Palmeral of Elche
How many palm trees are there in Palmeral of Elche? There are currently over 200,000 palm trees that were planted for their delicious dates. Palmeral of Elche is the biggest palm grove in Europe. Historians believe that it originates from Iberian times when the settlers came up with a way to irrigate the land. Later, Egyptian Muslims – who were experts in farming – took over the area and the Palmeral began to grow in size. During this time, the grove is thought to have been bigger than it is today.
In the 8th and 9th centuries, the town was founded once again on the site where it is currently located. The irrigation system that is still in place to water the palms was designed and built by Prince Abd al-Rahman I.
A good way to discover all the secrets of the Palmeral is to take a guided tour. You will see trees that are incredibly large, have grown to form unique shapes or are simply mind-bogglingly old.
The palm grove is divided into plots (huertos in Spanish), namely Huerto del Cura, Parque Municipal, Huerto de Abajo and Huerto del Chocolatero.
The Palmeral of Elche was listed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. The town has a further two UNESCO listings, namely Misteri d'Elx (the sacred play) and Museo Escolar de Puçol, proof that Elche is a truly special historic destination. During your time in the town, make sure you leave plenty of time to explore the thousands of palms at the Palmeral.