Living in Elche Spain: The Definitive Guide

Elche Spain

Less known that the capital city of Alicante but almost as important, Elche Spain is a major town where you can find all you need:

  • Close to the airport
  • All facilities and entertainment available
  • Lots of culture and events
  • Nightlife
  • Natural environment

In Elche Spain, you will also find a:

  • Relaxing village-like lifestyle
  • Dynamic way of living, similar to the capital, with industry, university life, etc
  • Holiday experience on its wonderful beaches such us La Marina and El Pinet

Which one would you choose?

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Where is Elche?

The city of Elche is located in the south costa blanca, in Alicante province.

Torrevieja is just a short distance away along the highway N-332, or a little further to the north of the city of Alicante is the coastal city of Benidorm.

The area has mile after mile of beaches, right before the coast of Murcia, theme parks and other attractions all just a stone throw in distance from the city of Elche.

Elche Spain map

(Elche Spain – Google Maps)

The Spanish city of Elche is also known as the World Capital of Palm trees and as you approach the city for the first time you cannot help but be astounded by the numbers of palm trees lining the roads of this city, named a World Heritage city in the year 2001.

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What is the History of Elche Spain?

Centuries ago, since at least the time the Iberian Peninsula was populated, Elche has been an important centre of civilisation.

The discovery of the Statue of Dama de Elche, or the Elche Lady in 1897 is testament to the age and importance of this ancient city.

Unfortunately, you will not find the statue in Elche, to view this statue you must visit the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid.

Dama de Elche Spain

(Dama de Elche Spain)

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General Information about Elche

Elche is ranked as the third most important city in the Valencian Community (behind both Valencia and Alicante) due largely to its population of 230,200 but mostly through its prosperous businesses of shoe manufacturing, clothing and the production of sweets or candy.

Only 15 minutes away from Elche Spain, you will get to coastal towns such as Guardamar and La Marina.

I mentioned the palm trees before, there are said to be more palm trees in Elche than people. You are welcome to try and count them if you have the time!

Alicante (Elche) Airport is just a twenty-minute drive from the city making Elche a very convenient spot for those frequent flyers among us.

If you are thinking about moving to Spain from the UK, many British citizens love Elche Spain, so you it could be a great city to start a new Spanish life :-)

Parque Municipal Elche

(Parque Municipal – Elche Spain)

UK citizens have to apply for a visa to live in Spain long-term (more than 90 days), you may want to explore the non-lucrative visa Spain.

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What is the Weather like in Elche?

Elche, you will be pleased to know, like most of the cities across the area enjoys a unique microclimate which provides all year-round weather that can only be described as pleasant.

Rainfall is a rare event here; the sun is abundant throughout the year and even the summers are not too hot.

The average high in the summer is around 30C, although the temperature does rise to around 40C during August.

During the short winter months the average temperature in Elche Spain is still an impressive 16C, with average winter, overnight, low temperatures of around 7C.

Palmeral Elche Spain

(Palmeral de Elche)

Other well-known towns with great weather are Calpe and Altea which are just around one an hour away from Elche.

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What Architecture can be seen in Elche?

If you like history, you will simply love Elche Spain, over 1000 years of history are on display in the varied styles of architecture from the city walls built in three stages beginning with the Almohad section built in the 11th to 13th centuries, this section contains towers and plinths.

The second part includes the Alcasser de la Senyoria, or the residence of the lords, built from the 15th to the 16th centuries.

The third stage of this mammoth building programme includes the southern façade added during the 18th century.

The Arab baths of this period have been restored and date from the second half of the 12th century.

The oldest relic of the city’s fascinating past is the fortress of La Calahorra, dating from the 7th century. There are also relics of Egyptian styles including ceramics, catacombs, so much to see.

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Gastronomy

There are plenty of opportunities for you to sample traditional Spanish food within Elche.

Tapas bars are plentiful, while Spanish restaurants serve the traditional favourites such as paella and tortilla. There are also wonderful fresh fish dishes or an abundance of seafood options.

For those missing the tastes of home there are lots of international food options. If you fancy cooking yourself then head to the supermarket, they are all very modern or perhaps you might like to visit the produce markets for a wonderful selection of goods often fresher and cheaper than those on offer at the large supermarkets.

There is some controversy regarding Elche’s typical dish known as “costra”. This is a recipe which can be tasted in many restaurants and it includes rice, sausage and meat, topped with eggs beaten, all baked in the oven. It may sound weird, but it’s delicious!

People from Elche Spain proud themselves for being the creators of this dish, although many other towns in the Vega Baja offer Costra as their speciality. No matter where you try it, but you can not miss it!

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How much does it cost to rent or buy property in Elche?

