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Elche is a city belonging to the province of Valencia in Spain. Some part of the city is located next to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. However, most of the city is located 11 km away from the Mediterranean Sea. With a population count of over 220,000 (as of 2014 census), it is third in the Valencia community in terms of population. For tourists who travel to Elche, they often do so to visit the popular palm grove, aka Palmeral of Elche, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But over the years, tourists have come to unravel several more tourist attractions worth checking out.
Even though agriculture is an important part of Elche’s identity (they are one of the top producers of dates, pomegranates, and olives in Spain), the footwear industry is the biggest source of income for Elche’s economy. In fact, there are over 1,000 shoe factories in Elche with brands like Panama Jack and Pura Lopez having their factories located in Elche. It is, therefore, the so-called footwear center in Spain and some parts of Europe.
When you travel to Elche, expect a subtropical semi-arid climate. The hottest months are June to August, while you must travel to Elche from December to February to experience temperature below 20 degree Celsius.
Aside from the beautiful weather and the historic charm of the city, there are so many things that tourists who travel to Elche can look forward to. In terms of architecture, there are so many sights worth seeing in Elche. The use of Baroque and Muslim architecture is very notable. Meanwhile, there are also several nature reserves for those interested to experience its natural beauty. When it comes to gastronomy, the wines in Elche are also some of the best in Spain. It joins Alicante as having some of the best wineries in this side of Spain.
Palmeral of Elche
The Palmeral of Elche is one of the most notable attractions on your travel to Elche. It is a massive landscape consisting of groves of date palms – up to 70,000 of them! If you include the date palms located in the city proper, the total number can go up to 200,000 date palms! This is the only type of palm grove of its kind in Europe. Aside from the astounding number of palm groves on-site, one of the things that make the Palmeral of Elche stand out is the impressive agrarian production system. When you visit the palm grove, you get to witness an impressive sectioning of palm groves and irrigation system.
To get a glimpse of the Palmeral of Elche before you travel to Elche, here are some photos from the site:
Aside from the Palmeral of Elche, there are several other notable tourist attractions in Elche. Here are a few to add to your list:
Basilica of Santa Maria de Elche – This church is located close to where the main mosque in Elche is located during the Muslim era. This was also the first church built in Elche that features Gothic style architecture. If you are a fan of beautiful architecture, this church is a sight to behold.
Calahorra Tower – This is the final relic existing from the old city walls. It is a fortified gate and is of Islamic origin. Aside from being able to enjoy panoramic views of the city from the tower, you can also visit a town museum with wax works in the tower itself.
Huerto del Cura – This low-rise hotel is best known for its use of stone structure. The garden in the hotel is a tourist attraction in itself. It is surrounded with palm trees and located close to the Palmeral of Elche.