Elche

Located just 15 mins away from both the Coast, and the Airport, Elche is the second biggest town in Alicante province and the third one in Valencia Region and it offers everything you would find in a medium town.

Elche is famous for its palm trees. The Elche Palm Grove is an orchard with over 200,000 palm trees and has been proclaimed a heritage site by UNESCO in 2000. The Huerto del Cura or Priest’s Garden is a hidden gem especially attractive on a hot summer’s day as the hundreds of palm trees there provide some welcome shade from the scorching sun. Surrounded by busy city streets, this is a strangely tranquil place, the stone walls encircling it, blocking out much of the city noise.

Inside you will find hundreds of species of palm trees of varying sizes, culminating in the huge eight armed Imperial Palm, the pride of the garden, which is some 170 years old and is supported by metal straps which prevent it from collapsing under its huge eight tons of weight.

Another attraction not to be missed is the Rio Safari Park, located on the outskirts of the town. This family friendly animal park has many attractions including a ‘train’ ride and some entertaining animal shows including an elephant show, a parrot show and a sea lion show. Feeding the animals is something your children will enjoy as much as yourself, with monkey nuts and carrots for sale in the park shop. Make sure your kids feed the giraffes and the hippo especially. You can also take a ride on a camel or a donkey and visit the farm animals’ section with cows, pigs, goats, horses and sheep.

Leaving the town and heading towards the coast, you will have an amazing choice of beaches, with a twelve kilometre stretch of golden beaches a fifteen minute drive away from the city centre, including Carabassi Beach and Arenals Del Sol.

Elche’s first inhabitants can be traced back in history as being the Carthaginians and Romans. The Altamira Castle was built during the 12th and 13th Centuries and has been used recently as the town hall and as a prison during the Spanish Civil War. The Arabic baths, Basilica of Santa Maria, and Calahorra Tower are also worth a visit.

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