Rental car route in Elche
Elche, capital of the Bajo Vinalopo disctrict, is the third largest city in the Region of Valencia in terms of inhabitants and importance. Two of its wide range of cultural assests include El Palmeral palm grove and the representation of the Elche Mystery Play, which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity respectively.
El Palmeral de Elche is a large plantation of around 200,000 palm trees that surround the city. Initially grown for the production of dates and palms, today a large number of them are used as public parks, inside which are located the Molino Real water mill, the Park Museum, an outdoor theatre, El huerto del Cura, a national historic garden of Arabic origin that boasts palm trees from all over the world.
Each year, on the 14th and 15th of August, the Basilica of Santa Maria is the venue for the Elche Mystery Play, the last surviving example of European medieval religious theatre in Europe, which has been held uninterruptedly since the mid 15th century.
Although less known, Elche has a vast heritage of towers and fortresses located in its historic centre and on the outskirts of the city, such as the Castle-Palace of Altamira, which houses the Archaeology and History Museum of Elche (MAHE), and the Calahorra Tower and Arab Baths.
As regards nature, the 326 square kilometres of its municipal territory are home to exotic dune formations on the coastal side, hills and mountains in its interior and Mediterranean coastal wetlands such as El Hondo Nature Park (more information), El Clot de Galvany and Las Salinas Nature Park (more information).