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Oliveira de Frades

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The most valuable patrimony of this rural county, located at a verdant zone crossed by the river Vouga, is probably the wonderful landscape of deep valleys, mountains and abundant rivers and streams.

The natural setting thus offers excellent conditions to enjoy diversified activities in the open air, such as walking and hiking, fishing, canoeing, climbing and other mountain and water sports.

The architectural patrimony of Oliveira de Frades is also worth knowing and ranges from beautiful manor-houses and historical constructions, such as the 14th-century Tower of Alcofra, to churches and chapels such as the Church of Souto de Lafões, displaying rich gilded woodwork and medieval paintings and frescoes inside, or the ruins of the ancient Convent of Saint Christopher of Lafões, founded in 1120.

However, it is the remains of a very remote past that visitors find most fascinating at a county rich in pre-historic constructions and specimens of stone art: the dolmens of Arca and Antela (4500-3500 BC), both classified as national monuments, are specially interesting, as well as the ruins of several settlements and defensive fortifications, graves excavated on rocky slopes (Arcozelo das Maias) or Stone Age engravings (village of Destriz).

The county's gastronomy, abundant and succulent, offers specialities such as the renowned veal of Lafões, giblets with rice, roast kid or rojões (pork with wine and garlic), besides the delicious queijadinhas (cheese cakes) of Oliveira da Frades, not based on cheese, as their name seems to indicate, but made with egg yolks and sugar.

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