El Palmeral de Eche - Palm grove
Europe's largest palm grove is found in the town of Elche a few miles inland from Alicante on the Costa Blanca. The area is 1.5 square kilometers.
Nowhere else in Europe can you find more palms in one place, more than 11,000 palms. It has both a beautiful park and a large plantation.
Some of the trees are over 300 years old. On a hot summer day, it is good to walk in the shade of the palm trees, or sit on a bench to read a newspaper.
In its heyday in the 19th century, the park was twice as large and had more than 200,000 palm trees, but in the 13th century it was thought to be as many as 500,000.
There are most date palms. Some of them have a unique shape, and there are arranged guided tours for those who want to see the most special.
The largest palm is the "Emperor's Palm". It has seven tribes and is reminiscent of a candelabra.
The first palm trees were planted here approx. 500 years before Christ by the Puns. The irrigation system was made in the 700s. The park as it is today was created by the Moors in the 1100s.
Although there is only 300 millimeters of rainfall per year, it has been possible to establish a microclimate of its own in the shade of the tall trees that makes the plants thrive.
The park is open to all and is used by many. Out of season it is peaceful. In the year 2000, the park was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
At one end of the park and across to an adjoining area is a plantation where large-scale palm trees are still being cultivated.
Parts of this are closed off, but you can get a good overview by looking over the fence.
Just outside this peaceful spot is the city with its traffic and noise.
Excursion of the week: The palm grove of Elche - el Palmeral de Elche
Suitable for: All ages. Stroller and wheelchair are okey.
Duration: As long as you like, but plan to spend at least an hour. If you want to go the route to see the special palm trees, it is 5 kilometers long.
Get there: Follow AP-7 / AP-70 (E-15) south from Alicante towards Elche. Take the EL-20 on the left when you reach Elche. Turn left when the road crosses the N-340 and follow the N-340 straight until you reach roundabout # 2. Turn right here. After five roundabouts, you are at the park. There are several parking spaces on the outskirts of the park.
Guided tour of palm trees with distinctive appearance: Search the internet for Ruta de las palmeras singulares or ask at the tourist information office. On the route you will see 19 palm trees with a special history or a peculiar appearance.
More excursions: www.turideer.com