León Car Hire
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This spectacular city combines grand monuments, jaw-dropping buildings and blockbuster art galleries with outstanding natural beauty. León is a popular stop for thousands of pilgrims travelling the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela every year, but it’s a destination in its own right too. Whether you’re looking for authentic Castilian cuisine, renowned museums or epic hiking terrain, you’ll find it in this captivating city in Northern Spain.
Whether you’re taking a family vacation or planning a business trip with colleagues, Enjoy Travel offers you a wide range of vehicles to meet your needs. When you need fast, reliable, low-cost car hire in Spain, book ahead with EnjoyTravel.com for total satisfaction.
Guide of León
León is a city located in Castile and León in the northwest corner of Spain. It sits in the basin of the Bernesga River, surrounded by flat and fertile plains full of grains, vegetables and fruit. The city boasts a beautiful backdrop set against the Cantabrian mountains, with meandering rivers crisscrossing the surrounding area.
Climate in León
León enjoys a continental Mediterranean climate with short, warm and dry summers and cold, cloudy winters. Summer lasts from June until August and reaches highs of 25-30°C. Winters can be cold, particularly at nighttime, when temperatures often drop below freezing. Between December and February, temperatures range from 8-10°C. Autumn tends to be mild and temperatures generally warm up in Spring from April.
León boasts a rich historical heritage, which is exemplified in its impressive architecture and historic sights. It became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages and exerted considerable power and influence over the years. It is also situated along the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route leading to the shrine of St. James in Santiago de Compostela.
The city hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year to celebrate its unique culture and history. Semana Santa (Holy Week) is particularly important and celebrations are deeply rooted in tradition, with elaborate processions and music. The San Juan and San Pedro Festival in June, La Virgen del Camino Festival and Gastronomic Festival in October are excellent ways to experience the city’s music, dance and culinary traditions. Cultural events and festivals take place throughout the year to celebrate the city’s rich literary tradition and strong folklore and musical identity too.
Things To Do in León
Visit León Cathedral
Also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria de León, León Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece. Famed for its stained glass windows, intricate decorative elements and beautiful cloister, it is one of the region’s most impressive churches.
See Casa Botines
Antoni Gaudi designed Casa Botines in 1891 for commercial and residential use. It is built in a neo-Gothic style to blend in a polyhedral shape inspired by the medieval architecture of the city. Today, it is home to a fascinating cultural centre.
Stroll around the old quarter
Barrio Húmedo, the old quarter of León, is a maze of winding alleys lined with lively tapas bars and tavernas. It’s the perfect place to lose yourself for a few hours. The Plaza Major, the social and spiritual hub of the city, is lined with historic buildings and outdoor cafes primed for people-watching too.
Get up close to masterpieces
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla and León (MUSAC) is a must-visit for art buffs. Spread across 21,000 sq. metres, it boasts five exhibition rooms, an auditorium and a library dedicated to prolific artists. Even if you’re not interested in art, it’s worth a visit to the building alone. It won the European Union Mies van de Rohe Contemporary Architecture Award in 2007.
Take a hike
León is surrounded by natural beauty. There are several natural parks located close by, including the Picos de Europa National Park which is brimming with hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching adventures.
Eating Out in León
León might not be a large city, but it’s crammed full of excellent bars, restaurants and cafes, from cheap and cheerful tapas bars to high-end fine dining experiences.
When it comes to traditional cuisine, the city is renowned for its hearty dishes that showcase local ingredients and produce. Popular local specialties include botlillo (a meat and vegetable stew), cecina (thinly-sliced cured beef) and morcilla (a spicy sausage). You’ll find queso de Valdeon (a creamy blue cheese from the nearby valley of the same name) on most menus too.
Most wines at local restaurants come from the wider Castille and León region, which is renowned for its robust red and white wines. Prieto Picudo and Mencia red wines and Albarin and Gordello white wines are particularly popular.
There are dozens of brilliant eateries to choose from, but for something extra special try Michelin-starred Pablo, located moments from León cathedral. Cocinandos, which is renowned for its creative tasting menus, has earnt a Michelin star too.
The nearest airport to León is León Airport, which is located 3.7 miles (6 km) southwest of the city. The airport mostly offers domestic flights from other Spanish cities, though there are some international routes. The car journey takes roughly 15 minutes depending on traffic. There is also a direct bus from the airport terminal exit.
Alternatively, you could fly to Valladolid Airport, which is located approximately 82 miles (132 km) southeast of León. While it is significantly further away, it offers a much wider range of domestic and international flights. Asturias Airport, which is 93 miles (150 km) away, offers an even greater range of options.
Getting around León
Most of León’s important landmarks and sights are located in the historic centre, which is compact and pedestrian-friendly. For sights further afield, the city runs a reliable and affordable bus network that connects most neighbourhoods and suburbs.
However, if you’re planning on exploring rural attractions or towns and cities in the surrounding areas, we recommend hiring a car. It will give you more freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, without needing to rely on bus timetables or expensive transfers.