Wild Horses in Sardinia have a perfect place
for living, its name is “Giara di Gesturi”
We went to the Giara di Gesturi’s plateau: spring has already exploded in all its
essences, colors and fluctuating forms. What an extraordinary paradise is to see wild horses in
the Giara of Gesturi natural park!
Just 73km driving to the north from Cagliari and you will be, within about an hour journey from Ca ‘del Sol,
at the top of this spectacular basaltic plateau extended for about 4400 hectares, the average height
it is around 550m above sea level. in Sardinian called “Sa Jara Manna“.
How to get there?
Passed by the village of Gesturi, an authentic pearl of the Marmilla region, as well as the birthplace of Fra Nicola,
you will have to follow the sign “Giara – Cavalli“ placed at the exit of the town, from here an uphill road
will take you to the top of the plateau where you will have to leave your car and then continue by foot as
it is prohibited for most of the year, circulation to non-beneficiaries.
The visitor center is located at the entrance of the Park where the guards will be happy to give you the map
and general informations about the Park. Usually there is also a bicycle rental.
Breathtaking view of the Marmilla hills below: an authentic agricultural area
and cereals producing farms take here place since a remote era. The gaze will be captured by the infinite forest
of cork oaks bent over the years by the mistral wind blowing strong here unhindered.
Here they are, appearing out the trees and head to the big marshes, in Sardu called “Paùlis“,
they are the famous little horses of the jar among the last wild horses of Europe!
The Paùlis are temporary reserves of rainwater, collected due to the layer of clay that forms the bottom and,
where, in millions of specimens, the Butter Cups live.
Which kind of animals live in the Giara?
Many animals live in this park, preserved unaltered over millennia such as: wild boar,
ox, fox, wild cat, marten, emerald toad, weasel, hedgehog, algiroid (rare reptile), tree frog,
oak processionary, great spotted woodpecker, jay, bee-eater, sardinian partridge, crow,
blackbird, small her, sardinian magnanina, buzzard, sardinian goshawk, kestrel,
imperial crow and the knight of Italy.
Is there a living fossil?
Among the most exceptional beings, not only in Sardinia, but in the world, in the Paùlis of the Giara Park,
live the crustaceans Lepidurus apus and the Triops cancriformis: authentic living fossils remained
unchanged since at least 5 millions years!
Thinking about you and your delight, we were able to photograph the Triops Cancriformis!
Here it is! It feeds in the calm marshes:
Which kind of vegetation is possible to find on the Giara?
The vegetation that you will find here, it is growing up with: cistus, mastic, arbutus, myrtle,
wild pear, blackthorn, helichrysum, wild mint, euphorbia and asphodel.
Who are these wild horses ?
Horses are wandering around in small groups, and they are the real attractions!
It is not a native species but, over time, has become one. Brought from North Africa he lived
all over the island at least, until the Middle Ages, then they were progressively replaced or crossed
with horses of bigger size.
The somatic characteristics of the horses are: small stature (about 120cm
at the withers), almond-shaped eyes and long mane. The hooves are small, too, to be able to gallop
among the stones of the Giara. It is possible to count about 500 specimens, rigidly protected as important
biotopes at national level.
We would to share with you these photos that we took on the plateau, of course, feel free to drop us
a line if you’d like any infos or tips: we will be happy to reply you.
Take a look to our offers, if you want to come and enjoy this extraordinary experience.
Texts and Photos: 2019 © Daniela and Michele for CadelSol.net
May you be interested by: