Leiria

Leiria's castle is one of the biggest local tourist attractions. A towering monument that was rebuild by D. Afonso Henriques' order and is, nowadays, the place where many tourists enjoy the views over the city. It was Afonso III that brought the Cortes together in Leiria and commanded the plantation of Mata Nacional de Leiria (Leiria National Forest), which D. Dinis later developed and territorially organized. The secular pine forest has some inviting cycling paths. However, the footpaths are also very used in order to discover this natural heritage. Leiria is located in Beira Litoral and Lis is its most important river. The local cuisine features the morcela de arroz (black pudding rice) as one of the most typical dishes. As for the regional sweets, the Brisas do Lis (typical sweets made with eggs and almonds) and the lampreia de ovos (eel-shaped egg sweets) make the peoples' mouths water. The Feira Anual de Leiria, every year in may, brings great animation and thousands of curious visitors to the city. Pedrogão beach is the largest one in this region, having a long and pleasant sand extension. If you wish to make more tours in nature, then you should also visit Lagoa da Ervideira (lagoon) and Mata Municipal de Marrazes (natural forest). There are many classified monuments that are part of the local heritage, like the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação, the Cathedral and the convent of Santo Agostinho. Even in this area it is possible to make use of the Termas de Monte Real (thermal baths and spa), very known for their rich medicinal waters. The Museu da Imagem em Movimento (Museum of the Image in Movement) and the Museu da Fábrica de Cimentos Maceira-Lis (Maceira-Lis Cement Factory Museum) are also open to visits. The latter shows the factory and the history of Portugal's industry. Nearby you can see the first factory's steam locomotive and windmill.

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