Elx/Elche spans an area of 326,07 km² and has a population of approximately 220,000 inhabitants, according to the 2006 census. Elx/Elche is the third most populous city of the Valencian Region and second in the Province of Alicante and is located on the Costa Blanca. Surrounding the city are more than 300,000 palm trees that contribute to Elx's uniqueness and have become a symbol of its identity. These palm trees make up the southernmost and most extensive palm tree grove in Europe and were declared to be a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee of the UNESCO in 2000.
Elx boasts the entire range of attractions that the province has to offer its residents and visitors, including historical sites, areas of natural riches and beaches. Elx’s extensively vast municipal district is situated between the Sierras del Molar, Tabaià and Castellar with it’s eastern border being the sea and includes the fertile irrigated lands of Camp d'Elx. These fertile areas are dotted with rural hamlets such as Les Baies, Perleta, Els Bassars, Torrelano, L'Altet and Matola, and they providing produce for the local area as well as exportation . Various native species of trees can be found within the district such as the Elche Poplar and within the municipality is an area declared to be of immense ecological value, the Laguna del Fondo.
The former location of Elx, L'Alcudia, is located 2 kms away in the direction of Dolores. Within this site there is evident traces of prehistoric cultures (from Neolithic to Iberian) as well as vestiges from the Romans, the Visigoths and the Moors. It is from this site that the bust known as the Dama d'Elx, currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Madrid. The Moors surrounded the city of Elx with palm trees, which led some Islamic chroniclers in the 11th century to compare the city to Mecca, the Holy city of Islam. In 1265 the city finally passed to the Catalan/Aragon crown under Jaime II. The Christians occupied the Vila Murada whilst the Moors moved south to the el Raval quarter. The Vila Murada contains the finest elements of Elx's historical heritage - the Palace of Altamira, the Citadel of the Sentoría, the Basilica of Santa María, the Moorish Calaforra fortress, the Ayuntamiento, the Moorish Baths and the Convent of the Mercé.
The area is easy to visit, as all buildings are located within a short distance of each other. The Municipal Archaeological Museum is inside the Altamira Palace. The Municipal Park is located near the Municipal Tourist Office and provides a space to relax, play or watch open-air performances. Another park to the southeast, the Huerto del Cura (Priest's Garden) is also worth mentioning. In this park you can see the seven-armed palm tree, much admired by the Empress Sissi, and a beautiful cactus garden. There are also two watchtowers in the palm tree grove surrounding the city: to the north, the Vaïllos de Llanos and to the south, the Ressemblanc.