It is between Marmilla and Sarcidano, in the center-south-western zone of the Sardinia among the province of Cagliari, Nuoro and Oristano
grounds of interest
geology nature archaeology
the main interest of the visit ! the WILD LITTLE HORSES!
how to come to
If you come from Cagliari you have to cover the statal road 131 in Sassari direction, then at the 40.800 Km you have to leave the statal road 131 and to turn right in Villamar direction; you will cross Villamar and then the country of Las Plassas, 10Km far. From Las Plassas you will catch up one of the three countries (all in 5-10 Km of distance), Gesturi, Tuili, and Setzu, from which they start the roads that go up until the Giara.
who to talk to
the cooperative ” Sa Jara Manna ” – Barumini (CA), statal road 197 Km 44; tel.fax +390709368170- organizes guided visits on the Giara, by racing-car, on horseback, by bicycle, on foot.
When it is arrived to the Giara, between the brushwood, in the glades around is paulis, it will be easy to notice, at the gallop, at the pasture or at the watered, herds of small but fiery horses: they are”is Acchettus” the little horses of the Giara of Gesturi.
The Giara di Gesturi is the only place in the world in which these little horses live: they are a typical endemic race; probably they discend by the Nubian horses, who where brought in Sardinia by the Carthaginian, in the centuries that preceded the Roman conquest of the island.
They have long manes, almond-shaped eyes and fiery temper: it is moving to see them while they gallop on the plateau of the Giara.
The Giara di Gesturi is a basaltic plateau, extended approximately 45 kmq, than it is rises, like a powerful bulwark, until to a height of 609 m in the center of a zone of plains and sweet hills.
Million years ago from the crust of the earth came out masses of basaltic lava that deposited on the preexisting cliff, rather tender.
The lava solidified and transformed itself in a hard stone shield that saved the below cliff from the erosive action of the atmospheric agents who instead acted on the immediately surrounding territory, leveling it: therefore the Giara was formed.
Photos by Mattia Vacca
The territory of the Giara is characterized:
- from the tabular profile of the top of the plateau
- from the presence of basaltic stones of varied dimension scattered on the ground
- from is zepparas, the ancient volcanic mouths from which million years ago they went out the basaltic lavas
- from is paulis, the swampy depressions that they are wherever on the plateau
On the edges of the plateau they are visible the rests of 23 nuraghi, the megalithic towers built by the ancient Sardinians more than three millions years ago.
The natural atmosphere is typical and varied: cork- forests and holm-oaks with the thick Mediterranean spot cover the whole plateau, on which they are scattered is paulis.
The trees are small and twisted: the Giara is an hard ambient, the ground is full of rocks and the plateau is all exposed to the inclemency of the weather.
But this difficult ambient becomes sweeter with the arrival of the spring : the ranunculi and the asphodel bloom and all the giara cover itself with a multicoloured mantle.
Then the strong and gentle smell of the Mediterranean essences spread in the air and from is mitzas (sources) gushes out one good water: it is the better period in order to visit the Giara in its full splendor.
In the brushwood live wild boars , martens , foxes and wild cats but difficultly they let see themselves by the visitor.
The buzzard, the kestrel and the red pied woodpecker are easier visible.
In is paulis they stay the aquatic birds: gallinules and royal germans and sometimes also flamingoes.
In the giara they are some interesting vegetables and animals endemisms, like the small crustacean that lives in the waters of is paulis, a true living fossil.
- if you would like to know much more