Environment
Balaguer is a city that is a very significant part of the history of the County of Urgell, and it is also the capital of the region of La Noguera. Its existence goes back to the passage of the Arabs through the region: conquered by the Accounts of Urgell in the 11th and 12th centuries, it is part of the southern part of the Bishopric of Urgell. La Noguera is the most extensive region in all of Catalonia, and its province capital, Lleida, is located about 30km away.
Balaguer is populated by some 17,000 inhabitants, it has an altitude of about 250m and its surface occupies about 57.4km2. It is a city with a magnificent historic center, surrounded by walls from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the region.
Aiguabarreig Segre-Cinca (Foto: Angela Llop)

Located northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, the rivers Segre, Cinca and Ebre confluence it is called l'Aiguabarreig. It is the largest union of river and probably the most biologically interesting of the Iberian Peninsula.

At the confluence there are hundreds of water meters wide, with numerous islands and the largest woods of the Ebro, large masses of reeds and wide gleres codissos (pebbles), and galatxos pools, sweet lagoons, rice fields and streams. It is also the point of confluence of steppe flora, from the Monegros desert and Mediterranean flora through the Ebro, including some elements of the mountain. The interwoven connection between riverbanks and lakes with a Mediterranean arid environment where frequent vertical cliffs and fruit granted this exceptional biological wealth.

The area of the confluence river is a wetland area of great importance as breeding, wintering and migratory wildlife . The location in the heart of the Ebro depression and the proximity of the Delta will add values as a special connector.

More: www.aiguabarreig.cat

Serra del Montsec (Foto: Pallares1)

The Montsec is a limestone mountain range of over 40 km long and 18,696 hectares divided between the counties of La Noguera and Pallars Jussà. The drive and the erosive force of the rivers Noguera Pallaresa and Noguera Ribagorçana have managed to draw up outline and spectacular gorges of Mont-rebei and Terradets, which in turn divide the range into three sections: from west to east, Estall Montsec (in Aragon),Rubies Montsec and Montsec d'Ares.

More: www.montsec.info

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Salines de Vilanova de la Sal (Foto: Teresa Llena)

Vilanova de la Sal has its origins in the medieval Private village, founded in the mid-twelfth century by the Count of Urgell. The name of the place and the rich relationship with an upwelling of saltwater that are located inside out of town and exploited since the first half of the century, when this territory was still located within the Muslims domains. The salt has been mined commercially until 1989, reaching to extract between 60 and 100 tons of salt. At present become one of the main tourist attractions of the town of Les Avellanes-Santa Linya.

More: www.lessalines.blogspot.com

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Forat de Bulí (Foto: Eiffel1899)

The Bulí hole, surrounded by magic and really impressive, is a stretch of the river gorge Rialb the limestone mountains of the western Aubenç. For lovers of canyoning, visit the Forat de Bulí is an unforgettable experience.

It is located at the Rialb area, near the confluence with the Gavarra ravine, at a point where four rivers converge. The Rialb river's water is filtered from the place called Cots to the Bulí source, which arise again and crosses a lush countryside, over small waterfalls at some point where the vertical walls of the canyon exceeds two hundred feet high, the river finally flows into an open tunnel in the rock about 100 meters long.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Centre Observació de l'Univers (Foto: Jordiipa)

Montsec Astronomical Park (MAP), is located in the Montsec, straddling the counties of La Noguera and Pallars Jussà in the province of Lleida. The MAP consists of two main elements: the Universe Observation Centre (UOC) and the Montsec Astronomical Observatory (MAO).

The Universe Observation Centre is located in Ager (Noguera),at a distance of 3,5 km from the village, beside the road that leads to the neck d�Ares. Following the same path and turning westward after the neck you can see the Montsec Astronomical Observatory. The Observatory is located in Sant Esteve de la Sarga (Pallars Jussà) east of the Crown Peak at about 1,570 meters above sea level.

More: www.parcastronomic.cat

 
Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec
Estany de Basturs (Foto: Mikipons)

The lakes are located in the village of Basturs (Pallars Jussà), along with Banyoles and Montcortès lakes, are the most important karstic lakes (fed by water from the subsoil) of Catalonia.

The high concentration of lime in water conditions that animals and plants that live there are not found in other water areas of our country. The vegetation of inland lakes is of an astonishing singularity. On the surface of the big lake, you can see a carnivorous plant, the Utricularia vulgaris, which has no roots and live floating in the water feeding on small crustaceans. In the big lake have been identified over 120 different species of unicellular algae of which do not live anywhere else in Catalonia, known scientifically Ceratium cornutum.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Os de Balaguer (foto: Jordi Domènech i Arnau)
The Cave of Vilars is located at the east slope of the Sierra Os de Balaguer, the Barranco del Vilar, in a place overlooking the river Farfanya. It preserves one of the most significant examples of cave paintings of the Mediterranean Basin of the Iberian Peninsula, was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1998.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec
Congost de Terradets (Foto: Enfo)

The Terradets gorge is the great door that connects La Noguera and Pallars Jussà; this was carved over thousands of years by the erosive force Noguera Pallaresa in its passage through the mountain splitting in two, Ares Montsec and Rubies Montsec.

It is one of the most beautiful and privileged Montsec which has tourist infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, farms) and exciting activities (hiking, climbing, caving, horse riding, water sports). The walls of the canyon slopes have come from more than 600 feet which are a paradise for lovers of climbing.

Among his most notable points are the Barranc del Bosc, Regina Rock and the picnic area Font de les Bagasses result of upwelling of waters in the gorge. Beside the road there is the cave called Forat de l'Or, where there is an intermittent water upwelling.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Pantà de Canelles (Foto: Sílvia Martín)

One of the factors that has transformed the territory Montsec in the course of the contemporary stage has been undoubtedly the construction of dams to produce electricity. The hydroelectric center in Canelles is powered by the same name dam, the second in altitude in Europe. It was built inside the mountain and is accessed only through a spectacular underground gallery. Its power is about 150 000 kW / A and reaches an annual production average of 110.166.000 kWh.
A visit to their facilities including the Interpretation Centre of Energy and later guided tour to the central unit at the dam, spillways and access to, plus a walk through the Black Cave.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

The Mont-Rebei gorge formed by the river Noguera Ribagorçana undergoes the Montsec and separates Montsec Ares from Montsec Estall and the great gorge in Catalonia remains more or less without being crossed by any road, railway or power lines. It is crossed only by a mule track partially dug into the rock that affords a very spectacular way to this place. The walls of the canyon can reach over 500 feet of vertical drop, with points where the minimum width of the gorge is only 20 feet.

Information provided by El Consorci del Montsec

Hotel Santuari

Pla del Reial s/n,

25600-Balaguer (Lleida)    

Tel. +34 973 449 617

info@hotelsantuari.com

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