An Afternoon in Elche, The City of Palms
Going to Elche was never a planned-out thing, but, I was in the area and decided to drop in for the day and see what Valencia’s third-largest city had to offer. It was mid-day, scorching and the streets were empty—all things that wouldn’t necessarily make me fall in love with a place—but despite everything Elche had going against it, it has pockets of charm to be found by the patient explorer.
Since Spain has no shortage of vibrant cities and pretty, small towns, Elche wouldn’t top the list of place I’d recommend visiting—but, if you’re a history buff, or architecture aficionado, you’ll find plenty of reason to book a hotel in Spain and let Elche’s subtle charm endear you.
The Tower of the Basilica. It is said that King Amadeus I called Elche “a wonderful city” upon climbing to the top of the tower and taking in the panoramic views. I myself didn’t enter the church nor visit the top (General: €2; reduced: €1 (groups, minimum 20 people) but was intrigued to learn that it was built over the foundations of a Mosque. Moorish Spain intrigues me to no end, and I love finding little remnants of this part of Spain’s history.
Altamira Castle. Built in the 12th and 13th Centuries, this castle has been a prison during the Spanish Civil War, a fabric plant in 1913, a town hall, and presently, the Archaeology and History Museum. Clearly, on a 38C/100F day, I was more interested in cooling off in the fountains pictured.
The Municipal Park. Before Elche was a sprawling concrete jungle, it was 80% overrun by palm trees. In the (free!) Municipal Park, you’ll find the Tourism Office on the corner, by the entrance where you can scoop up a free map and some insider info. Head in, enjoy the shade (or sunshine, depending on what time of the year you’re visiting!) and marvel at the groves of towering palm trees that Elche is famous for.
*This post was written by me, and sponsored by a third-party.