Day Out Elche City
Elche is located within the largest Palm forest in Europe and has been nicked named the City of Palms. Elche has a fascinating history as it was of great importance to the Romans and the Moors at different times throughout history. Today, it has two international UNESCO awards; one for its palm groves and the other for its religious play, the Misteri d’Elx. The people of the city have been performing this play every August since Medieval times. The week’s play is rounded off with one of Spain’s loudest firework displays know as the Nit d’Alba.
Once you have visited the Tourist Office, just above the car park, you can explore Elche by following our Elche city walking route. Why not climb the narrow steps up to the roof of the Basilica, from where you get a wonderful view over Elche and its palms. You can visit the various museums including the award winning Archaeological and History Museum or get to know more about the palms at the Huerto del Cura. Stroll through the Municipal Park and go into the Visitors Centre for an audio visual introduction to the city or take the small Tourist Train.
Elche has some great shopping. The Salvador Artesano shoe factory outlet is the largest of all the Salvador Artesano shops and is a must for all shoe lovers as it is about the size of a football pitch! Nearby is the El Corte Ingles department store and the large indoor shopping mall called the L’Aljub.
Places of Interest
- Tourist Office: more information about the museums, cathedral and buildings, as well as the walking routes, a summary of which is after the Ideas of things to do in Elche section.
- Cathedral: impressive inside and out, you can walk up to the bell tower for some great views.
- Huerta del Cura: a botanical garden packed with Mediterranean plants and the impressive Imperial Palm.
- Archaeological and History Museum: award winning interactive museum about the history of Elche.
- Parks & Plazas: Municipal Palm Park and La Glorieta Plaza, both lovely spaces.
- Shops: many boutique style shops as well as the usual collection of well known high street names in the centre plus the out of town shopping mall called the L’Aljub, the El Corte Ingles department store and the Salvador Artesano shoe factory.
- Elche Football Stadium: watch Elche’s football team play their home matches.
Ideas of things to do in Elche
- To get to know the city in one day we suggest starting from the underground car park (charged for by length of stay) with a visit to the tourist office to collect a map and more information. Spend the morning following our Elche city walking route then spend the afternoon relaxing in the municipal park admiring the range of fauna and flora.
- Spend the morning visiting some of the cities museums like the Archaeological and History Museum or the Huerto del Cura with the famous Imperial Palm. Then enjoy an afternoon shopping at the nearby L’Aljub, El Corte Ingles and Salvador Artesano shoe factory.
- Combine Elche with a visit to the interesting El Hondon (also known as El Fondo) nature reserve. Start at the information centre and follow their walking route around part of the salt lagoons and marshes. Then drive into Elche for a spot of lunch and enjoy the atmosphere of the historic high street and the wonderful 'La Glorieta'.
- Watch one of Elche Football Club home games. The Spanish are very passionate about their football, like all of the European nations, so enjoy the atmosphere at the ground and then spend some time in the city.
The Tourist Office for information about the museums and other places of interest:
Remember that most museums are closed on a Monday and for siesta which is generally 14.00-16.00 in the winter and 14.00-17.00 in the summer.
- Archaeological Museum MAHE: located in the Palacio de Altamir it has permanent displays of Iberian and Roman pieces.
- Huerto del Cura Museum: is an artistic garden, covering 13,000m2 with displays of Mediterranean and tropical plants including the famous Imperial Palm.
- Fiesta Misteri d’Elx Museum: a two roomed museum all about the Mystery Play.
- Arab Bath Museum: displays the remains of an Arabic bathing house.
- Museum of Contemporary Art: has a large collection of vanguard art, especially by Spanish artists.
- Pucol Agricultural Museum: an insight into rural life including agricultural artifacts, rural housing, clothing, hunting, education, commerce and industry.
- La Alcudia Museum: archaeological site where the bust of the ‘Dama de Elche’ was discovered.
- Palaeontological Museum: displays in chronological order the history of the earth including fossils and archaeological finds.
- Palm Grove Museum: reveals the origins, history, development and culture of the Elx Palm Groves.
- Visitors Centre: houses a detailed audiovisual presentation on the city: its history, traditions, culture, fiestas and economy.
- Basilica de Santa Maria: the cathedral of the city, you can walk up the stairs to the bell tower for great views over the city.
- Municipal Park: covering an area of approximately 20,000m2 these plantations were bequeathed to the city in 1661, a beautiful green space for all to enjoy.
- Palm Grove: declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 by UNESCO it is the largest in Europe, boasting more than 200,000 palm trees, best explored via the walking route.
- Espai d’Art a’Elche: a permanent open air sculpture exhibition next to the municipal park.
- Torre de la Calahorra Building: The square Moorish Tower from the late 12th century defended the city’s most important gate to the road to Alicante.
- Palacio de Altamira Building: the residence of the lords of the city between the 15th and 19th centuries, now contains the Archaeological Museum.
- Town Hall Building: The Torre del Consell tower is the oldest municipal building in the southern part of the Comunidad Valenciana region
- Torre de Calendura Building: It houses a fascinating clock with two figures. Since 1759 the figure that tells the hours has been known as Miquel Calendura while the smaller figure that tells the quarter hours has been known as Vicentet Calendureta.
- Gran Teatro Building: the elegant theatre constructed in Italian style in the 1920s.
- Walking Routes: There are two self guided walks; the Historic Palm Grove Route and the Monumental Route (leaflets in various languages from Tourist Office). Both routes are great introductions to this wonderful city.