Elche Palm Groves
Elche palm groves are one of the Costa Blanca's most famous attractions. Covering an area of 3,500m2 they are the largest of their kind in all of Europe. Visitors to Elche wishing to explore the groves needn't go far as almost half of their total area is within the city. The groves have an interesting history and the first date palms may have been planted as far back as the 5th century BC by Carthaginians. When the Romans settled in the area they introduced the first intricate forms of irrigation and water management. This was further developed under Moorish rule.
Elche Palm Groves Nature Trails
As the city grew and developed, parts of the Elche palm groves were turned into public gardens. These remain today and boast some spectacular trees, shrubs, cacti and flowers. Throughout the gardens and groves are pleasant nature trails where visitors are always assured of welcoming shade. The majority of these trails are for walking, with some allowing considerate cycling. Elche palm groves were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Due to this, whether walking, cycling or enjoying a picnic, keep in mind and respect the pristine beauty of your surroundings.
Elche Palm Groves Gardens
The main city groves and gardens are located in the Municipal Park which is flanked by the River Vinalopó. Here there is a visitors centre and popular restaurant. Those wishing to do any cycling should check with the visitors centre to find out which nature trails are suitable. Throughout the park, nature trails lead to exquisite gardens, ponds, fountains, monuments, picnic areas and children's playgrounds. Further trails follow the banks of the river where there are also areas to play sports. There is a fun children's Traffic Park where they can learn all about road safety.
The other main gardens in the city are Huerto del Cura. Here you will also find the Elche Palm Groves Museum. This is housed in a wonderful old villa where you can learn all about the history of the groves. It houses some fine displays and intricate crafts made from palm fronds. The museum is the starting and finishing point for one of the most popular hiking trails. Opposite the museum is the famous Imperial Palm, believed to be around 165 years old. This majestic palm was named for and dedicated to Empress Elisabeth of Austria who visited the groves in 1894.
Elche Palmeral Aventuras
To the east of Huerto del Cura Gardens is the thrilling Elche Palmeral Aventuras. Set among shady palms, this multi-adventure park can be likened to one huge obstacle course. Its many activities include a multi-adventure circuit. 8 different circuits incorporate bridges, ladders, ramps, platforms and zip-lines to make up more than 120 game challenges. Further activities include a tri-action climbing wall, boating lake, archery, 13 zip-lines and a laser camp. Visitors will also find an events area to plan games and challenges as well as a playground and snack bar.