Elche is city located in Low Vinalopó Basin, in the province of Alicante. The Vinalopó river crosses the city, which is some 15 km from the coast.
Elche is an industrial city where the main activity is the shoe production. Agriculture is also important, and the production of dates and pomegranates outstand. In fact, the Palm Grove of Elche is the largest one in Europe (3.5 sq. km and more than 11,000 palm trees) and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Mistery Play of Elche (Misteri d'Elx) is a liturgical drama that commemorates the Assumption of Mary. It dates from the Middle Ages and is enacted and celebrated in the Basilica de Santa María on the 14 and 15th of August of each year. It has been declared by UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The ancient city was some km to the south. In a place now called La Alcudia, there was an Iberian settlement. Carthaginians and Romans also established there. The ancient name was Helike for the Greek traders, later Ilici for the Romans. Some remains of Roman and Iberian houses can be visited, as well as a museum. The most important archeological finding is the Dama de Elche, a sculpture from the Iberian period (4th century BC).