The property prices can vary considerably across the city.

The typical price of a modern three bedroomed apartment in the newer areas of the city can cost up to €140,000, yet in an older neighbourhood of the city a similar sized apartment can be found for as little as €80,000.

Villas can cost considerably more with an average price expect to pay around €270,000.

Rental prices vary across the city too, anything from €385 up to €500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment depending upon which area of the city you are looking in.

A three-bedroom apartment can cost anywhere between €560 per month up to €730 per month to rent.

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What are the most Interesting Attractions I should visit in Elche?

A historical tour of the city

Begin a fascinating tour of the city at the Alcasser de la Senyoria, this structure was the residence to the lords of the city from the 15th through to the 19th centuries, it was built in three stages and part of the structure today holds the Elche Archaeology and History Museum (MAHE).

From here move on to the Basilica de Santa Maria. The entrance doors are regarded as being the most beautiful examples of Valencian Baroque.

Every year in August the Basilica stages the Misteri d’Elx, a sacred lyrical drama and listed as the last living testament of European religious theatre of the medieval era.

The drama is a dedication to the assumption of the Virgin Mary and has been performed since the mid-15th century.

The next point on the tour, close to the town hall is to the neighbourhood of Raval.

The final stop on the tour is the Arab Baths, dating from the late 12th century, you can visit the baths used as a cleansing area prior to worshippers going about their preparations to go to prayer.

Misteri d'Elx

(El Misteri D’Elx)

The Huerto del Cura

There are several areas of palm groves within the city of Elche Spain, they were brought from North Africa during the period of Islamic occupation.

The Huerto del Cura is classed as being an artistic garden and contains a combination of Mediterranean plants in addition to others that have been collected from all over the world.

The garden’s most treasured plant is the Imperial Palm. It is a palm of exceptional symmetry and beauty and was so named after a visit by Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1894, then Chaplain Castano dedicated the palm in her honour.

Palm trees Elche Spain

Nearest beaches to Elche city

Elche has golden beaches stretching a total of twelve kilometres, but these beaches are a fifteen-minute drive from Elche city centre.

The beaches are El Arenals del Sol and El Carabassi in the Alicante area and in the Marina area surrounded by pine trees and sand dunes are the beaches of El Pinet, La Marina, Les Pesquers and El Rebollo.

Elche Spain Beach

Carmen del Campillo Tea House

You will enjoy your time when visiting this tea house in an enchanting Moorish style villa and gardens. It is in an area of peace and tranquillity where many visitors come to join in the yoga sessions or just to meditate.

The tea house is about a 20-minute drive from Elche and you will surely be impressed by the elegance of the stylish wrought iron gates as you approach the sprawling villa with its impressive gardens.

Pathways flanked by flowerbeds extend out in all directions as you walk you will discover several hidden nooks and crannies.

In some are Arabic rugs and cushions where you can take advantage of the setting and relax in the atmosphere surrounded by trees, plants, flowers and of course, palms.

Tea house Elche Spain

Elche Medieval Festival

This historic festival sees the city transformed into a giant stage to represent the Middle Ages. Festivals are celebrated throughout Spain from anything including past wars or religious events. This festival is no exception, it is full of song, dance, feasting and drinking.

It takes place every year in late October/early November and is a week long celebration of over 60 events that includes thousands of locals participating in the organisation of such a memorable festival.

One of the highlights is the street market where lots of stall holders dress in periodic clothing and set their stalls in a similar style. Some stalls even offer food as would have been available in the Middle Ages, such as roasting meats, soups, stews, freshly baked bread etc.

Elche Museums

The city of Elche has several museums including the Museo del Palmeral located inside the Huerto del Cura Gardens. The city’s Archaeological Museum is also located in a garden setting with two buildings, one featuring the early history of the area, the other houses exhibit’s linked to Elche’s more modern history.

The Museo de la Festa is dedicated to the fiestas and festivals of Elche, although small in size it contains some amazing festival costumes and has audio visual exhibits. One of the highlights of this museum is its display on the Mystery of Elche or Misteri d’Elx.

At the Banos Arabes visitors can learn of the history of Elche through its Islamic connections. The Museo del Belen is an ideal location to take young children. It is a museum dedicated to Christmas, particularly nativity plays and scenes.

Credit image: M. Pardo, A. Agulló, M. Crespo, Floyd, W. Helsen, A. Roberts

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Are you ready to move to Elche Spain?

You are either from an EU or non-EU country… and chances are you don’t know where to start. But, good news, we are relocation specialists :-)

You might need help with any of the following points. I will links to the main articles if you would like to read about them, but it might be better if you contact me through the form below:

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