will have to take care of transport to the waterfall yourself.
Timetable Ajaccio – Porto-Vecchio (via Zonza/L’Ospedale)
Rates bus Ajaccio – Porto-Vecchio
The hiking trail starts on the right-hand side of the parking lot and continues left between the snack bars La Cascade and U Diamente. From here the yellow markings lead you to the waterfall and you first pass a small bridge. From here the gently descending and stony path continues towards the forest and you follow the banks of a nearby river.
Once in the forest, the path becomes wider and you end up at the river, which you also have to cross. During our visit in september the water was not too high, so you could easily walk over the stone riverbed. Before you start walking, ask around to find out how high the waterlevel is. This to avoid that you are not able to cross the river and you cannot continue your walk. Especially after heavy rainfall, it can happen that the waterlevel is higher than normal.
After you have crossed the river, a short climb will follow up a hill towards a plateau. From here you look out over a beautiful landscape full of pine trees, rocks and bushes. While looking through the bushes you can see the stream (Ruisseau de Palavesani) going down towards the waterfall.
On top of the plateau the path continues to the left and after about five minutes you have a fantastic view over the Alta Rocca mountain range. Here you will also find a special rock with a hole in it and which seems to balance on the rock below: the Rocher Sentinelle. This rock has been shaped by erosion over the years and is a nice point to take some creative pictures (at your own risk).
From the Rocher Sentinelle you start the descent to the waterfall and now the walk becomes more difficult. Here the stony path turns into a rock path. Just take your time here while you make your way down the rocks.
After the first descent you can already see the waterfall in the distance and on a flat stretch you have the opportunity to rest, before you can climb down towards the viewpoint.
This last part you descend a number of steps, consisting of high and large boulders, and of which the path is secured with a steel cable. Especially if you have short legs like me, this steel cable is very nice to hold on to while you climb up or down.
This final descent takes about 5 minutes and ends at your end point: the viewpoint of the waterfall. Unfortunately, because of the many trees you do not have an unobstructed view of the waterfall, but despite the trees it is certainly worthwhile to walk there.
Do you want an unobstructed view of the waterfall? Then you can choose to climb further down. However, there is no steel cable available here for your safety and the rocks can be slippery. This path is therefore at your own risk and certainly not suitable for young or little children.
Duration of the walk
The path to the waterfall is 2.5km long. In total, you should be able to make the walk in about 1.5 hours (return), but this is absolutely without breaks and/or photo stops.
Would you like to take a break once in a while, stop for a photo and enjoy the scenery and the view of the waterfall? Then calculate about 2.5 hours for the entire hike, including the descent to the second viewpoint.
From the parking lot till the descent to the waterfall the walk is easy. You walk on a stony path and partially through a forest, with sometimes a light climb and descents over rocks.
The last part, as soon as you make the descent towards the waterfall, is difficult. The stony path here changes into a path of rocks and a staircase consisting of high and large boulders, where a steel cable is your only grip.
Difference in height
From the starting point the descent to the waterfall is about 150 meters. From a height of 950m to 836m.
Is the hike suitable for children?
Especially the last part of the walk to the viewpoint is not suitable for small or young children. Here, the stony path turns into a path of rocks, after which you descend to the viewpoint via a number of steps consisting of high and large boulders. A steel cable is here for your safety and is hanging to high for small children to hold onto.
At the waterfall itself it is not possible to swim. The water in the basin at the bottom of the waterfall is not very clean and the descent to it is only possible with climbing experience.
If you still want to go for a swim, this is possible at the beginning of the walk in one of the pools. However, you should then try to find a safe way to this small pools over the rocks and stones yourself.
Before you descend to the waterfall there is still a possibility to swim in the river. As soon as you have arrived on the plateau from the forest, you will see the river in front of you at the bottom of the hill.
But be careful, because the stones can be slippery and also the water from the mountains can be cold!
Shoes and equipment
For the walk it is advisable to wear sturdy shoes with a good profile, such as walking shoes, Teva sandals or trail running shoes. Sport shoes are also possible, but they have often got smoother soles.
Wearing slippers/flip-flops is not recommended, since you have to climb over all kinds of rocks during the last part of the walk.
On the way there is no possibility to buy or to tap drinking water. So take enough drinking water with you in for example a reusable water bottle. Or refill your drinking water at one of the restaurants before your leave.
Food and drinks
At the start of the walk you will find two restaurants. Here you can go for something to eat and / or drink:
- Snack La Cascade
- Snackbar U Diamente
For a sanitary stop you can go to:
- the small stone sanitary building on the parking lot or
- one of the two restaurants/snackbars.
Take paper tissues and disinfectant hand gel with you.
Do you want to spend the night near the Cascade de Piscia di Ghjaddu? Then Zonza (13,4km) or Porto-Vecchio (25,8km) are the best and most nearby options.
At Zonza, staying at Hotel Le Tourisme is definitely recommended. It has got a lovely swimmingpool and hot-tub with a view of the Alta Rocca mountain range.
Cascade de Piscia di Gallo packing list
- 1,5-2 liter water per person
- lunch and/or snacks
- sturdy shoes with a good profile (walking shoes, trail running shoes, Teva sandals)