This is a region which is only moderately suitable for agriculture and forestry. Perhaps this explains its considerable industrial development in the area of wood processing and, to a lessor degree, mining and textiles. The city is a fairly recent settlement. But nearby lies the very old town of Canaveses, which some people still call the "old town". The name Canaveses evokes the growing of hemp (cannabis) for the production of a textile fibre. There are several dolmens in the Serra da Aboboreira (Aboboreira mountains), which may be 3 or 4 thousand years old.The "castro" culture, more recent, is also documented. But the most important thing is the Roman occupation. The archaeological station of Freixo, south of Marco de Canaveses, is one of the most important in the country. The diggings carried out there have revealed the existence of architectural and urban structures (spas, forum…) suggesting a city of appreciable size and importance. Of note from mediaeval times is the remarkable coherence of the Romanesque style. The churches of Tabuado and Soalhães are good examples of these sturdy edifices, firmly entrenched in the land, which were used both as temples and, in time of need, fortresses. The quality granite which is quarried in the region was undeniably an important factor in its proliferation.

Due to its unusual style and unrestrained baroque exuberance, we must mention an unfinished manor house in Vila Boa de Quires, dating from the 18th century, which the locals call "Obras do Fidalgo" (Work of the Noble). But one of the architectural jewels of Marco de Canaveses dates – unexpectedly – from the 20th century: Saint Mary’s Church, designed by the famous Portuguese architect, Siza Vieira.

The council also has a hot springs spa in Caldas de Canaveses, which attracts visitors due to its medicinal properties and the peaceful atmosphere it provides.

The local gastronomy is founded on two pillars: lamb and, in season, lamprey. Both require a good "vinho verde", which the region also produces. And the meal can only be finished off with "pão-de-ló" (sponge cake) or "cavacas" (hard glazed biscuits).