With its 200,000 inhabitants, Elche is the second largest city in the province of Alicante.
Elche is the only city in Spain with 3 locations that are considered World Heritage by UNESCO.
El Palmeral histórico
The historic Palm Garden of Elche is a unique cultural landscape, which is a cultural legacy of medieval Muslim Spain. It has a characteristic feature that sets it apart from the rest of the world’s palm groves, “the white palm”, a living remnant of the palm culture of the ancient Mediterranean. The first recognition took place in 2000, when the historic palm garden was declared a World Heritage Site.
A year later, in 2001, Unesco created the Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity category. And the Misteri, or Festa d’Elx, undoubtedly had the deserved honor of being the first Spanish festive event to appear in it.
Museo Escolar de Pusol
This unique museum space, whose full name is the “Centro de Cultura Tradicional Museo Escolar de Pusol”, was included in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage Register in 2009.
Places of interest
Like every big city, Elche also offers many places of interest, of which we list a few below.
Puente de la Virgen
This bridge was built in 1705 and is considered the oldest bridge in Elche. It owes its name to the patron saints of the city who are recessed at each end of the bridge. The people who live in Elche make a habit of touching the niches of the patron saints when they walk past them.
Plaza de las Chimeneas
The chimneys that now decorate the square belonged to the old plaster factory “Yeseria Roman”. Around the square you can enjoy a snack and a drink on one of the many terraces.
Museo Arqueológico Municipal
The museum is located in the Palacio de Altamira, also known as Alcàsser de la Senyoria (XV to XVIII centuries). This building was the residence of the lords of the city from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The museum contains remarkable Neolithic, Iberian, Roman, Visigoth and Islamic collections.
Parque Arqueológico y el Museo de la Alcudia
The museum is located where the statue of La Dama de Elche was found, just over two kilometers from the city center. It contains important Iberian pieces, such as a magnificent warrior torso and bell-shaped vases. The museeum also shows a reproduction of the statue of La Dama (the original is in the Archaeological Museum in Madrid).
Elche has a nine kilometer coastline divided into the beaches of El Altet, Arenales del Sol, El Carabassí, El Pinet, La Marina, Les Pesqueres and El Rebollo.
This animal park is located between Elche and Santa Pola, in a unique environment, with more than 4,500 palm trees. The park has nearly a hundred different animal species on its property, including a family of white lions, Borneo orangutans, Angola giraffes, chimpanzees, brown lions, Bengal tigers, and sea lions.
Elche has of course much more to offer. You can find some useful guides here.