South

The South of Alicante is an enormous orchard configured by the lower course of the River Vinalopó and the lower meadow of the River Segura. In Elche, we will find an agricultural landscape included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Palmeral of Elche, the historical palm trees orchard in town. This appeared as a singular cultivation system imported from the North of Africa due to the palms resistance to salty waters typical from the River Vinalopó. That way the palm tree is, at the same time, cultivation for agricultural production of dates (raw material for craftsmanship of the White Palm) as well as infrastructure that enables the apparition of fruit and vegetable gardens at its bottom. At the place this river crosses the town Grupo Aranea, the practice leading our visits to the South, has built its “Braiding” Valley. Beyond the South we will meet the big Alicante’s orchard, irrigated by the waters of the River Segura which flows into the Mediterranean in between the Guardamar Dunes. Here, between vegetables and outlying housing developments (almost exclusively occupied by foreign population) we will find two unusual buildings. Firstly, the Institute of Secondary Education in Rafal by Grupo Aranea, awarded with the Prize FAD 2010 in architecture. And secondly, one of the unfinished works by Toyo Ito in Spain, a crustacean-like pavilion that has become a contemporary ruin. By its side we will admire the lagoons in La Mata and Torrevieja, characterized by their pink waters. And finally, we will have the chance to taste all the products coming from all those previously visited landscapes in Alfonso Egea’s well-known restaurant , located at Dehesa de Campoamor and awarded with one Michelin’s star.

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