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It’s not the famous and legendary Lady of Elche. Nor is it the Palm Grove, a World Heritage Site. It’s not even located at one of the beaches, dunes or pine forests, but in a definitively more prosaic spot beside the Elche to Alicante motorway. And there’s nothing mystical about it, unlike the Elche Mystery Play, declared a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. Nevertheless, it has earned itself a prized place on the region’s tourist maps. One more activity to take into account when visiting Spain’s Mediterranean coastline, as suggested by the official website, www.visitelche.com.

So let’s turn to Elche’s Ruta Outlet, opened in 2010. “We’re a stone’s throw from places like Santa Pola, Murcia and San Juan and very close to El Altet international airport, so we’re an added attraction for tourists,” explains the route’s PR team. “Over the past few years, the profile of our visitors has developed. People come here from the surroundings and many different nationalities visit too, most of all English and French shoppers,” they underline. “It’s a very good location, of course. It’s close to everything. Bear in mind that each year millions of flights pass overhead, and some brands have opted to advertise on the store roofs.”

The question is whether you fancy a shopping trip in search of quality products at very reasonable prices and with year-round discounts. That’s the general plan here. Footwear, textiles, food, furniture, cosmetics, eateries… Over three hundred businesses comprise the Elche Business Park, and some thirty of these make up this tempting ode to shopping located in the district of Torrellano, just 7km from the city. There’s an exit straight off the motorway and it’s perfectly signed to avoid any risk of getting lost.

“At Ruta Outlet you’ll find fashion, quality and a huge variety of very competitive prices,” points out Andrea Sanchís, president of the Ruta Outlet and defender of “retail tourism.”. And at Alicante’s landmark destination, it’s even easier to pay homage to retail because those who don’t have a car can reach Elche Business Park by bus. And from here, to the airport. Looking skyward, of course.