World Heritage Sites in the Costa Blanca

World Heritage Sites in the Costa Blanca

Promoting identity, protection, and preservation of natural and cultural heritage is considered to be especially valuable for humanity. This is, and for a long time now, one of the main works of UNESCO (United Nations Educations, Science, and Culture organisation). The title World Heritage Site is a distinction for these types of places. In the Costa Blanca, and around it, we’re lucky enough to have a few of these places.

Before talking about these marvels, we want to briefly clear something up. Firstly, there’s two main types of heritage. “Cultural heritage”, which refers to monuments, groups of buildings and sites that have historical, artistic, or archaeological value. In this category, you’ll also find places with scientific, ethnic, or anthropological value. “Natural heritage” refers to exceptional physical, biological, and geological formations. This goes for animal habitats, endangered plants, and area that have scientific, conservation, or visual value. On the other hand, we also have “Intangible cultural heritage”, which includes living inherited practices and expressions from our ancestors. This is heritage that is passed down generation to generation, like oral traditions, scenic art, social customs, rituals, festivals…

All along the Costa Blanca and all around it, we have places that include all three types of heritage. Take note and plan a weekend escape to visit them!

El palmeral (Elche)

Over 200,000 palm trees look down on the urban centre of Elche. Since the year 2000, the place of the Costa Blanca has become a World Heritage site.


The Mediterranean diet

This diet was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, the reasons being it’s richness, variety, and health benefits. You can enjoy the Mediterranean diet in all its form in the Costa Blanca. And along the whole coast of the Valencian Community! From markets where exquisite raw materials are sold all the way to the best restaurants that have kept this tradition and the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. Flagship restaurants known for exploring this cuisine, respecting its differentiating features, and being recognised worldwide for its variety of flavours and textures and for its health benefits.


Cave art

Cave art in itself is a unique cultural manifestation. And it also represents the prehistoric society that lived in the place where the Costa Blanca is today. In and around the area, there are plenty of these depictions, but if we had to recommend one in particular, we’d go for the following: Moixent with the drawings Abrigo de la Penya and Abrigo de Gontran. You can also visit the ones in the Caroig massive (Cueva de la Araña y abrigos del Barranco Moreno).


pinturas rupestres costa blanca


The mystery of Elche (Elche)

Declared as Oral heritage and Intangible world heritage in 2001, the Mystery of Elche is a cultural treasure in the city. This work of medieval origins is also known by the name of La Festa. It embodies all the years of the Basílica de Santa María de Elche’s history in the month of August. This activity celebrates the festival Virgen de la Asunción (the Virgin of Ascension).


Strong cultural legacy

The cultural legacy of the Costa Blanca brings together all kinds of activities and places that are steeped in history and tradition. Moors and Christians in Denia, Alcoy and Calpe, festivals in Altea and Alicante, Moorish quarters and castles in Guadalest and Javea are some of the best known experiences in the area. The options are almost endless and we encourage you to discover this land.

From rock castles at the foot of the Mediterranean, to those narrow cobbled streets where the smell of the sea mingles with the refreshing scent of jasmine, to massive parades of people, the magical Night of San Juan… everything feeds into an immense tradition and legacy.

In addition to the World Heritage Sites that we have reviewed in this entry, the Costa Blanca has some of the most beautiful historic centres in Spain. Clear examples are the Barrio de Santa Cruz in Alicante and those of Javea, Denia, Benissa and Teulada. All of them sharing one common feature: the Mediterranean sunlight.

Don’t miss our blog articles where we’ll give you more ideas on plans all over the Costa Blanca.

Discover the World Heritage Sites of Alicante Province

Discover the World Heritage Sites of Alicante Province

You need only go on a simple walk through the picturesque landscapes of Alicante to realise that it has huge cultural and historical value. And not just in its small towns, but also in the city of Alicante, you’ll see that it’s home to the very imposing castle ‘Castillo de Santa Barbara’. In this article, you’ll get to know some of the natural and cultural gems tucked away in Alicante province. More specifically, gems considered to be UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ready for this virtual tour?

Alicante, a province with 3 World Heritage Sites

Most of the time, we live in regions and towns that have a lot of cultural value that we’re not fully aware of. This means we look to go be a tourist elsewhere and try out different activities outside of our home, without realising that we can find this barely even a few kilometres away. To stop this from happening to you, here’s a list of World Heritage sites in and around Alicante.

El Palmeral

El Palmeral de Elche is one of the 200 natural sites that UNESCO declared as World Heritage in the year 2000. And no wonder! This site has over 200,000 palm trees. This impressive number means that it’s the biggest palm grove in Europe.

However, apart from its size, what’s so special about the Palm grove of Elche? One of the reasons why it’s a unique site is due to its agricultural role. It is a living example of Arab agricultural techniques on the European continent.

You have to go back to the 8th century AD to discover the origin of this emblem of the city of Elche. And today, more than 1,200 years later, it is still a must-see stop on your visit to the province of Alicante.

El Misteri d’Elx

There’s no doubt that Elche is a city stands out for its natural value, but it has cultural value too. The traditional Misteri d’Elx is one of the World Heritage Sites of the province of Alicante. Just in May 2021 it was 20 years since this theatrical performance was declared Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This declaration came just six months after the city’s palm grove was recognised by UNESCO.

Due to lack of documentation, the exact origins of el Misiteri d’Elx are estimated to have been around 13th and 14th century. Generation after generation, this medieval play has been passed down to our time and turned into a symbol of the city and also the Comunidad de Valencia. The 14-15 August are important dates marked in the calendars of Elche’s residents, as the performance coincides with the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin. It can be a good opportunity for you to visit the city!

El Museo de Pusol

And finally, the third World Heritage Site in the province of Alicante is also in Elche. The Museum Escolar de Pusol, declared World Heritage in 2009. This building contains 100,000 pieces of enormous historical value, as they depict life in the city over the span of its history.

City of Alicante, candidate for World Heritage

If these three sites weren’t enough, the city of Alicante is applying to UNESCO to be a World Heritage site. This idea has been in the works since 2016 and is within reach thanks to its castles like Santa Barbara and la Huerta towers, the Tibi marsh and the fortress on the Nueva Tabarca island. So, have you visited any of these emblematic places?

Now that you know all about the World Heritage sites in Alicante, it’s time to go out and enjoy them! Plan an escapade to Elche and get to know this gem of a city, less than an hour and a half away from Cumbre del Sol. Don’t forget to bring your camera or phone as these are places that are worth capturing!