Giara di Giustari

A high plateau of cork trees an miniature horses in the western Barbagia region of Sardinia

Just inland from the Costa Verde beaches is the western section of the Barbagia region of forested mountains and high plains.

Most famous of these plains is the Giara di Giustari, a plateau forested with gnarly-barked cork trees and populated by wild herds of cavallini  (miniature horses).

There are several entrances to the plateau; that above the village of Gesturi is easiest. You can grab a map at the entrance detailing trails across the plateau, or hook up with Gianni Orrù, who offers rides on the (regular-sized) horses he keeps tied in the copse of trees just inside the park entrance to the right.

Tip: your best bet for seeing the cavallini is to walk down the main road to the third water pool.

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How to get to the Giara di Gesturi

There are several entrances to the plateau's park; that above the town of Gesturi is easiest. Tel. +39-349-075-8602. Admission: €3.

Horseback rides on the Giara Gesturi

Gianni Orrù keeps his horses in a grove to the right of the road just beyond the parking lot at the park entrance above Gesturi. Tel. +39-348-772-6154 or +39-333-174-8406, Guided rides cost €7 for 30 minutes, €12 per hour.

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