If you’re looking to get away from it all, what better way to escape than relaxing amidst the palm trees of a sunny Mediterranean oasis? The e-mails can wait— book your hotel in Elche this instant. This peaceful city is steeped in history, boasting centuries-old palm groves and festivals that date back to medieval times.
Nestled in an arid region famous for its orchards of dates, figs and pomegranates, Elche is famous around the world for its palm groves that date back over a thousand years. Its most famous garden, the Huerto de la Cura, is an ideal escape from the hot sun, with a stunning array of palms intermingled with a cactus garden and water features.
The Palmeral (palm grove) of Elche spreads throughout the city and boasts over 200,000 palm trees, each of which beckons you from your Elche hotel room. The groves date back to the city’s Islamic period and have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many structures that survive from this era give the city a distinctly North African feel.
Your hotel in Elche is the beginning of your sojourn in this oasis city. Discover the city’s history at the Museo del Palmeral and its guided walking path. Climb the tower of the Basilica de Santa María, which offers sweeping views of the city. Try local delicacies, such as the tortada de Elche or the pan de higo, which feature local almonds and figs, respectively. For a day trip, head to La Alcudia, an archaeological site with the ruins of Elche’s predecessor, the Greek city of Helike.
Your hotel in Elche is also just a half hour from the beaches of the Costa Blanca, where you can enjoy a day in the sun and sand. The white-sand beaches of Arenales del Sol and El Altet are particular favourites. The coastline also boasts wildlife sanctuaries such as the El Hondo Natural Park, which offers excellent birdwatching opportunities.
Every summer, Elche hosts a unique celebration called the Misteri d’Elx, a drama retelling the assumption of the Virgin Mary that is enacted over two days on 14-15 August at the Basilica de Santa María. On the night of 13 August, it is preceded by the Nit de l’Albà (the Night of Dawn) in which the city comes alive with a spectacular fireworks display. The historic drama has been declared a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Nestled in south-eastern Spain, Elche is a modern oasis that’s a perfect starting point for discovering the region. Book your hotel in Elche today with B&B Hotels and enjoy your retreat in the city among the palms.