Àger is a village and municipal area in the comarca of La Noguera which is physically bordered by the rivers Noguera Pallaresa and Noguera Ribagorçana. The most significant attraction of this village is its valuable monumental ensemble, which includes the recently restored collegiate church and castle of Sant Pere, which is an excellent example of Romanesque and neo-Gothic-style architecture. The village stands at the foot of the imposing Serra del Montsec, which bikers will find a relaxing natural setting. Here, it is possible for visitors to complement their stay by indulging in a few adventure sports (in fact, Àger is considered the Catalan "capital" of aerial sports such as paragliding and hang-gliding). On the other hand, just a few kilometres from the village, you will find the Centre for Observing the Universe (COU), at whose modern installations visitors can enjoy a number of pedagogical and leisure activities. Its location means that, just after leaving Àger, you will be able to enjoy roads that pass through an exceptional natural environment that boasts some really impressive reservoirs. Having left Àger behind, you will enjoy riding along kilometres of well-surfaced road as you follow the C-12 towards the impressive outcrop of the Montsec massif. This mountain range and the area around the Camarasa reservoir will give you views of the first order, though you should be careful not to allow them to distract you from your driving. After about 15 km, you will cross a dam. At this point, you must leave the C-12 to join the C-13 (in the direction of Fontllonga), which will now accompany you on your journey through this exceptional setting. Along the way, you will pass the Baronia de Sant Oïsme - a small group of buildings dominated by the Romanesque church of Sant Bartomeu and the remains of what was once the castle of Sant Oïsme - and its unique round tower. Riding along the C-13, in the direction of Camarasa, you will follow the shore of the Camarasa Reservoir for about another 20 km.
Camarasa is a small village of fewer than 1,000 inhabitants that belongs to the comarca of La Noguera. You will now continue along a much straighter section of the C-13, which follows the course of the River Segre, and pass through what is a very pleasant area for Moturisme Ara Lleida. After a further 12 km, you will reach Balaguer.
Balaguer, which is the capital of La Noguera, has around 17,000 inhabitants and is the second largest settlement in Lleida province. Its most outstanding attractions include: the Gothic-style church of Santa Maria; the shrine to the Holy Christ; the convent of Sant Domènec; and what was once the female monastery of Santa Maria de les Franqueses. As well as these religious buildings, its historic centre offers a number of other interesting features, such as: the emblematic Plaça del Mercadel square; the remains of Formós Castle; the town’s Gothic walls; the (archaeological) Museum of La Noguera; and the rather curious Centre for Interpreting the Gold of the River Segre. It is possible to visit all of these spaces, as they lie along the route, and thereby obtain an insight into the history of Balaguer. You should then take the C-26, which will take you the 26 km to Alfarràs, riding along what is quite a good, straight road and follows the Serra Llarga ridge.
On this section of the route, you will pass Castelló de Farfanya (whose most outstanding features include the ruins of its castle, a baroque-style public fountain and the magnificent Gothic-style stone altarpiece of the church of Santa Maria) and Algerri, a village in which the main attractions are the Gothic-style church of Nostra Senyora of Purification, which are old, stone constructions that were once used for fermenting grapes.
Alfarràs is a village in the comarca of El Segrià which stands on its border with La Noguera. It is located between the banks of the River Noguera Ribagorçana, the hills of Sas and the Serra Llarga ridge (Les Guixeres). This is a village of "water, twine and peaches" (a reference to the waters of the Pinyana canal, which are used to irrigate its market garden area; the classic Pinyana peach, with its Q for quality status; and its former twine-making factory, which is now closed). There is also a flour mill and the remains of a medieval bridge. At the crossroads, take the N-260, which – over a 26 km stretch of straight, flat road - will take you to Lleida, the provincial capital.
Lleida is a city of 140,000 inhabitants that is located in Catalonia's Central Depression. It is the capital of the comarca of El Segrià and of the Vegueria of Ponent. It is also the head of its judicial district and the seat of the Bishop of Lleida. This is a capital with an important historical, cultural gastronomic and commercial legacy ... which it will be a pleasure to discover. The city offers many opportunities to discover its history and culture through its monuments. The most important and emblematic of these is its Seu Vella (old cathedral), which is a Romanesque-Gothic-style building that looks out over the city. The Castell del Rei (King's Castle) and the Knight Templar Castle of Gardeny, the Paeria Palace (the seat of the city council), the former (Gothic-style) Hospital of Santa Maria (which currently houses the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs), the new (baroque-style) Cathedral of Lleida, the city’s Art Nouveau-style buildings and the medieval churches of Sant Llorenç and Sant Martí are other buildings that visitors are recommended to discover. The Diocesan and Local District Museum of Lleida, the Jaume Morera Art Museum, the La Panera Art Centre, the Roda Roda Museum (which exhibits vintage cars and motorcycles) and the Water Museum also form part of the wide and interesting cultural offer of the city. As for natural spaces, there is the La Mitjana river park, the channelled section of the River Segre and the Camps Elisis Park, all of which invite pleasant walks. As Lleida is a capital with good transport connections, you can leave the city by the A-2 dual carriageway which - in only 11 km - will take you across the dry lands of the Lleida Plain and on to Alcarràs.
Alcarràs is a municipality in the comarca of El Segrià. It has a population of 8,000 and is renowned for its motorcycle circuit (which can be found 13 km along the L-800, heading in the direction of Gimenells). If you do not want to go to the circuit first - which is understandable, as it is always busy - you can follow one of the local roads that will take you through the dry lands of the Lleida Plain. There are many straight, but narrow, roads full of charm and, for example, in just 16 km you can reach Seròs via the LP-7041.
Seròs is a small, agricultural and livestock farming settlement of 1,800 inhabitants located in the comarca of El Segrià and almost on the border with Aragon. It should also be noted that it is only 2 km from the (12th to 18th century) Trinitarian monastery of La Mare de Déu dels Àngels d'Avinganya, which is very interesting and has recently been restored by the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs (Institute of Lleida Studies). Cross the village and then take the C-45, which is a straight, narrow road that will carry you across the River Segre and the Utxesa sierra on a 15 km ride to Maials.
Maials is a small village in El Segrià. It is predominantly agricultural in nature and has fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but houses a small, but interesting, Country Life Museum. From here, you can go on for another 12 km to Torrebesses, following the C-12, before switching to the C-233, which will take you to Les Borges Blanques and a typical dry-land environment on the Lleida Plain.
Les Borges Blanques, with its 6,000 inhabitants, is the capital of the comarca of Les Garrigues and also of the Olive Oil Route. It is located in the zone of contact between the different sectors of the Canal d'Urgell irrigation canal and the high plateaus of the Central Depression. In this town, you will find many places of interest, including: the Passeig del Terrall; the Plaça de la Constitució square; the Marquès d'Olivart palace; the Espai Macià; and the Archaeological Museum. Les Borges Blanques has an excellent communications network that includes connections to the N-240 and C-233, the motorway of the North-East of Spain and a number of other minor, local roads. In just 14 km, one of these local roads, the L-200, will take you to Mollerussa and to the end of our proposed route.
Mollerussa is the capital of the comarca of El Pla d'Urgell. With 15,000 inhabitants and good transport connections, it has a legacy and a range of services that will allow you to finish off your route with all the necessary guarantees. In the town, the main cultural amenities to highlight include the Cultural Space of the Canals d'Urgell (which explains the construction of the Canal d'Urgell via an itinerary that includes a life-scale reproduction explaining the whole process) and the Paper Dresses Museum, which emerged from the original idea of a Paper Costume Competition which is held in the town on an annual basis. Enjoy the route!