Fun things to do in Distrito de Leiria

  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare
    Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare
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  • Monument to Vasco da Gama and Memory Chapel
    Monument to Vasco da Gama and Memory...
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Distrito de Leiria

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    Monte Real

    by solopes Updated Jan 24, 2014

    A thermal city, Monte Real has an Air force base, that local people wish to see transformed in a commercial airport to the central Portugal.

    It would be a very good idea, but meanwhile, it is only an extra attraction for some lucky kids, regularly allowed to visit it.

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    Pedrógão Grande

    by solopes Updated Dec 17, 2013

    A large beach, it is not one of the best in the district, because it is windy and the sea is rough, Not so crowded as the main beaches in the area, it is used by families and youngsters, attracted by the sportive activities and the good camping.

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    S. Martinho do Porto

    by solopes Updated Dec 30, 2012

    A beautiful bay progressively narrowed and shallowed, by the sand deposits, is one of the highlights of a coastal trip, allowing a stop between Foz do Arelho and Nazaré.

    If you want to swim, in S. Martinho do Porto the water is not very clear but it is the safest of our west coast.

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    Leiria

    by solopes Updated Dec 14, 2012

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    The district's capital, Leiria, it is not its main attraction, but it is a convenient hub for easy access to most of them.
    Furthermore, as a matter of fact, it has its own charms (not only the castle and the old quarter), justifying a stop for one or two days.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Obidos

    by solopes Updated Sep 10, 2012

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    Maybe the most visited attraction of the district is also the more distant (if we forget Berlengas, still farther, in the ocean).

    Only 8 km distant from
    Caldas da Rainha, the walled city of Obidos is a well maintained medieval town, giving name to the nearby lagoon.

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    Caldas da Rainha

    by solopes Updated Sep 10, 2012

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    Meeting point for art, humor and ceramics,
    Caldas da Rainha is a hub connecting the touristy area called West.

    Loosing to several more visited places in the area ,like Obidos, Nazare or Alcobaça, this fast growing town also has its interesting points. And for the lovers of sweets, Cavacas das Caldas are an exclusive pastry.

    VT rules forbid me to show the most typical ceramic artifact of Caldas da Rainha. You must enter any of the several shops to see it, but... you're right - that's it. In several sizes and capacities.

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    Nazare

    by solopes Updated Sep 7, 2012

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    Said to be created by Phoenicians, Nazare is ethnically different from all the other Portugal. The traditions, the costumes, the language, everything distinguishes them. And the site is magnificent, with a sea that was my dream in all my first 20 years (and more).

    It shares with Portimão the top of the best places to eat sardines ( I know... I know... Peniche and Sesimbra don't agree with me! But someone must occupy third and fourth places). Nazaré is a must in all the circuits in central Portugal.

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    Alcobaça

    by solopes Updated Sep 7, 2012

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    The first agricultural school was in Alcobaça, and the place from where agriculture spread to all the country, is still the capital of the most tasteful peaches and other fruits, though in a decreasing quantities, due to price competititon from abroad.

    However, the gem of town is the Monastery, that comes from the beginning of Portugal, and was the agricultural school. Alcobaca is one of the best examples of early gothic in the whole world

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    Batalha

    by solopes Updated Sep 7, 2012

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    If you had to choose a single thing to see in Portugal, my advice would be: Batalha.

    Only 10 km from Leiria, and 17 km from Fatima, this small town is the place for the best Portuguese masterpiece of gothic churches. Batalha is also a fast growing economie, with lots of business centers siding the main roads of the area.

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    Colossal and kitschy: the Buddha Eden

    by berenices Written Jun 14, 2010

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    Curious to see this increasingly popular new attraction in the region, we did a quick visit to Buddha Eden, a 35-hectare area owned by one of Portugal's wealthiest men, Jose Berardo, which he has converted into an immense garden of buddhas, pagodas, and whatnots that is supposed to create a place of peace, tranquility, in Zen-like ambience.

    This place was conceived by Berardo supposed to be in memory of the Bamiyan buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The plan is to install 6000 budhhas in granite and marble, placed in various sites (construction is still going on in some areas). Among the supposed highlights of the place is the "terracotta army" (what that has got to do with Buddha, i have no idea!), and a collection of buddhas in various poses overlooking a lake.

    The entrance is free, but donations are accepted. For those who prefer to see the site in comfort and those who have problems in mobility, there are "trains" which go around and tour for 20 minutes. There is a fee of 3 euros. At the exit is a big shop of wines, mostly those produced by the farms owned by Berardo. (Some little business would certainly do no harm, wouldn't it?)

