The province of Lleida is located in the northeast of Spain, in the famous Catalonia. Located inland, this vast territory benefits from an exceptional natural environment, ideal for winter sports and adventure, as well as for beautiful walks in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park and the two natural parks of Alt Pirineu and del Cadí Moixeró. Its Pyrenean and pre-Pyrenean landscapes make it one of the favourite destinations for those who like to enjoy a mountain atmosphere, as well as to discover a rich heritage and a gastronomy to delight the most gourmet
Lleida and its 11 ski resorts
Lleida offers a beautiful natural environment, a symbol of the high mountains. It is the largest winter destination in Spain and one of the most important in the Pyrenees. Close to the French border, families come to enjoy the quality of the snow and the latest facilities. No less than 11 resorts offer a capacity of 26,000 accommodation places. There are 500 kilometres of slopes for 78 lifts that provide access to the best slopes in the region
In Boi Taull and in the resort of Tavascan, experts seize the highest coasts of the Pyrenees to launch themselves on slopes located between 2,020 and 2,721 metres above sea level. They are the landmark of experts, of those who do not hesitate to attack the most difficult slopes. A little further north is Baqueira Beret, simply the largest Spanish alpine ski resort. To vary the pleasures, we also practice cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with a guide, while taking the time to contemplate the magnificent Val d'Aran. It also has the highest spa in Europe, where you can relax in a thermal pool at 33°C both indoors and outdoors, after a long day on snow-covered paths.
We must not forget to mention the ski resorts located in the centre and east of the territory. Like the resorts of Port Ainé and Espot Esqui, they are very suitable for families and groups of friends, and offer a more peaceful atmosphere, far from the masses, where ski rides take place on softer slopes and where a whole range of other activities are offered. Port del Comte is one of them and particularly seduces enthusiasts of all kinds of sports, nature and moments of complicity around a fireplace and a hot drink
From the resorts of Sant Joan de l'Erm, Bosc de Virós, Lles de Cerdanya and Tuixent-la Vansa, we go in groups and have the opportunity to spend the night in refuges such as Cap del Rec, which provides beds and large tables where we can share good meals with mountain flavours.
The joy of winter sports, for all tastes
If skiing in all its forms is a must during a stay in the province of Lleida, many other activities are offered, for fun moments or contemplation of natural spaces
Snow offers the opportunity to engage in a variety of practices in order to please as many visitors as possible. Would you like to take a break after spending several days skiing down the slopes? Why not take a dog sledding or snowmobile ride in Port Ainé. Espot Esqui highlights some activities such as the construction of igloos and it is in Port del Comte that we give way to laughter with the snake slides or tubbies (snow buoys)
Don't forget the night-time Nordic skiing or snowshoeing under the stars. The resort of Aransa has several routes that cross forests and offer breathtaking views of the Cerdanya valley and the Cadi massif
This variety is Lleida's strength. The region allows you to anticipate and select the resort that best suits your desires and passions, in a natural and beautiful setting.
Conquering the historical heritage
The Catalan region of the Pyrenees is also an area open to history and architecture lovers. During a stay in the Lleida region, a place of honour must be given to the Vall de Boi, a group of intact Romanesque churches that form a site that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000
The two churches of Taull are a must. We start with a visit to the parish church of Santa Maria, in Lombard style. The interesting point, apart from its remarkable architecture, is the fact that in the valley, it seems to be the only church to have attracted human life around it. There are several pretty medieval houses in the immediate vicinity
Then, following the old road, we arrive at the church of Sant Climent and its imposing 6-storey bell tower. This building is a true masterpiece of Catalan Romanesque art. It also gives rise to an original and contemporary experience with the video mapping projection of the paintings as they appeared in the 12th century.
A detour to the Romanic centre of the Vall de Boi, an interactive place and interpretation space, allows the whole family, including children, to better understand how Romanesque art arrived in the region and how man has shaped all the churches that today constitute an exceptional heritage for the region.
Enjoy the gastronomy of the Catalan mountains
Holidays are always a good excuse to eat more, especially in winter, when the need to regain your strength is quickly felt. Lleida is a prestigious land in this field with many of the products for which it is renowned. We think of olive oil, cheese, butter, wine, veal or even pear. Products so special that most of them have obtained the Appellation d'Origine (AO)
In the Lleida plain, the Catalans have developed their own cooking techniques. The dishes can be served gormenta, i. e. seasoned and fried, llauna, which means with garlic or vinaigrette and finally brutesca, prepared over a stone slab over a straw fire. Several typical dishes are a delight for visitors, such as Aranese olla, an excellent pork stew with rice, vegetables and chorizo or snails. France is not the only country that uses gastropods to make delicious recipes
Depending on the destination chosen, we also have the pleasure of tasting products and dishes that are the pride of the inhabitants, producers and restaurateurs. In Pallars and Alta Ribagorça, girella is a delicatessen made from sheep that is different from other delicatessens, often made from pork. In the Cerdanya valley, you can enjoy trinxat, a tasty dish made from cabbage, potatoes and belly, a dish that warms up the evenings after a long day on skis.
A significant part must also be left to discover the wines. In summer, the region becomes arid and allows the production of light wines with a Mediterranean soul. Those from the Costers del Segre region are a worthy accompaniment to Catalan cuisine and in the Lleida region, there is no shortage of restaurants.