Póvoa de Varzim is a coastal town in the Porto and North region of Portugal, situated in a coastal sandy plain area protected on the north by the Santo André Cape and quite influenced by the amazing Atlantic coast.
This is a region occupied by man since early times, in fact there are archaeological vestigies of a fortified town dating from 900 b.C.. Since those times, the settlement had a close relation with the ocean, and in fact during the middle ages it was a small and poor fishermen community, developing into the main fishing port in the North of the Country during the 18th century.
On the 20th century Póvoa de Varzim gets a great Touristic development that has been maintained fairly important due to facilities such as the Casino and, of course, the much appreciated Beaches with a sandy area of about 12km long.
Also several industries, specially textiles, provided the region with a new strength and development.
Despite all the development and urban growth, Póvoa do Varzim is proud of its history, traditions and heritage as one can observe in the Ethnography and History Municipal Museum situated in the 18th century Carneiros Palace, housing a big collection about the original Fishing Community. Also quite interesting is the Cividade de Terroso Museum Nucleus, one of the most important archaeological stations dedicated to the Iron and Cooper Ages.
Póvoa de Varzim is proud of its monuments, like the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Fortress dated from the 18th century; the monumental 18th century Aqueduct with 999 arches that was built to carry the water until the Santa Clara Monastery in Vila do Conde; the 19th century Pillory; the Baroque Mother Church dated from the 18th century; the 18th century Town Hall building or the Baroque Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Dores.
On the environs of Póvoa de Varzim there are several small villages and traditional places such as São Pedro de Rates (with a wonderful Romanesque Church from the 11th and 13th centuries), Rio Mau or Estela that are worth to be known.