Elche, Spain

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Elche, Spain

Region: Valencian Community


Geographic Coordinates: 38.266900, -0.698300
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 35.0°C (50°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 235580
Language: Spanish

Elche is a beautiful city situated in the province of Alicante, In the Valencian Community of Spain. It’s referred to as The City of Palms due to its 200, 000 palm trees that give it an exotic feel. This city has a fascinating history and culture that goes back to the Iberian period and boasts many captivating landmarks. The Palmeral de Elche is one of Elche’s most famous attractions. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 and comprises over 70, 000 palm trees covering an area of more than 200 hectares.

Visitors can leisurely stroll through this stunning oasis or climb up one of its watchtowers for panoramic views. Another must-see attraction is the Basilica de Santa Maria built on top of an ancient mosque during the Reconquista period. It showcases Gothic, Baroque, And Renaissance architectural styles and features beautiful frescoes painted by local artists from the 15th century. Elche also has several museums worth visiting such as Museo Arqueológico y de Historia de Elche (MAHE), Showcasing artifacts from different periods ranging from prehistoric times up until modern-day Spain like pottery objects from Iberian culture or Roman sculptures.

For nature enthusiasts, There are several parks where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as Parque Municipal and Huerto del Cura Gardens with scenic walking trails along with picnic areas perfect for relaxing with friends or family members. Foodies will love exploring Elche’s culinary scene featuring traditional dishes like paella made with rabbit meat or seafood fideuà cooked over open flame using wood fire ovens called hornos morunos. Elche is a charming city offering something for everyone.

Its rich history, Stunning architecture, And beautiful natural landscapes make it a perfect destination for travelers looking to experience Spain’s diverse culture whether exploring palm groves or indulging in local cuisine; visitors will be entertained.



Important Landmarks

  1. Palmeral of Elche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest palm groves globally.
  2. Basilica of Santa Maria is a Gothic-style church constructed between the 14th and 16th centuries.
  3. Huerto del Cura is an exquisite garden filled with exotic plants, fountains, and ponds.
  4. Elche Archaeological Museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts from the Iberian, Roman, and Muslim periods.
  5. Altamira Castle is a medieval fortress that provides stunning views over Elche and its surroundings.
  6. Municipal Park is a vast park with walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  7. Calahorra Tower is an ancient tower that used to be part of the city’s defensive walls.
  8. Rio Safari Elche is a renowned zoo where visitors can see animals from all over the world up close.
  9. L’Alcudia Archaeological Site dates back to prehistoric times and holds significant archaeological importance.
  10. The Palm Sunday Procession in Elche’s historic centre every year on Palm Sunday features more than 30 religious brotherhoods wearing traditional robes carrying statues through town to commemorate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday before his crucifixion later in Holy Week.

Primary Industries

  1. Footwear manufacturing: Elche is known for its production of high-quality leather shoes and is one of the largest footwear manufacturing centers in Spain.
  2. Agriculture: The city’s fertile land makes it ideal for growing crops such as pomegranates, dates, and figs.
  3. Tourism: Elche has a rich cultural heritage and attracts tourists from all over the world with its beautiful beaches, museums, parks, and historical landmarks.
  4. Textile industry: The textile industry in Elche produces fabrics for clothing, upholstery, and home décor.
  5. Chemical industry: The city has several chemical companies that produce products such as fertilizers, plastics, paints, and resins.
  6. Food processing: Elche is home to many food processing companies that specialize in canned fruits and vegetables.
  7. Automotive industry: Several automotive companies have factories or offices located in or near the city.
  8. Construction materials industry: Many construction materials such as ceramic tiles are manufactured in Elche for local use or exportation to other countries around the world.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Elche Palm Grove: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest palm grove in Europe, with over 200,000 palm trees.
  2. Basilica of Santa Maria: A beautiful Gothic church dating back to the 14th century, with stunning stained glass windows and a baroque altar.
  3. Archaeological Museum of Elche: A museum showcasing the history of Elche from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
  4. Huerto del Cura Garden: A beautiful garden filled with exotic plants and sculptures, including a famous palm tree shaped like a hand.
  5. Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA): An art museum featuring works by local artists as well as international contemporary art exhibitions.
  6. Altamira Castle: A medieval fortress built in the 12th century that offers panoramic views of Elche and its surroundings.
  7. Palmeral de San Antón Park: Another palm grove located on the outskirts of Elche, featuring walking trails and picnic areas.
  8. Casa-Museo Modernista: A museum dedicated to modernist architecture and design, housed in a beautifully restored early 20th-century mansion.
  9. Museo del Calzado (Footwear Museum): An interesting museum showcasing the history of shoe-making in Elche, which has been an important center for this industry for centuries.
  10. Rio Safari Park: An animal park where visitors can see exotic animals such as lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants and more up close.


