Elche is situated between Alicante and Murcia, this little town being famous for its age-old mystery play, lush groves of date palms, and shoe and sandal-making and is known all over the world as the city of palm trees with more than 400 hectares of palm-tree groves. Elche has a 12 kilometre coastline which is located 15 minutes from the city. The coast is divided into two areas of the beaches, those belonging to Altet area and those belonging to the Marina. In the Altet area the Els Arenals del Sol is one of the most frequented beaches and there is also a free beach known as El Carabassí. The beaches in the Marina area are friendly and welcoming and are at their best in early morning being surrounded by dunes and pine trees.
Elche’s history goes back to more than five millenia and many civilizations have endowed the city with unsurpassable culture. A number of peoples have contributed to the culture and character of Elche and its present-day inhabitants. The first remains discovered at the archeological site of L’Alcudia date from the Neolithic period, or about 5,000 B.C. This original settlement continued its development to be become the Iberian town of Helike in the 5th century B.C.
To this period belongs the famous Dama de Elche, a treasured sculpture of an Iberian priestess dressed in ceremonial robes constituting one of the most important master works of Iberian art ever to be found. Elche was later destroyed by Carthaginian troops, but when the Romans arrived, it was renamed as the Iulia Illice Augusta colony and after that enjoyed a period of prosperity.