Elx / Elche (Alicante)

  • Panoramic view of Elche, Alicante / Turisme Elche.
  • Palace castle of Altamira, ancient moorish citadel in Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • The palace castle of Altamira, where de ancient moorish citadel was constructed, in Elx - Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • Remains of the islamic walls of Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • Remains of the islamic wall of Elche next to the facade of the Archaeological and History Museum of Elche, Alicante / ALC.
  • Archaeological and History Museum of Elche, Alicante / Asís G. Ayerbe.
  • One of the doors of the Basilica of Santa Maria, in Elx - Elche, Alicante / ALC.
  • Basilica of Santa María in Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • Interior of the basilica of Santa María in Elx - Elche, Alicante / ALC.
  • One of the ancient city gates of Elche-Elx, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • The iberian Dama de Elche (Lady of Elche), one of the symbols of the city / ALC.
  • Tower of Calahorra, in Elche, Alicante / ALC.
  • Facade of the entrance door to the Arab baths in Elx-Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • El Palmeral de Elche, an ancient palm grove of arab origin declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Elche, province of Alicante / ALC.
  • Palm Grove of Elche, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO / ALC.
  • Archaeological site of La Alcudia in Elche, Alicante / Turisme Elx.
  • Archaeological site of La Alcudia, in Elche, province of Alicante / Visit Elche.
  • The Palm Sunday Procession, in Elche, Alicante / Turisme Elx.
  • El Misteri de Elche, religious drama of medieval origin declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO / Turisme Elx.
  • The Palmeral de Elche, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is the largest palm grove in Europe / Rafael Jaúregui.

What you can do and see in Elche

Elche deserves an unhurried visit. Its old town is well looked after and offers a sample of the numerous cultures that left their marks in the city. For that reason it is designated as a historical-artistic centre.

The Lady of Elche is undoubtedly one of its symbols. Sculpted in the sixth or fifth century BC and discovered at the site of La Alcudia, it is one of the great archaeological treasures of Iberian art. The different cultures that have lived in the area are represented in Elche History and Archaeology Museum (MAHE), which is highly recommended, next to Altamira Palace (the old Arab castle).

The Arab culture has left numerous traces in the city. The 12th century baths can be seen for example, and here and there the remains of the city walls and some towers, such as Ressemblanch Tower and the Almohad Calaforra or Calahorra Tower, from the 13th century.

However the largest, most peaceful and most beneficial trace that Arab culture left is the palm tree grove. Palm trees are the other great symbol of the city, together with the Lady of Elche. Scattered around the town are small and large plantations that make up the Elche Palm Grove, a series of date palm orchards created during the Islamic period, which was designated World Heritage in 2000. It contains about 200,000 palm trees and is unquestionably an example of how humans can have a positive impact on Nature.

For a panoramic view of the palm forest, it is best to go to Los Vaillos Tower, a 15th or 16th century watchtower and go up to its terrace, from where the whole extension of the sea of palm trees can be viewed. For the same purpose, travellers can climb to the top of the tower of the St Mary’s Basilica (17th-18th century), a massive cross-shaped building with four chapels attached to its central nave. It is an interesting Baroque and neo-Classic setting for the Misteri d’Elx. For the opening times of both towers and any information about the town, you should contact the Tourism Office.

The Basilica also plays an important part, together with the inhabitants of the city, the palm trees and the streets, in the famous Palm Sunday Procession, designated a Festival of International Tourist Interest.


You should not miss

  • The Misteri d’Elx or Mystery of Elche. This is a late medieval play that recreates the Death, Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin Mary. It has been acted, without a break, since the Middle Ages, and it even escaped the ban of the Council of Trent that forbade spectacles inside churches, thanks to a pontifical rescript by Pope Urban VIII. The representation takes place on August 14th and 15th. Because of its opulence, it is unique and exceptional within European religious plays and was listed by UNESCO as a masterpiece of World Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2001.
  • The beaches. The municipality of Elche possesses a wide range of beaches about 20km from the city centre: El Arenal (a popular beach about 3km long), La Marina, El Carabassí, Les Pesqueres and El Pinet (in an area of dunes).

Rev.: JGG 21.09.21

Useful information

The official tourism website of Elche is www.visitelche.com  is very complete, here you will find all the tourist information you need.

Rev. (JGG) 27.04.18