A province of Girona, Costa Blanca is a coastal holiday destination based within easy access of Barcelona. Its position on the map is northeast of the Iberian Peninsula and the sun-drenched province is home to a medley of resorts and towns, including Elche. Saying that there is something for everyone in Elche would be an understatement – with everything from action-packed activities to relaxing spots to enjoy, it should be top of your wish list.
While the Museo Paleontologico de Elche is a great museum of history and entertainment intertwined for the whole family, a half-day walking tour around the major landmarks will satisfy the sightseer within. Check out Placa de la Glorieta and the Banos Arabes during your stay - a preserved ancient town worth exploring after a soak in the Arabic baths.
Guardamar del Segura
You can find this resort at the mouth of the river Segura. The municipality was founded in the 10th-century and is home to less than 16,000 people. While the area might not be as large as some of Elche's neighbouring resorts, its expanse of white sand, palm tree-enhanced landscape, and fascinating history lure in thousands of visitors annually. Not only this, but Guardamar del Segura is home to the tallest military structure in Europe.
A coastal town in Spain, Santa Pola is based a short distance from Alicante airport by car, making it a good stop-off before arriving in Elche. Favoured by families due to the variety of kid-friendly attractions and entertainment in the area, Santa Pola boasts the ocean on its doorstep. Get an adrenaline rush at Pola Park or go island-hopping to nearby Isla de Tabarca. The landscape is also dotted with natural parks, so don't forget to pack your hiking boots. Castillo-Fortaleza de Santa Pola and a day at Santa Pola Aquarium should be added to the itinerary when you’re in this resort.
From churches and cathedrals to areas of artistic importance, Orihuela has an abundance of attractions. Examples of some local points of interest that will draw you to Orihuela, if just for an afternoon, include the Catedral de San Salvador, 14th-century church Iglesia de Santiago Apóstol, and Murales San Isidro, which exhibits some of the finest murals and paintings from artists of the 1970s. Don't forget to check out the 18th-century tile work on the facade of Convento de Santo Domingo.
Palm Grove of Elche
The city of Elche is home to a scenic setting of date palm orchards. Usually, visitors will spend an hour walking around the pretty orchards, which were specially laid out for the development of a natural irrigation system and although the number of palms is unknown, it is estimated to be around 200,000. The Carthaginians are the people believed to have planted the first palms, way back in the 5th century BC, making it a great spot for history fans. Ancient irrigation canals are still in use to this day, which has gained the area UNESCO attention.
Basílica de Santa María
Even if you’re not a fan of architecture, you’ll enjoy an afternoon’s admiring the Basílica de Santa María. In order to get to this church in Barcelona's Ribera district, prepare for a scenic drive. Designed by Gaudi, and built between 1329-1383, the Basilica is a beautiful mishmash of architectural styles. What might surprise you the most is the fact that it is still used as an active church to this day. When you’ve finished craning your neck to look, wander over to the Museu Picasso de Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter, where the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi stands.
Jardín Huerto del Cura
The Jardin’s name translates to ‘The Priest's Garden’. In 1943, it was declared an ‘Artistic Garden’ and after meandering the pristine grounds, you will understand why. We don't know too much about the history of the garden, except that it was acquired by a man named Sir Juan Espuche. Mr. Fenoll de Bonet sold the orchard, not knowing it would become a place of major national artistic significance. The overall design is dedicated to agriculture and it is one of the most photographed attractions in Elche.
The coastline that runs along the fringe of Elche extends for nine splendid kilometres and there is no shortage of places to sunbathe and frolic in the waters when you visit this jewel of the Costa Blanca. La Marina, El Carabassi, and El Taltet are set among white sands, while Les Pesqueres-El Rebollo has sprawling golden sands to settle yourself on.
Foodies definitely won't go hungry when in the Costa Blanca. Of course, there are plenty of eateries dishing up English-style food, such as a good old fry up breakfast. However, we think when in Spain, it’s a shame not to eat Spanish. Give traditional Spanish specialities like tapas or paella a go, and you won’t be disappointed. With years of history behind them, not only are they delicious, they’re significant in the local culture. For specific Elche foods, go to a local market and give local dates and pomegranates a go.
With the ocean nearby, you can guarantee that the Pescados y mariscos (seafood and shellfish) served at Elche restaurants is usually sourced directly from the water. Although vegetarian options are available, many dishes contain fish or meat, so be sure to make a request before ordering at popular local eateries like La Finca, Els Capellams, and La Masia de Chencho. Want to grab a cheap eat in-between sightseeing? If so, Meson El Galliner and Mclarens offer affordable, quality food.
If it's not to visit the palm tree-filled Palmeral of Elche, book your trip to this part of the Costa Blanca for the beaches, basilica, and zip-line activities. Booking your trip through easyJet holidays is easy. Take a look at our destination guides and by booking your accommodation at the same time as your flight, you’ll get a great discount.