Sanchet Circuit and the Hidden Valleys

Distance: approx 16kms - 10 miles Height Gain: approx 600 Metres - 2,000ft.
Good footpaths and tracks on a journey through remote tranquil valleys. This full circuit around the peak of Sanchet provides an unforgetable day out. A long and varied walk past stunning rock scenery and easy tracks through tranquil hidden valleys. Starting point: Heading to the coast on the CV70 from Guadalest the road drops steeply. Towards the bottom of the hills there is a wide cutting with stone walls on either side. Turn right immediately at the end of the stone walls and follow the surfaced track up steeply for approximately 2.7 kms to a small parking point where a track on the right (usually chained) marks the starting point. This can be further identified by the large boulder with paint marks.

The Walk: From the parking place follow the track up until an fairly obvious marked track heads of on a sharp bend. This climbs gently through dense vegetation (spiky in places!) towards the precipitous cliffs of Pena Roc. Part way up a large tree provides a good resting point. The path heads directly up the slope to meet the cliffs and you will find the shade of the enormous crags welcome on hot days. There are several climbing routes up these overhanging rock walls, many hundreds of metres long. The route traverses under the cliffs before climbing up and over a ridge with obvious rock strata. The path is actually an enlargement of one of the gaps between the harder layers of rock. You soon arrive beneath even steeper cliffs, and a good shady place to rest on most days. Beyond this section of cliff the path zig zags up to reach a hidden valley and a ruined Casita, which is surrounded by poppies and curry scented herbs in the early summer. The rocky walls of Sanchet also come into view as you climb gently to the routes high point, close to a helicopter pad and the first of several buildings belonging to the Bhuddist community that owns the whole valley.

Keep to the main path as you descend steadily over the next few kms. Keep an eye out for some interresting sculptures and shrines. The route has to turn the cliffs on the left. In order to do this is descends quite a way until it joins the Sella - Finestrat track. Turn left and follow this through pine trees until you reach another junction just beneath a half built house. (or semi derelict depending which way you look at it!). The route now climbs towards the Col de Llam, it follows a track most of the way, this turns into a track just short of the col. Keep following the numerous white and yellow path markings.

The descent from the col is quite steep in places, walking poles would be useful here. On the last section you have good views of the East face of Sanchet - known as Echo Placa. There are many climbing routes on these impressive walls. Ahead are good views of the Echo Valley cliffs and views across to Callosa and the large netted orchards of Nispero trees. On your right is the peak of Monte Ponoche. Not quite so impressive from this side. Head for a garishly painted house and once on the main vehicle track at this house turn left for an easy finsh back to the starting point. High up on your left are the cliffs that you traversed on the first part of the walk.

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