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Monte Ponoch - The sleeping lion

In the southernmost part of the Sierra Aitana lies Monte Ponoch (Ponoig) or the sleeping lion, which it is called because it is similar to that seen from the Polop side.

The front with the distinctive red rock is a favorite destination for rock climbing, but on the back there is a path up that most can handle. The peak is 1181 m.o.

Already in the parking lot the view is brilliant. Here you see Sierra Bernia, Calpe and Altea.

The first part of the tour goes through a forest on a unpaved road that leads to some small mountain farms, some of which are still in operation, while others are abandoned.

Follow signs (yellow and white) until you reach a blue house on your left.

The blue house has probably had a clearer color before, and in bright sunlight it is not so easy to see that it is blue.

Turn left at the signs next to the blue house and follow the signs towards Finestrat.

You first walk on a unpaved road and then on a marked path.

In several places you can see the characteristic red rock.

As you walk up the marked path, you have "The sleeping lion" to the left. When you reach a plateau, turn left towards Cim del Ponoig (summit of Monte Ponoid).

Eventually you will reach a vantage point where you will get a good overview of Sierra Bernia, Sierra Helada, Calpe and Benidorm. Here you also meet a path leading down to the other side of the mountain.

Here you have three options. You can go down the other side and get to Finestrat. You can go up to the top of Monte Ponoig or you can turn around and go back again.

The last bit to the top is demanding with lots of loose rocks and steep slopes. We therefore chose to skip the last part and return to the parking lot.

There are several paths up to Monte Ponoig. If you want a longer trip, you can go from Polop to Finestrat. Of course, you can also reach the summit from Finestrat.

Get there: Follow N-332 to Benidorm. Take the exit at Benidorm marked Benidorm and Polop. Follow CV-70 towards Polop past the exit to La Nucía and further on to Guadalest. When you reach a roundabout where the CV-715 takes off from the CV-70, turn left towards Camí del Castellet.

Shortly after taking off from the CV-70, turn right and then follow a narrow and winding road uphill until you reach a car park where the public road ends.

You are now in a landscape protection area. Continue on the unpaved road on foot until you reach the Blue House on the left hand side.

Suitable for: Everybody in normal good physical shape. The last part to the top is only suitable for people used to climb mountains. Take care after periods of rain. The rest of the tour is safe and can be walked by children as well.

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