Spain | A Day Trip to the Palm Groves of Elche

If you've ever holidayed in Alicante, Benidorm or anywhere in the Costa Blanca region, you may have heard of Elche? If not - you'll want to! Elche is more inland than the typical destinations, but only a short drive from the main resorts, you'll find the city's incredible palm groves. 

Couple walking through palm groves in Elche

Containing over 200,000 palm trees, the palmeras de Elche were declared a UNESCO world Heritage Site in 2000. I'd seen stunning pictures of the groves and thought the city would make the perfect day out, so we loaded up the hire car and headed out.

Fountain in Elche's municipal park
Bandstand in the municipal park, Elche
Palm trees at the parc Municipal, Elche

Elche's Municipal Park

Parking by the train station, we found ourselves right next to the Parc Municipal which gave us our first glimpse of the palms and made for a lovely, tranquil walk - and photo op! There are various ponds and fountains, sculptures and even a band stand around the park. Not to mention a visitors centre known as el huevo or "the egg".

Couple in the Parc municipal de Elche
Sculpture in Elche
archway in the municipal park
Municipal Park, Elche
Statue at Elche's municipal park

One thing we did struggle with in Elche was finding out where's good to eat. I couldn't find many recommendations online so we ended up just having a walk across the bridge and settling down at a random cafe called La Reposteria - where we enjoyed some tasty but overpriced tapas! If you know of any must try eateries, please let us know in the comments below.

Palacio de Altamira, Elche
Street art on the pavements in Elche

You'll pass the Palacio de Altamira and don't forget to look down and admire the street art as you walk across the bridge!

Basillica de Santa Maria, church in Elche
Looking out from the bell tower rooftop, Elche
The view from Basillica de Santa Maria, Elche

Basilica de Santa Maria

Built on the same site as the previous mosque from Moorish times, the Basilica of Santa Maria is well worth a visit on your trip to Elche. Entrance to the church itself is free but you can also climb the bell tower for just 2 euros, which I highly recommend doing. Its a bit of a hike up the 170 steps but the panoramic view of the palm grove is unrivalled!

On the rooftop of the bell tower in Elche
The view from Basillica de Santa Maria, Elche
The view from Basillica de Santa Maria, Elche

There are a couple of photography exhibitions on the way up the tower, but the rooftop view is definitely the star of the show. It's open 11am-7pm in the summer and until 3pm during winter.

Cacti in huerto del cura
Trees at huerto del cura
Wrapping up in Huerto del Cura
7 branches of the imperial palm, Elche

Jardin Huerto del Cura

My absolute favourite spot in Elche was Huerto del Cura or the Priest's Orchard. We paid 5 euros to enter the gardens which was well worth it. Not only will you find yet more palms, but a plethora of cacti, succulents and other subtropical plants. Also - turtles!

Turtles at the pond, Huerto del Cura
Bird of paradise in Huerto del Cura
Taking photos in Huerto del Cura
Fountain in Huerto del cura

The Lady of Elche is a limestone bust which was found in the area back in 1897. It's now on display at a museum in Madrid but naturally you'll find many references to it as you explore Elche. 

in Huerto del Cura
Cacti in Huerto del Cura, Elche
in huerto del cura
The Imperial palm at Huerto del Cura

Of all the palm trees in Elche, the imperial palm in Huerto del Cura is probably the most photographed. It's actually one palm tree, but with 7 "children" palm tees growing out of it! 

Buildings in Elche

We really enjoyed our day in the city of palms. It's only a 30 minute drive from Alicante city, and I highly recommend finishing your day trip watching the sunset in nearby Santa Pola...

Sipping aperol spritz at Vela Lounge in Santa Pola
Sun setting over the sea, Santa Pola
Aperol spritz and sunsets in Santa Pola
Sunset at Santa Pola Spain

PIN THIS: Day trip to the Palm Groves of Elche


  1. It looks beautiful! Itching for a holiday now!

    Holly xx

    1. It really is! Have you got anything booked for this year?

      Christy x