Palm Groves Of Elche
Alicante is home to a fantastic variety of fun and interesting attractions to suit all tastes and age groups but for those that fancy a day out from the hustle and bustle of the city, a visit to the famous Palm Groves of Elche offers perfect peace and tranquillity among beautiful green nature. During a holiday to Alicante, if you have visited its Palmeral Park and thought, wow that's a lot of palm trees, then you are in for a treat when you enter the veritable sea of green that is the Palm Groves of Elche.
Palm Groves Of Elche
Located about 30 minutes drive from Alicante, when viewed from a distance the palms look like a vast wild forest but are actually hand grown plantations cultivated by the Romans and then further developed by the Moors during their occupation of Spain. With over 200,000 trees the groves are the largest of their kind in Europe and were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Stretching through and around the city of Elche, the groves are perfect to explore on a hot summers day when there is always cool shade among the palm fronds.
It is quite easy just to wander around the city at random, although most visitors choose to start their walk at the Huerto de San Plácido Garden where you can view the Palm Grove Museum located within a traditional 19th century villa that boasts two wings joined by a wooden bridge. The hiking trail makes a large loop with an abundance of other nature trails and areas along the way including a spectacular cactus garden and the famous Imperial Palm that has 7 stems shaped like a candelabra. So vast are the Palm Groves of Elche, the Imperial Palm is just one of over 20 that have specific names due to their rarity, beauty or particular shape. Among them you will find some interesting names such as the Cobra, Trident, Sentinel and Catapult.
Ladies Love Elche
Sorry guys I know some of us like a good pair of shoes, but not nearly as much as the ladies who will be in shoe heaven when visiting Elche which has the largest footwear industry in Spain. Although there are several factories and retail outlets in the city, the most popular one is the Salvador Artesano shoe factory that offers free tours of their manufacturing plant as well as local wine tasting. The icing on the cake though is the on-site retail outlet that is more the size of a warehouse and boasts a dazzling array of the finest shoes, trainers and accessories.