Best of Two Cities Alicante & Elche
Elche, despite being a mid-size city, can be proud of having 2 UNESCO World Heritages: The “Palm Tree Forest”, declared a World Heritage Site in 2000, and “El Misteri”, since 2001 a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage. The Palm Grove in Elche is the largest one in Europe with more tan 250,000 palm trees. The main species you can find in Elche is the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) brought to this area by the Phoenicians 2,700 years ago. The date are and edible sweet fruit harvested in December, the fronds are in demand all over Spain for the traditional Palm Sunday processions. Palm Groves were also used by the local farmers as a natural shelter against frost for the fruit trees and vegetables growing underneath.
Since the 1960s Alicante, the capital of the “Costa Blanca”, is one of the most popular holiday destinations for international tourists in Spain, its main attraction being the long sandy beaches and, of course, “Santa Barbara’s Castle” the largest fortress in Spain.
We leave from the cruise terminal and after 30 minutes we arrive in Elche. Tour starts in the “Priest’s Garden”, the most impressive one in the Palm Tree Forest, where you can stroll along the paths between ponds and a huge variety of plants, not to mention the astonishing cacti collection. Visitors are welcomed by a replica of the mysterious Iberian bust called the “Lady of Elche”, considered to be the most important archaeological artifact in Spain. The highlight of the garden is the magnificent 8-trunk “Imperial Palm Tree”, named after Empress “Sissy”. In the garden we can enjoy a tasting of local produce from Elche: dates, fig bread…Next we move to the tranquil Municipal Park, with plenty of palms and located next to the old quarter. In the blue-domed Basilica of Santa María, the largest Catholic church in the city, you can learn about the unique Passion Play known as “El Misteri”, a lyrical sacred drama performed in August. Then we drive back to Alicante on time to visit Santa Barbara’s Castle, on the top of the Benacantil Hill, 166 m above the sea level. From its multiple vantage points you can enjoy the best views of the city and the Mediterranean. Some free time will be given in the old town.
Note: uneven ground, cobbled stones and steep ramps (not compulsory) in the Castle of Saint Barbara.
However the main square and buildings in the Castle are located very close to the car park.
Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are
Alicante cruise terminal. You will be provided with all the info
after you have completed your reservation.
Minimum required 6 people – Maximum 15 people
If you do not reach the minimum or exceed the maximum number of
participants required for this tour, please contact us for a customized
What is included
English-speaking licensed guide, Private van or bus,
Palm grove fee, Tasting of dates
What is Not included
Food, drinks, souvenirs and any personal expenses.