Leiria

The city of Leiria is located in central Portugal, about 20 kilometres east of the Atlantic Ocean.  This charming city of 50,000 is the capital for the Leiria District and has a regional population of over 120,000 residents.

The climate of Leiria is defined as Atlantic-Mediterranean.  Summers are sunny and warm, with daytime highs in July and August exceeding 30 degrees Celsius on a consistent basis.  Some days, the temperature in Leiria can exceed 40 degrees.  Winters are rainy and windy, with occasional sunny days as well.  Daytime highs in January approach 15 degrees Celsius, with night time lows rarely below 5 degrees.

The area in and around Leiria has been inhabited for centuries, predating most other European settlements.  The first people to live in Leiria were the Turduli, an indigenous tribe.  Romans and later the Moors conquered Leiria, which set off a centuries-old battle for who would claim this central Portugal town.  Leiria is well known for its religious historical artefacts and buildings, many of which still exist today.

Leiria also is a cultural centre, home to many festivals throughout the year. One of the most attended festivals is the Leiria Music Festival. Numerous poets were born in Leiria, and the city has venues for musical, dance, and theatrical performances with local artists.  For football fans, Leiria is home to a Portuguese Premier League, the Liga Zon Sagres football team. The city is also rediscovering its natural beauty, with new parks, public areas, and themed bridges now in Leiria along the Liz River.

The city of Leiria is served by Lisbon Portela Airport. However, the airport is located 112 kilometres from the city centre, which means that you need to make sure you hire a car otherwise you may be in for a long journey.  Consider car hire at Lisbon Airport to travel to and around Leiria.

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