Elche Palm Groves
Elche palm groves are a must visit during a holiday in Orihuela, especially during the scorching summer months of July and August. Quite a few towns and cities on the Costa Blanca have a palm grove park, but none as vast and alluring as the famous Elche palm groves. The city is a delight to visit with many interesting and exciting sights to see. Elche is located not far from the coast and around 30 minutes drive from Orihuela. Those wishing to spend the day enjoying lunch and drinks needn't drive. There is a handy 30 minute tram ride from Orihuela to Elche.
Elche Palm Groves & Attractions
For the thrill seeker and young adventurer, Elche Palmeral Aventuras is a multi-adventure park with challenges for all ages. Ladies, and the more discerning gentleman, can shop till they drop in the city's famous shoe factories and retail outlets, the largest in Spain. Those visiting between October and November are treated to a truly magical spectacle. This is when the city holds its week long Medieval Festival & Market that attracts visitors from far and wide.
Elche Palm Groves History
Although it was the Romans who constructed the first elaborate irrigation system, it is thought the first palms were planted by the Carthaginians in the 5th century BC. These irrigation systems were further developed during the Moorish rule of the city. Today, the Elche palm groves are the largest of their kind in Europe. Rightly so, the groves were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Many more interesting facts about the groves can be learned at the Palm Grove Museum. This is located at the beginning of the main walking trail.
Elche Palm Groves Route
The groves surround the city and extend through its urban parks and along the Vinalopó River. Throughout the groves beautiful gardens, orchards and cactus gardens have been meticulously planted. These make for delightful shady rest areas to take a break whilst walking the trails. The main walking route starts at the Huerto de San Plácido Garden. Here you can visit the museum before heading off to explore. Walking Elche palm groves is never boring, with pretty plants and flowers, sparkling waterfalls, ponds and monuments at every twist and turn.
During a stroll through the groves, there are several other museums to visit, charming churches and interesting landmarks. Photo opportunities abound and several of the more majestic palms have been aptly named. The Imperial Palm with its seven large stems is the most famous. Others enjoy unusual names such as Cobra, Trident, Sentinel and Catapult. If visiting with children, there is a lovely playground just over the road from the tram station.