Elche, map, weather and guide to the Costa Blanca city of Elche in the Alicante province of Spain.
Elche - Costa Blanca - Spain
Elche Costa Blanca (Alicante Province):
The third most populated city in the Valencia region of Spain, Elche is often called “The City of Palms”, a name it gets from its palm forest which surrounds the city and contains hundreds of thousands of palm trees, which were originally planted by early Phoenician settlers, and later greatly expanded by the Moors.
The population of Elche is over 220,000, and only Alicante and Valencia itself have a larger number of inhabitants in the region, in the Costa Blanca it is superceded only by Alicante in population.
Elche has a very long history and was first and foremost an Iberian settlement, no doubt fairly important, as from these early times came the famous stone bust known as The Lady of Elche (Dama de Elche), recovered in the late 19th century and dating from the 4th century BC.
Subsequent civilizations who occupied Elche include Phoenicians, Romans, Carthaginians and Moorish Arabs.
The present city does not stand where the original settlement (called Ilici) was founded, as it was moved by the Moors during their occupation of the area.
Though it is not certain why it was moved, it is likely that it was for improved irrigation, and certainly the Moors put in splendid irrigation systems, much of which still remains today, this allowed the whole area to be cultivated.
The Christians under Jaime I defeated and expelled the Moors in the mid-thirteenth century, occupying the fortified Vila Murada.
Most of the main historic attractions of Elche can be found close to the banks of the Vinalopo river, where it runs through the heart of the city. Here you will find the Altamira Palace, the old Moorish Baths, the Basilica de Santa Maria church and the Huerto del Cura (Priest’s Garden), all well worth a visit, and easy to see in one day.
You may also want to buy some shoes while you are in Elche, as this has long been the main industry of the city, with over 1,000 workshops and factories operating there.
If you are visiting Elche in August you may be lucky enough to witness the amazing spectacle called “The Mystery of Elche”, a drama dating from medieval times, and Elche’s biggest annual event. This World Heritage Event celebrates the life of the Virgin Mary.
Elche like pretty much all the towns in this region has seen considerable development during recent years, with the demand for holiday homes in the sun fuelling this growth.
Though as a city, perhaps not so desirable as a holiday home location, it has still seen plenty of new properties shooting up.
For your accommodation in Elche there are various choices, there are of course a variety of hotels in the city and these include the Ibis Hotel, the Holiday Inn Elche, the Hostal Meseguer, the Hostal Madruga, the Hotel Huerto del Cura and the Hotel Jardin Milenio.
You might also consider self-catering accommodation, with numerous apartments and villas on offer in the area. You can book hotels in Elche using the quote box on the right, and view self-catering properties lower down the page.
Elche can be reached in 20 minutes from Alicante airport, and can easily be accessed from the A-7 motorway which passes to the north of the city. Head south and you will come to Murcia city, following the coastline you will find Torrevieja, the Orihuela Costa (Cabo Roig is beautiful), and the resorts of the Mar Menor.
Other Costa Blanca Guides: La Mata Guide