The shoe capital
Situated at the foothill of Monte de Santa Quitéria at the heart of Vale do Sousa, Felgueiras is a modern city with several testimonies of Roman period, such as roads and bridges, as well as an important 4th century B.C. villa. It has also a rich Romanic heritage: the beautiful Airães temple (10th century) and Pombeiro Monastery (11th century). As everywhere in the region, there are many manor houses, situated in fertile “quintas”, which continue to produce quality fruit and green wine. Shoemaking is, nevertheless, the main engine of council’s economy, representing approximately half of the Portuguese shoe exports. The production of typical embroideries of Lixa region and Felgueiras laceworks are more traditional activities. In terms of gastronomy, the most famous speciality is Margaride sponge cake, baked for centuries in wooden ovens. However, this region also offers excellent convent-made sweet specialities and a great roasted kid.