Beira Litoral

Central Portugal

The County (State) of Santarém, in central Portugal whose head office is located 145 km to the north of the city of Lisbon is one of the 18 counties (distritos) of Portugal.

District of Leiria - The district of Leiria is located in the Região Centro from Portugal.

The District of Leiria is one of the 18 Counties (Distritos) of Portugal.

Guia de Leiria
Center of Leiria, close to the Santo Antônio Convent, County (Distrito) of Leiria © GEP

Resident population

The County of Leiria (Distrito de Leiria) has an area of ​​3,506 km² and a resident population of around 459 thousand inhabitants (INE, 2021).

The municipality of Leiria is the most populous municipality in the district. In the municipality of Leiria, where the district headquarters are located, according to with the 2021 census it has 128,616 inhabitants. In 2011, it had a resident population of 128,884, which is a slight drop (-1.4%) in the resident population.


The District of Leiria is located in Central Portugal, a transition zone between Estremadura and Beira. At North, is limited to the District of Coimbra, to the west with the Atlantic Ocean, to the east with the District of Castelo Branco and O District of Santarém and to the south with District of Lisbon.

Diversified economy

The District of Leiria has a very diversified economy. Largest producer of pears, important producer of apples and of wines. In the industrial sector, an important source of employment in the district, plastics and glass production are highlighted. Finally, the commercial sector also has a strong impact on the economy.

Higher Education Center

The District of Leiria has an important center of higher studies in Portugal, the IPL - Instituto Politécnico from Leiria. Find out more: Study in Leiria.

Tourism in Leiria

Tourism in the District of Leiria is of great importance: beautiful beaches, water sports (surfing in Nazaré), resort towns (Caldas da Rainha), rich historical and religious heritage (Alcobaça, Batalha), and many other attractions.
Find out more: Touristic attractions in the District of Leiria

Well served by transport

Well served by roads, highways and the railway network, the District of Leiria is served by the Linha do Norte, the main railway line in Portugal, which passes through Pombal. On the other hand, Caldas da Rainha is served by the West Line.

Land of Good Wines

Wines from the Encostas d'Aire
Vineyards occupy a large part of the cultivated area of ​​the lands of Leiria, on the slopes of the Serra de Aires, in the municipalities of Batalha, Porto de Mós and Ourém (Santarém), where the Encostas d'Aire DOC are located. In addition to these, they include part of the municipalities of Alcobaça, Caldas da Rainha, Leiria and Pombal. In addition to local grape varieties, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Find out more: Wines from the Lands of Leiria

Land of Good Table

In addition to being a land of good wines, the District of Leiria is a land of good cuisine and gastronomy.
Find out more: Cuisine and Gastronomy in Leiria

Leiria and Literature

Leiria is famous in Portuguese literature, among others thanks to the great Portuguese writer Eça de Queiroz. His work The crime of Father Amaro takes place in the pine forest of Leiria.

Counties of the District of Leiria

The 16 municipalities in the District of Leiria are as follows:

Top Cities

Greater Lisbon

In addition to the largest urban agglomeration in the country (Lisbon), Sintra, Cascais, Loures, Almada and Oeiras complete the podium of the Top 5 largest cities in Portugal.

Great Port

In the north of the country, in Greater Porto, other important cities are Vila Nova de Gaia, Braga, Matosinhos, Gondomar and Guimarães.

Learn more

Main cities

Guide Highlights


Travel around Portugal


Tips for visitors

Travel Tips