On the Costa Blanca, between Santa Pola and Alicante lays a town steeped in history. Elche claims it is the best place to buy shoes in this region and it has over 1000 shoe factories. You will need a good fitting pair to explore a superb garden nearby.
Those who favour palms over fashion go to Elche for one reason. They want to visit the artistic garden called El Huerto del Cura. This is a palm park like no other. It is sub tropical in feel and is a haven of peace in an otherwise busy place. In recent years adverse weather conditions threatened the very survival of the thousand palms on display here. The star of the show is the imposing eight-armed candelabra shaped Imperial Palm Tree. It is around 170 years old and weighs more than 8 tons.
The Huerto del Cura is only one of many such orchards throughout Elche. In total there are over 10.000 palm trees in an area covering three and a half square kilometres; an area known as the Palmera de Elche. It is officially a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is believed that some date palm trees in Elche existed up to 3000 years ago.
If you find yourself in this part of the Costa Blanca, be sure to visit this hidden gem.