Two days rafting down a river on homemade boats and partying during the night. This is Transsegre, the biggest summer festival in western Catalonia. And it will take place next weekend, July 8th-10th. Make it your perfect excuse to discover Lleida province, its towns and nature and, especially its river, the Segre.
Compared to the big rivers of Europe or to the great rivers of America, Catalonia’s rivers are much smaller and shorter but, of course, have their importance within the territory. Catalonia’s main river is Ebre. It’s the longest river in Spain, springing in Cantabria region and flowing into the Mediterranean in a delta, Delta de l’Ebre, one of the main natural areas in the southern coast of Catalonia. Ebre’s main tributary is the Segre, whose waters are the setting of Transsegre Festival. It springs in the Pyrenees and flows south to the Ebre, crossing the province capital city of Lleida and other important cities of the region like Balaguer and La Seu d’Urgell.
On one of the highest and northernmost sections of Segre River, on its passage through La Seu d’Urgell, in the Pyrenees, a Water Park was built to host the Canoe events of Barcelona 92 Olympic Games and it’s since then used for leisure water activities like kayaking and rafting. If you are visiting the area, a stop on the way to defy the brave waters on a canoe can be fun.
But let’s focus on the Big Festival of the Segre that will take place next weekend. Everyone is welcomed to take part on the event: you just need to build a boat that can float on the water and gather a crew of friends to row down the river. The boats have to be homemade with any floating materials like wood, rubber or recycled objects. The result is hundreds of crazy boats full of sailors descending the river in a festive atmosphere. The Festival starts on Saturday morning with the safety verification of the boats in the town of Balaguer. In the afternoon, the boats make their first river descent: three hours of navigation on the river through its widest and calmest sections. At night, a music festival takes place in Balaguer with live music and a party atmosphere. Next morning, a second descent takes place, this time through narrower stretches of the river and small waterfalls, increasing the challenge and fun. At the end of the descent, there are many activities on the ground and a ceremony to award the best decorated boat.
More than 300 hundred crazy boats and 2000 people are expected to participate in this mad festival on the river Segre. Keen for some fun and nature? Travel west from Barcelona and discover Lleida Province with Transsegre Festival.