The Catalonian province of Lleida is one of the most mountainous provinces in Spain and the fourth and probably least-known province of Catalonia. It is located in the northeast of Spain.
Lleida incorporates part of the mountainous Pyrenees landscape, most notably the Aran valley. The area is especially popular for winter sports, in fact the area known as the Boí Valley has the highest ski resort in the Pyrenees.
Visitors come here to ski during the winter season and enjoy walking holidays and adventure sports throughout the rest of the year. The province is also a well-known wine producing area.
The capital city is built on the banks of the river Segre and is an important regional centre within Catalonia. It is famous for its agricultural produce and textile industry. Lleida has a majestic cathedral sitting on top of a hill, which dominates the city; sadly much of the building is in disrepair, although there are still some sections which can be visited, and the views over the surrounding landscape are worth the climb. There is a lift from the centre of town below, which takes the toil out of accessing the cathedral.
The centre of Lleida has all the main shops you would expect in a thriving city, plus there is an excellent choice of restaurants serving traditional home-cooking-style cuisine.
History & Culture
The Boí Valley with its nine early Romanesque church was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001.
In the capital city of Lleida, there are many churches and museums worth a visit.
Leisure & Recreation
Sail down the river Segre by boat or raft, climb some of the steep rock walls nearby, explore the zone on foot or bike, outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven here.
The Forat del Buli is a gorge that cuts deep inside the Rialb's river basin, with an impressive natural landscape. Its rugged features make it ideal for adventure sports, such as cliff climbing. The beautiful, natural area has the appearance of being undisturbed by human-kind. If you want to try your hand at cliff climbing then there are adventure sports companies that can take you out, or hire you the equipment.
Canoeing and sailing are also popular given the surroundings. The Rialb River is the perfect place for trout fishing. The fishing is controlled here and for stock preservation, fish are not allowed to be taken.
The region is excellent for runners, with some very tough training available in the mountains. It’s also possible to find some quite decent length runs in Lleida city, which has very little traffic; head down towards the river and the cathedral for an interesting route.
One of the most stimulating itineraries that Lleida has to offer is the ‘Route of the Castles; these well-preserved fortresses take visitors back in time to the Middle Ages, a period in which these lands marked the frontier between the Arab and Christian worlds.
The classic route of the castles includes six fortresses: Montsonís, in La Noguera; Montclar, in Urgell; Florejacs, Les Pallargues, and Vicfred, in La Segarra; and Mur, in Pallars Jussà. The area is rich with interesting Medieval castles and fortresses, that speak of its history.
The specialties of the province include snails, rice with rabbit and meat stews. In the town of Noguera, Cassoletes (a mix of vegetables with meat), is a typical dish and La Olla Aranesa" (a casserole dish) from the Arán valley, is typical of Lleida gastronomy.
In the mountains the weather is warm in summer, with wet springs and autumns. There is considerable snow during the winter.
In the plains the weather can be very hot during the summer.