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Portugal - Leiria

The district of Leiria can be found in the central part of Portugal. It is named after the city of Leiria, which also boasts the highest population in the district at more than 50,000 people. The district is made up of 16 municipalities. The city does attract a number of tourists each year, although these numbers are not as high as those for other regions. Expats who settle there are mainly retirees, although some do move to the area for work.

The climate is affected by the district’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. There are high temperatures in summer, usually more than 30°C. The colder months see much more wind and rain and temperatures are normally an average of 10°C.

Retiring to Leiria is not the best option for those who want year round sun, though it is a good area for those who are looking for a quiet retirement. The city is fairly busy although is not overrun with tourists as some other areas are. It has all the amenities needed for daily life and the area is already home to some retired expats. The cost of living is lower than in some other areas and there are many options for leisure pursuits.

Starting a business in the area is an option for some but a tourism based business is a risk given the lower numbers of tourists which visit. Those who are experienced at running a B&B or small hotel may find it easier. There are other business opportunities, particularly in the city. Shops, bars and restaurants are all options and there are always established businesses which are for sale.

The district of Leiria has much to offer those who want to retire. There are a number of small coastal towns that are ideal for a quiet life but still give easy access to leisure activities. The town of Peniche is a fishing town, where tourists visit to go deep sea fishing and take boat trips. There are some small apartment buildings in the area and prices are very reasonable when compared with those in the city. There are houses set further away from the coastline which are older homes with period features. The town is expected to grow in popularity with the tourists and further development will probably take place over the next few years.

Nazare is also a fishing town but is becoming a very popular tourist resort as it has a number of good beaches. There are three main sections to the town – the area along the coast, the old town which can be found on top of a cliff and another old part of town which is on a hill. Properties in the older parts of the town are popular with expats as they are traditional homes and have many period features. Property prices in the older parts of town are still very reasonable but are expected to rise as the town becomes more popular with tourists and expats. Along the coast the buildings are newer and there are some small apartment complexes. Leisure facilities include bars, restaurants and some sports facilities. A number of retired expats have chosen to make their homes here and property prices are reasonable but are expected to rise with demand.

The town of Obidos is an area with whitewashed buildings and is popular with those who want to experience a traditional Portuguese life. It has a long history and not many properties come on the market there but they sell quickly due to high demand and reasonable prices. There is some potential in this area for those who want to run a tourism based business such as a small hotel.

The city of Leiria has a traditional centre, with narrow cobbled streets and old buildings. The houses in this area have courtyards rather than gardens and many do need some renovation work. Prices are reasonable for properties that need some work. Further away from the city centre there are areas which are more residential and offer detached houses, often with good sized gardens. Prices for these are often higher, particularly as the locals prefer newer properties. The city has good shopping facilities and schools, so is good for those who are moving with a family. The city also has a number of properties that will be suitable for those who want to establish a business.

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