- Places to visit
- What to do
- Organise your trip
- Happening now
A walk through Alicante among green giants
Publishing date 31/03/2014
Alicante is not limited to the sea or the sky; indeed, the capital of the Costa Blanca has an amazing natural heritage of large, elegant trees. A walk through the city reveals this extremely important heritage, which is all the more impressive with the coming of Spring. Come and have a walk in Alicante surrounded by green giants, a natural trail through the heart of the city.
The walk between the unique trees of Alicante begins at the Postiguet Beach, in front of the tunnel that gives access to the castle of Santa Bárbara, where five Rubber plants (Ficus macrophylla), standing almost twenty metres tall and with broad branches, are located. These ficus belong to a series of trees approximately one hundred years old which are remarkable for their leisure and environmental value. A good option at this point of the path is to visit the castle, whose central square hosts a specimen of ficus carica that is over 60 years old, standing six metres tall, with branches nine metres wide. The castle, on the summit of Monte Benacantil, is a special place for the locals of Alicante (Alicantinos), and the perfect location to enjoy a memorable view of the harbour, the sea and the sky.
Heading down to the beach and towards the centre, the path reaches Paseito Ramiro, a mid-19th century public garden. This garden hosts a number of specimens of ficus nitida, whose age is estimated at 80 years, and which stand thirteen metres tall, with branches 21 metres wide. It is worth pointing out that the park is crossed by a 56-metre stretch of the city walls, which were built in the 16th century.
From Paseo Ramerito the path heads towards Explanada de España, a beautiful square with over six million coloured marble tiles creating a mosaic that imitates the waves of the sea. This square, between Plaza del Mar and Canalejas, is surrounded by four rows of svelte, beautiful palm trees. The Rambla divides the square in two, leading you to the traditional city centre. To your left, the gardened roundabout known as Portal de Elche, with its surprisingly lush vegetation, is divided into four shrubberies, each of which hosts a ficus macrophylla that covers the sky of the square. These hundred year-old specimens, with trunks up to six metres wide, reach heights between 13 and 19 metres, and their canopies vary from 16 to 21 metres.
The path between Portal de Elche and Plaza Gabriel Miró is a short one. This modernist, trapeze-shaped square hosts the most remarkable specimen of Ficus in Spain, according to the Spanish Forest Map. This specimen is accompanied by three other ficus of the same species, macrophylla. They are all protected by the Law due to having a trunk perimeter of over six metres and a canopy diameter of over 25 metres. Alongside them there are five old elm trees (ulmus minor), which are larger than what is usual for the species, even though they do not qualify as monumental trees. All in all, they conform a highly important grove from a recreational, environmental and cultural point of view, as their age, approximately 120 years, make them an integral part of the city.
Near there, the Paseo de Canalejas appears as a spectacular earthen garden with extensions of trees and bushes separated by shrubberies, tracing a central corridor in which there are six ficus macrophylla and eleven ficus nitida, many of which are protected due to the size of their trunk and canopy. Also in this park, both sides of a well-loved sculpture, the Fountain of the Flutist, are surrounded by two robust Australian oak trees, also known as golden pines.
A pair of 18th century lions sculpted in marble guard the exit of the Paseo de Canalejas towards Plaza de Calvo Sotelo through the Paseo del Doctor Gadea. The square was built in the 16th century, but the garden dates from the last quarter of the 19th century. This square hosts three unique trees: one elm tree (ulmus minor), a plane tree (platanus x hispanica), a very characteristic tree in parks, and an extremely large araucaria or Norfolk pine (araucaria excelsa).
To finish this trail among green giants, the path leads to Plaza de Ruperto Chapí, presided over by the spectacular neo-gothic Teatro Principal, built between 1846 and 1847, as well as by two monumental trees, one elm tree (ulmus minor) and a plane tree (platanus x hispanica), ending this natural trail.
The natural heritage of Alicante, made up by over fifty trees, allows you to discover the capital of the Costa Blanca from a unique point of view: that of its nature. This path through the environmental treasures of the city, accompanied by its ever-blue skies, never fails to fascinate visitors.