Cantanhede: Travel and tourism

António Luís de Menezes Memorial
António Luís de Menezes Memorial
The county of Cantanhede is one of the largest of the central Beira region and may be roughly divided into two natural zones: Gândara, with its sand dunes on the coastline, pinewoods and fields of corn, and the sub-region of Bairrada, renowned for its wines and a gastronomic speciality, roast sucking-pig.

Both display specific characteristics which are visible in different styles of popular architecture, activities and uses, such as the arte da xávega of Gândara, the traditional fishing method.

The seat of the county, Cantanhede, is a pleasant town with several noble houses from the 18th century and chapels with characteristic porches or austere façades.

The main monument is the Mother Church, displaying a Baroque portal, beautiful woodwork and a side-chapel created by the sculptor Jean de Rouen in 1547.

It is also worth visiting the Town Hall, lodged at the former 16th-century palace of the Marquis of Marialva, and the church of the Convent of Our Lady of the Conception, founded in 1675.

On the county's limits, the historic and characteristic town of Ançã boasts of an unusual nucleus of 18th-centry houses, several chapels with porches, a Mother Church with 15th-century images and a fine stone pillory.

The town is mainly known for the «Ançã stone», due to the local quarries of white and soft limestone used in architecture and sculpting from the 12th century to the Renaissance period.

At the parish of Cadima, the natural springs known as «Eyes of Fervença» supply water to the county and attract many visitors with their bucolic scenery, a fine fluvial beach and a leisure zone offering several facilities.

The village of Tocha exhibits a characteristic main square where markets and fairs are held and the Mother Church with beautiful 17th and 18th-centuries tiles.

On the coastline, typical wood huts standing on high poles, known as Palheiros da Tocha, were traditional shelters for fishermen and are now also used by bathers during the summer.

The county is famous for the wines produced at the demarcated region of Cantanhede, particularly suitable to accompany local specialities such as leitão assado (roast sucking-pig), chanfana (kid stew in wine) or bacalhau à lagareiro (baked cod).
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Marialva Park Hotel Marialva Park Hotel
Cantanhede
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

Located on the outskirts of the city, Marialva Park Hotel offers affordable accommodation with free internet, a five-minute walk from the train station.

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