The medieval city of Santa Maria da Feira provides a stunning opportunity for tourists to explore a historic region of Portugal, while enjoying the picturesque landscapes and beautiful weather in this part of the world.
Visitors here can get a taste of the area’s rich medieval past by exploring some of the remaining monuments to this unique period in history. The Convento do Espírito Santo is an ancient convent that is still in the municipality today, and the 18th century Igreja da Misericórdia offers a further opportunity to study some of the spectacular remnants of this time. The Rua Direita contains an impressive assortment of classic architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries, but the area’s greatest landmark is the 11th century castelo, Santa Maria da Feira castle – a lasting testament to the stunning military architecture of the Middle Ages.
Historically, Santa Maria da Feira was a bit of a crossroads, with intersecting ancient Roman roadways connecting municipalities throughout the region. A settlement was established in the 1100s, when nomadic tribes began selling products in the vicinity of the castle – and memories of this time exist to this day, thanks to the market where visitors can enjoy the region’s famous local bread, fogaça.
Hostels and hotels can be found at a number of the towns and cities within the larger municipality of Santa Maria da Feira. Many of the hostels are popular with backpackers looking for an inexpensive place to spend the night while taking in some of the attractions in this area. However, tourists looking to attend the town’s popular medieval celebration each August should book their hostel or hotel in advance – the entire city is transformed into a spectacular medieval fair, filled with armoured knights and traditional merchants.
From the airport, visitors can take a shuttle, bus, or taxi to Santa Maria da Feira.
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