The Barranc de l’Encantá is a natural area with an intermittent stream that forms in Les Rotges, between the terms of Planes and the Alcalá Valley, by the junction of the Gleda and Les Rotges ravines. After traveling 14 kilometers to the northeast of the municipality of Planes, it flows into the Serpis River, declared a Protected Landscape since 2007.
Following the course of the current, on the right bank it borders the Sierra Albureca, with altitudes ranging between 500-600 meters in the lower area, highlighted by the peña de l’Espill, reaching up to 765 meters in Cerrillo . On the left bank, we must point out the 435-meter high Senabre, up to 680 meters from the Sierra Cantalar and Tossalet de la Dona. The channel of the ravine varies significantly with the different seasons, being higher in autumn, the season in which more rainfall is recorded in the area.
A walk along the 4 kilometers of the ravine allows you to enjoy a privileged environment in which to contemplate the richness and variety of aromatic plants and trees characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. In summer, you can also take a bath in the different pools that the waters have formed over time.
Several finds made in the sixties of the twentieth century in the Tossalet de la Dona, within the Almadec area, demonstrate a human presence already in times such as the Neolithic. That this presence was continued in the ravine is also corroborated by the bronze ceramic pieces that were found in the so-called Cueva del Barranco de la Encantada or Cueva de las Cabras Blancas.
But if there is something that demonstrates the cultural importance of the Barranco de la Encantada, it is the existence of a legend, the same one that gives the ravine its name, and which has been transmitted orally since time immemorial, with a first written reference in the “Observations on the natural history, geography, agriculture, population and fruits of the Kingdom of Valencia. “(1797), written by Antonio José Cabanilles
“… the ravine that ignorance and credulity (of the people) called de la Encantada because of the circular stone about five feet in diameter, which in the form of a closed window can be seen in the gorge of the ravine 20 feet above the level ordinary waters. In this the vulgar pretended the mouth of a certain mine, where the Moors hid their treasures, and left a maiden enchanted, who every 100 years leaves to re-enter the same day. Fables unworthy of judicious men, perpetuated only due to superstition and ignorance. Whatever that ravine offers is natural and the effect of the waters, which opened a deep alley, and left almost perpendicular cuts of more than 50 yards on both sides. A site so difficult to access that to reach it it is necessary either to hang down a rope from a great height, or to go from left to right, first crossing a long log: both very risky operations, due to finding a deep well of water in that part of the ravine. However, there were those who passed by and engraved crosses on the stone and two lines below, one with the voice year, another with the number 1,573; it should be noted that the number 5 is somewhat disfigured, and that the entire surface of the stone has a much darker color than the figures and letters, in the midst of being there engraved from time immemorial, as trustworthy people assured me. “
The variants are many but the legend says that, before the imminent arrival of the troops of Jaime I, the Moors who lived in these lands rushed to hide their wealth in a cave in the ravine, while leaving an enchanted princess in charge. According to legend, this princess appears every hundred years hoping that finally some man will choose her and not her treasure and that, in this way, he will free her from her spell that keeps her prisoner in this place.
We also want to share with you the song of La Encantada, created about a hundred years ago by a group of friends from the town and which shows the affection that the inhabitants of Planes have for this place:
Anem a l’Encantà, anem to enjoy a day of humor. Run, shoot and bounce beure and bon menjar and a bany if fa heat. Portem els conillets, arròs i pollastrets, bones xulles and the rest ho portem tot dins del sarró. This festival is going to be great and joyful sense fi because tots know how they have begut prou vi. Borratxos no n’hi hauran, les discussions will avoid and there will be amenitza the festa fins el seu extrem. Som xiques and xics molt retemplats, planers amusements and respects, which in reunim s’acaben les tristors, from Planes i poblets de l’alrededor. If you have paella or a beret, do not oblidem the cistella or the què menjar. I plens d’il, lusió, if someone came to escort, I always had songs to be able to sing. Anem a l’Encantà!
We hope your visit and that you enjoy this unique place as the Barranco de la Encantada is!
If you want to know better the legend of La Encantada you can consult the following bibliography:
BORJA, J. (2005). The Barranc de l’Encantada, to Planes. In: Llegendes del Sud Picanya, Edicions del Bullent, p. 185-186
CABANILLES i PALOP, A. J. (1985). Valencia, Albatros, p. 153 – 157. Observations on the natural history, geography, agriculture, population and fruits of the Kingdom of Valencia, by Don Antonio Josef Cavanilles
CARBONELL i IGLESIAS, I. (1998). The myth of the Fada dels Tolls to the Barranc de l’Encantada de Planes de la Baronia, nº 11, p.39-66.ALBERRI. Quaderns d’investigació of the Center d’Estudis Contestans.