Sports Teams

  1. Elche CF is the most well-known sports team in Elche, Spain. It was founded in 1923 and has a long history of competing in various professional leagues, including La Liga, Segunda Division, and Segunda Division B. The team’s biggest achievement was winning the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) in 1969.
  2. Another notable sports team is CB Lucentum Alicante, which played its home games at the Elche Sports Pavilion from 2011 to 2013. The basketball team was founded in 1994 and has competed in various Spanish leagues.
  3. In terms of handball, Club Balonmano Elche Mustang is a women’s handball team that competes in the Liga Guerreras Iberdrola. The club was founded in 1970 and has won several titles over the years.
  4. Finally, Club Atletismo Elche is an athletics club that has produced several successful athletes over the years. Some of their notable achievements include winning medals at national championships and representing Spain at international competitions.


Cultural Events

  1. Fiestas de Agosto: This is the largest and most famous festival in Elche, celebrating the city’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Assumption. It takes place from August 11th to 15th and includes parades, fireworks, bullfights, concerts, and religious processions.
  2. Nit de l’Albà: This is a unique event that takes place on August 13th during the Fiestas de Agosto. At midnight, thousands of fireworks are launched simultaneously from rooftops throughout Elche in a spectacular display of light and sound.
  3. Mostra Internacional de Pallassos i Pallasses: This is an international clown festival that takes place every two years in Elche. It features performances by professional clowns from around the world and includes workshops for children and adults.
  4. Medieval Market: This market takes place in October each year and transforms the streets of Elche into a medieval village with stalls selling crafts, food, and drink. There are also street performers dressed as knights or troubadours who entertain visitors throughout the weekend.
  5. Holy Week (Semana Santa): Like many cities in Spain, Elche celebrates Holy Week with religious processions featuring elaborate floats depicting scenes from Christ’s Passion accompanied by bands playing somber music.
  6. Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Elche (FICIE): This independent film festival showcases short films from around Spain and other countries over several days each July.
  7. Feria Andaluza: Held annually in May or June at L’Altet Park near Elche airport this event features flamenco music & dancing along with traditional Andalusian food & drink stalls.
  8. La Ruta del Vino y la Sal : The Wine & Salt Route which runs through nearby towns like Novelda offers wine tastings at local vineyards along with visits to salt marshes where salt is still harvested by hand.
  9. Dia de la Comunidad Valenciana: This regional holiday takes place on October 9th and celebrates the founding of the Kingdom of Valencia in 1238 with parades, concerts, and other cultural events.
  10. Elche Jazz Festival: A three-day event held every July featuring performances by local as well as international jazz musicians.

Cuisine

  • Arrocería La Peña: This restaurant specializes in rice dishes, especially paella.
  • Restaurante El Granaino: It is known for its traditional Spanish cuisine like grilled meats and seafood.
  • Mesón de la Villa: A cozy restaurant that serves homemade dishes such as stews and casseroles.
  • La Taberna del Gourmet: This gourmet tapas bar offers a variety of creative dishes made with local ingredients.
  • Bar Casa Julio: Famous for its mollete sandwiches filled with pork loin or cured ham.
  • Casa Alfonso: A Michelin-starred restaurant that offers modern interpretations of traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
  • El Racó del Plaça: A family-run restaurant serving authentic Valencian dishes like arroz con costra (baked rice with crust).
  • La Taula de L’artesà: Specializes in artisanal cheeses and cured meats from the region paired with local wines and craft beers.
  • La Finca de Susi Díaz: Another Michelin-starred restaurant featuring innovative haute cuisine using fresh produce from the surrounding orchards and gardens.
  • Heladería Borgonesse: For dessert, try the famous granizado (slushy) made with locally grown pomegranates at this ice cream shop that has been around since 1930!

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. El Palmeral Park is a large park that boasts of palm trees and walking paths.
    2. Huerto del Cura Garden is a beautiful garden with exotic plants and fountains, making it a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
    3. Rio Safari Elche is an exciting destination for animal lovers, as it features a zoo and safari park with animal shows and rides.
    4. La Marina Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area, where visitors can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy water sports activities such as surfing or jet skiing.
    5. Altamira Castle is an ancient castle that offers stunning views of the city from its vantage point.
    6. Municipal Sports Center provides various sports facilities including swimming pools, football fields, tennis courts among others to keep visitors active during their stay.
    7. L’Alcudia Archaeological Site showcases the remains of ancient civilizations through its archaeological site.
    8. Pinada de San Antón Park- A forested area in the city where nature enthusiasts can enjoy peaceful nature walks surrounded by lush greenery.
    9. Park Daimés-a beautiful park perfect for family picnics with ample space to relax while enjoying scenic views.
    10. Río Vinalopó-a river flowing through Elche provides opportunities for kayaking or canoeing activities which are perfect for those seeking adventure on their trip to Spain’s Costa Blanca region!

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