The sun shining in a clear blue sky above the blooming blossom is one reason to explore Lleida in March.
Heading south from the Spanish the city of Lleida in the direction of les Borges Blanques, there is the Parc Temátic de l’Oli waiting to be discovered. Just off the main N-240 road with a short walk through the olive trees there is the museum of olive oil production. The outdoor displays show olive oil making through a timeline of olive presses, showing how they have developed over the years.
Indoors there is a collection of models showing the equipment and methods used for pressing.
Walking around is like taking a step back in time as it is easy to imagine villagers celebrating the harvest and preparing their olives to be pressed.
Looking at displays and works of art, reading the information and seeing the great room that shows the machinery put together visitors can learn the whole process, from beginning to end.
There is an on-site shop, but unfortunately it isn’t always open. The assistants must leave the family of storks on watch, whilst they collect olives or enjoy the café-restaurant next door.
Being situated in Catalonia’s county of Les Garrigues, famous for its olive oil which is produced with a stamp of origin, the parc is surrounded by other olive and oil related attractions and events.
The counties capital of Les Borges Blanques hosts events to celebrate the oil as even the town’s symbol is an olive branch whilst the olive oil route takes in some of the areas old villages allowing stops at the Olive Oil and Rural World Museum in Castelldans as well as the Eco Museum in La Poble de Cérvoles.
Other attractions in the area include the Mas de Melons nature reserve, the caves of El Cogul and the many walking or cycling routes that take in the areas natural beauty, canals, rivers and the Juliana spring.
Lleida is also well known for locally produced wine, nougat and chocolate.