    I thought this place downright kitschy. It has no connection at all to what Buddha or Buddhism signifies - it is crass, vulgar, and capitalizing on something "different" - directed to the mass market. And it's simply taking the idea of "Oriental" too far - a hodgepodge of "seemingly Asian" tradition that is an insult to the the real thing. And this, combined with the Greek style monuments and vases as you descend to the "Eden" is just so in-your-face. Culture, tradition, class? Forget it.

    But apparently a lot of people adore the place, and the local crowds just keep on coming.

    But this is certainly not a place you come to visit Portugal for. No way. I would vote it for "places to avoid" in this country. AVOID.

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    The 750-year old pine forest of Leiria

    by berenices Written Jun 14, 2010

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    The National Forest of Leiria, otherwise known as the Pine Forest of Leiria or Pine Forest of the King (Pinhal do Rei) has an area of 1741 sq. km. that is spread across the municipalities of Alcobaca, Marinha Grande, Leiria, Batalha and Porto de Mos.

    D. Afonso III, in the 12th century, had initially ordered the planting of pines along the Leiria coast to prevent the erosion of the sand dunes, and to protect the agricultural lands from degradation due to the sand transported by the winds. The successive kings proceeded to continue the expansion of the forest along the litoral, and in the time of D. Dinis, the forest had grown to the size that we see it now. Whenever trees were felled for timber, a replanting immediately followed, so the forest has remained intact all these centuries.

    The forest was critical for the time of the sea voyages and discoveries. The timber from these trees were used for the construction of the boats used in maritime exploration. Later on, raw material gathered from these trees, such as wood for fuel and resin were used by industries in the region, naval construction, glass industry, and metallury.

    Today, it is a nice place for a walk. It is a great place for cycling, hiking, and running. Some small wild animals can be found here such as hare, lizards, birds, etc. Smaller vegetation such as shrubs can be found among the trees.

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    The Caves of Mira de Aire

    by berenices Updated May 20, 2010

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    Portugal's largest cave system, which was discovered in 1947 and opened to the public in 1971, extends to a length of 11 kilometers, though only 600 meters of this is so far opened to public visits. The caverns have impressive and sometimes very bizarre stalactite and stalagmite formations, some with their own names (Hell's Door, Church Organ, etc.).

    There is a 45-minute guided tour through the illuminated caverns which culminate in a large cavern, 110 meters below ground, with a natural lake and a display of lights, fountains, and artificial falls. The temperature below is a cool and perfect 17 degrees Celsius. Apparently (though I've not been to this part of the caves), at 80m below where the conditions are excellent for keeping wines, there is a gallery where visitors can come and have a drink of some very good red wines from the best wine-growing regions of the country.

    An elevator brings you back to the surface, which opens to an aquatic park. There is also a restaurant serving regional cuisine.

    Quite fascinating, and certainly worth a visit. Don't expect, though, to take very good photos inside -- there is not much time to linger and get nice shots as the group has to go quickly from one point to the next, as visits are timed very strictly because of the volume of visitors. And then there is always the next group just behind you, ready to move into the place you're standing on.

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    The real Jurassic Park

    by berenices Written Apr 29, 2010

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    Just a few kilometers from Fatima is the Natural Monument called Pegadas de Dinossaúrios da Serra de Aire (Footprints of Dinosaurs of the Serra de Aire), an impressive and well-preserved tracksite from the Middle Jurassic period (~175 million years ago) having the oldest and longest sauropod and theropod tracks to be found anywhere.

    The tracksite was discovered in 1994 in what was a quarry site (thus the name in which this place was first known, Pedreira do Galinha). The tracks are composed of hand and foot prints which records the passage of large, four-legged animals. About 20 trails have been identified, one of which is 147m, and another of 142m in length.

    The footprints can be observed closely, as one can descend down the big crater and follow a circular passage for about 1 km. Information, including a film show, are available at the reception center.

    In 2008, the Portuguese government submitted this site to the UNESCO for consideration as a World Heritage site.

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    • Theme Park Trips

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Distrito de Leiria Hotels

Top Distrito de Leiria Hotels

Óbidos Hotels
353 Reviews - 917 Photos
Nazaré Hotels
157 Reviews - 496 Photos
São Martinho do Porto Hotels
17 Reviews - 46 Photos
Peniche Hotels
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Leiria Hotels
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Foz do Arelho Hotels
4 Reviews - 16 Photos
Ilha da Berlenga Hotels
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Batalha Hotels
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Alcobaça Hotels
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