Maia's history started a thousand years ago. In the Middle Ages, as the settlement of the valley of Leça river and of the Douro estuary developed, the land of Maia stood out for its agricultural wealth and also other resources. The genesis of Maia intersects with the foundation of the nationality, because there are associations of Prince Afonso Henriques' education to the Mendes da Maia family, to which Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, the "Lidador", who later became the city's face, belonged. Many of the sails of the Portuguese Discoveries caravels must have come directly from the local "linhares" hands. The charter was granted by D. Manuel in the 16th century. In 1836 Maia became autonomous, but it was then extincted 21 years later. Its elevation to county took place in August 23rd 1986. Maia is currently composed of 17 parishes and is a county of contrasts, marked by both rural and urban/business areas, being the industrial zone one of the largest in the country. In addition to hosting the second most important airport of the country – Francisco Sá Carneiro international airport, it is also crossed by the main entrances to the neighboring cities and is the crossing point of the surface subway. Environment, education, sports and culture are sectors that mark the constant development of this county and that put it among the most important municipalities of Porto's district.
What to do in Maia
Quinta da Gruta
Quinta da Cave is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spaces and good use of the municipality of Maia, with 22000 square meters. Situated in the Centre of Castelo da Maia, this romantic Mansion from the early 20th century has quickly become an important dynamic polo sport and leisure. This space houses the environmental education Complex, a documentation centre, tennis …
Quinta dos Cónegos
This is an ancient recreational farm of the bishops of Oporto. It is composed of a beautiful house, with a ground floor and a noble floor, and nine windows with granite balconies of bolsters. Inside are worthy of notice the chapel with a golden woodcarver retable from the 17th century. Here you may also find the “Maia Gardens”, fountains, chapels …
Zoo da Maia
The Maia Zoo has as its main purpose the research, preservation and divulgation of the species, mainly at schools. This space owns a private medical establishment and qualified staff, sheltering more than 300 animals. Inside this space is the picnic area, the Pavilion of the “foquinhas” (little seals), the Mysterious Nature, the Reptiles’ Garden and the Playground.
Parque de Avioso - São Pedro
Large green space, ideal for moments of relaxation, leisure and sport. Has two watchtowers which gets a privileged view over the 60000 square meters. Has marked trails for bikes and 4.5 miles to walk. There is no shortage of shadows, trees of various species, banks or spaces. The terrace of the restaurant and the Café is another point in the …
Monumento à Comunidade Maiata
A set of granite pyramids, placed at the centre of a large lawn, showing the evolution of the Maia community. This monument is by the architects Luis Filipe Pais de Figueiredo and Zulmiro de Carvalho.
Igreja Conventual de São Salvador / Mosteiro de Moreira
The primitive monastery dates from the middle of the 9th century. The reconstruction of the new church began in the 16th century and was finished in the 18th century. The granite façade shows some austerity and the church presents a …
Fórum da Maia
A cultural centre composed of three distinct areas: an auditorium area, a museums and exhibitions area and a library and municipal archive area. It has three amphitheatres, one of which with 720 seats, another with 360 seats and a third …
Estátua do Lidador
A bronze statue, over a marble base, paying homage to Gonçalo Mendes da Maia “O Lidador”, hero of the foundation of the nationality, whose first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, nominated his “Adeantado”. The statue is by the sculptor …
Museu de História e Etnologia da Terra da Maia
Located in the old Maia Town Hall, in the 18th century, it has two floors and large exhibition rooms.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Ó
This church was the temple of the Monks of the São José de Jerusalém brotherhood, having been later given to the Religious Order of Malta. Later on, it underwent several remodelling works, presenting a façade crowned with a bell tower …
Where to eat in Maia
Modern space to serve typical dishes well made, having collected the prize "Golden Fork" gastronomi…
A rustic space that serves good Portuguese traditional dishes, such as the famous roasted kid.
Inaugurado em 2021, este espaço divide-se em sushi bar e noutro espaço dedicado a pratos japoneses.
A traditional house with a fireplace and a wood oven, a friendly service and excellent regional dis…
Where to sleep in Maia
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Marco de Canaveses
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Amarante is distributed in about forty parishes, 18 of those located along the right bank of the Tâmega river and the others on the left bank of the …