Lleida is located in one of the most fertile and productive parts of Europe. The city, sitting on the banks of the River Segre and watched over by hills of the Seu Vella and Gardeny, halfway between the sea and the mountains, is a modern, well-connected, culturally active city amid unique natural surroundings. A city that will move your senses.
Flavours, aromas and textures abound in the gastronomic variety of Lleida. Snails, grilled meat, cured sausages and a great variety of fruit and vegetables form the basis, accompanied by its Costers del Segre Designation of Origin wine. As a treat for your eyes, enjoy panoramic views of the city from the fantastic cloister of the Seu Vella or from the belvedere of the Rey-La Suda Castle and, if you are an art lover, you must not miss the chance to visit the Lleida Museum.
THE APLEC DEL CARACOL FOOD FESTIVAL
One thing that is truly striking about this great gastronomic festival is the figures: 12 tons of snails. That is the amount of gastropods eaten over the three days of the festival. A true banquet. Over 12,000 local enthusiasts and 250,000 visitors take active part in the fiesta. A wide-ranging programme of shows, music, verbenas, or popular dances, fun competitions… no end of activities to meet all tastes.
The greatest asset of the city is the authenticity of its people, and so you cannot leave Lleida without mixing in with the locals who will show you their most valuable, tangible feature, the Seu Vella, also known as Lleida Castle. It is the monument that, without doubt, best identifies the city of Lleida. This singular Cathedral was built on a hill from which you can see not just the city, but also a large part of the plain of the Segria district. Construction began in 1203 on the site of a mosque. Devote to it the time that your senses need to fully enjoy this Templar Castle of Gardeny which forms part of the Domus Templi route of the Knights Templar. A journey through time that will unveil much of the heritage and the Templar legacy of the old Kingdom of Aragon.
Discover Lleida in a stroll over the bridges and walkways crossing the River Segre, see a show at the L’Escorxador Theatre or the Enric Granados Auditorium, visit the La Panera Contemporary Arts Centre or enjoy the new Llotja Theatre-Conference Centre, a cultural venue with an impressive programme of large format shows.
The arrival of the AVE in Lleida puts cities like Barcelona and Zaragoza just 45 minutes away. The station is in the very heart of the city so you can discover it easily strolling through the streets and plazas.
To discover the culture and history of Lleida, the city offers some surprising walks. Lleida Secreta, Secret Lleida, is an archaeological walk that will show you some corners of the city that are hidden from view, taking you back to Roman and mediaeval times. And to disconnect, we offer a walk in La Mitjana Natural Park, the River Segre Park or the Camps Elisis, as well as some more sporting activities, such as a round of golf or a mountain bike ride through the countryside of Lleida. And if you have any strength left, night-time Lleida awaits with a varied offer of cinemas, dance halls, discotheques, pubs, music bars, open-air bars, catering for all tastes in the Zona Alta, the top of the town, at the foot of the Seu Vella or the Gardeny Hill.
Don’t forget to make a note in your diary of the leading festive events in Lleida such as the Puppet Fair, the May Fair, the Moors and Christians festival and the Aplec del Caragol food festival, which has been declared of National Tourist Interest and a National Traditional Festival of Interest.
To take your senses to the limit, Lleida offers an enormous variety of restaurants and places to eat using local produce, such as fruit, vegetables and snails, and preparing traditional dishes such as grilled meat, cured sausages… And all enhanced by the flavour of Garrigues Designation of Origin olive oil and washed down by Costers del Segre wines.
Although snails are the true kings of Lleida cuisine, the land provides vegetables for delicious dishes with free-range or farmland meat, especially pork, which is very often accompanied by escalibada (grilled pepper, onion and aubergine) and potatoes “al caliu” (cooked on hot coals). The cocas de recapte (escalibada on bread with fish or other ingredients) or the “panadons” (large pasties) of spinach, raisins and pine nuts. And you cannot leave Lleida without trying the “Granados”, sweets made with almonds named after the famous composer of Lleida.
Take home the tastiest and most representative souvenirs of Lleida. Visit the shopping area, with one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, in the heart of the monumental area of the city, and with over 450 shops, or go to the high end of the city, the Zona Alta, for its modern, high-quality shopping and the city’s widest offer of leisure and eating. You can find images of the Seu Vella (the old cathedral) and of Lo Marraco, the emblematic dragon that represents the city, at the Tourist Office.
An unmissable visit for your last purchases is at the market in the Rambla, selling antiques and collectors’ items, and the Huerta a la Mesa farmer’s market. Here you can buy snails, apples, pears and peaches from the surrounding countryside of Lleida.