Gutturu Mannu: a natural oasis of great landscape value
Gutturu Mannu is the great canyon in South Sardinia, a unique and wild environment particularly loved by hikers, where unspoiled nature dominates the colors and scents of the Mediterranean.
The Gutturu Mannu Regional Nature Park, Sardinian name meaning “great gorge”, is one of the most important green areas of Southern Sardinia and one of the largest in Italy (35 thousand hectares) and extends in the territory of ten municipalities in the south-west of the island: Pula, Villa San Pietro, Siliqua, Domus De Maria, Uta, Assemini, Santadi, Capoterra, Sarroch and Teulada. The park has three entrances:
- Santadi presso Pantaleo;
- Pula near Pixinamanna;
- Uta near Santa Lucia.
One of the main features of the landscape of Gutturu Mannu is the succession of peaks over a thousand meters high:
- Gorge of Rio Is Cioffus: consisting of almost vertical reddish walls and rich in wild vegetation, during the rainy period the gorge is filled with water forming natural pools. The characteristic Faraglioni of Punta Calamixi are granite spires that embellish, together with a thick forest, the homonymous gorge in the forest of Is Cannoneris;
- Mount Is Caravius: with its 1116 meters is the highest in the park. The summit is entirely covered by forest and the name Is Caravius means “the hawthorns”;
- Mount Lattias: the relief, which name means “lettuce”, has a series of spires that draw a ridge two kilometres long. There are the last traces of primary forest in its canals;
- Punta Sebera: from here you can admire a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Cagliari to the southwest coast of Sardinia.
Gutturu Mannu is an area of great natural interest and includes the homonymous State forest, characterized by an evergreen sclerophyll tree-shrub vegetation, and three oases of wildlife protection: Pantaleo, Gutturu Mannu and Monte Arcosu, owned by WWF that has placed the area among the 10 “Hot spots” of the most representative forests of the Mediterranean ecoregion.
The forest is also a complex crossed by numerous waterways, Rio su Murru Sirboni, Rio su Murru su Zippiri, Rio Tronconi Mannu, Rio Perdu Secci, Rio Moras and canale Ladu, all tributaries of the main Rio Guturu Mannu.
Furthermore, there is the beautiful de Su Spistiddadroxiu waterfall, which can be easily reached through a wonderful path where you will encounter waterfalls, beaches and granite rocks. Once you reach your destination, it is impossible to remain indifferent in front of the spectacle of nature: the granite rocks slide into a vertical cliff of about thirty meters from which falls the water of the river Fenugus.
The natural landscape is enriched by the evocative perennial spring of Mitza Fabenas that guaranteed water to the inhabitants of the Nuragic village Fanebas in ancient times, whose ruins are today surrounded by the thick wood of holm oaks.
Gutturu Mannu: The Great Canyon Treasure Trove of Biodiversity
Gutturu Mannu, just like the Park of I Sette Fratelli, less than 40 km from Cagliari, is a veritable treasure trove of biodiversity and inside it houses one of the oldest and largest forests in the Mediterranean area.
The park is home to some endemic species of high zoogeographic value, including the most numerous nucleus of Sardinian deer (Cervus elaphus corsicanus), the Brown Cave Salamander (Atylodes genei), the Wild Cat (Felis silvestris var. libyca) and the Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis arrigonii) Sardinian-Corsican endemism.
The Sardinian deer, in particular, finds its ideal habitat in the park, and after having risked extinction at the turn of the 60s and 70s, has passed from a population of 500 specimens registered in the 80s to more than 2,500 free specimens all over the park, thanks to an action of repopulation and protection.
Other mammals such as hedgehogs, the hares and the rabbits, foxes and the weasels are also present alongside the species of the avifauna that include the Sardinian Goshawk, the Golden Eagle, the Buzzard, the Kestrel, the Partridges and the Quail.
Numerous insects populate the area: the Gypsy Moth, a nocturnal butterfly, the Sycophant, a beautiful beetle with changing colours ranging from blue, green and red, the Longhorn beetle, one of the largest insects in Europe that lives in oak forests and if caught emits a sound very similar to a whine.
The flora on the other hand has over 600 taxa and more than 50 endemic species, is mostly characterized by mixed woods of Mediterranean evergreen sclerophylls with a prevalence of holm oak, the most representative plant of Gutturu Mannu, cork oak, juniper and oleander. There are many other plants such as myrtle and carob, and the species of fungi, among which we find the Black Porcini (Boletus aereus), the Good ovule (Amanita cesarea) and the Ramaria arcosuensis, a recently discovered endemic fungus.
Inside the park, there is also the Helichrysun Montelinasanum, which is found only in Sardinia, some species of spontaneous Orchids and Lichens, such as the Lobaria pulmonaria, which populate the rocks and the trunks of the trees.
Do you want to discover the beautiful natural oasis of Gutturu Mannu and have a holiday full of charm and elegance? Book your stay at Palazzo Doglio in Cagliari