What to visit / Near Barcelona / Lleida


The counties in Lleida province offer a wide diversity of culture and landscapes. They are home to the largest ski area in Catalonia; excellent rivers for adventure sports such as rafting; two extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage sites: the ensemble of Romanesque churches in the Vall de Boí and the prehistoric rock paintings; the only National Park in Catalonia; Romanesque and baroque cathedrals; Europe's best performing arts festival and a wide range of gastronomy. Enjoy yourself, have fun and savour them all!

If you like high-mountain landscapes, such as the Lleida Pyrenees, you'll find the biggest ski area in Catalonia in the Vall d' Aran. In the Vall de Boí, in addition to the ski resorts, you'll be able to enjoy some of the purest examples of European Romanesque architecture: nine churches which have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. If you prefer adventure sports, the Parc Olímpic del Segre, which was one of the sites for the 1992 Olympics, is the perfect place for rafting, hydrospeeding, open-kayaking, etc. And at the Parc Nacional d' Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, which has nearly 200 high-mountain lakes, you'll come into contact with the majestic Pyrenean landscape.

In the counties on the plain, in addition to the rock art sites of the Mediterranean Basin – which have also been awarded World Heritage status – you'll be able to visit villages such as Agramunt, where the nougat, known as "turró", was first made in Spain; Tàrrega, with its Fira de Teatre al Carrer, one of Europe's most dynamic performing arts festivals; Balaguer which has the largest porticoed square (14th century) in Catalonia; and Borges Blanques, the county capital where one of the finest olive oils in the world is produced: DO Garrigues. If you like star-gazing you can't afford to miss the Parc Astronòmic del Montsec - Centre d'Observació de l'Univers.

In the city of Lleida, the capital of the region, you can visit the imposing Seu Vella, the 13th-century Romanesque former cathedral on top of the walled hill, the current baroque-style cathedral, the Muslim fortress and City Hall (Palau de la Paeria) which is medieval in origin. Don't miss the city's most popular festival, the Aplec del Cargol, where you'll be able to sample some of the tastiest snail dishes in Catalonia.

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