North Portugal Villa Holidays

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Povoa de Varzim

"Nossasenhora", Estela, Povoa de Varzim

Villa for 4 with Private Pool
Porto Airport 40km
Nossasenhora, Estela, Povoa de Varzim
"Chamosinhos", Amorim, Povoa de Varzim

Villa for 8 with Private Pool
Porto Airport 30km
Chamosinhos, Amorim, Povoa de Varzim

Povoa de Varzim: City and resort on northern Porto coast

Although known now as a modern seaside resort, Povoa de Varzim dates back more than four thousand years and in the C18th was the main fishing port in northern Portugal. Today there are textile and food industries but a notable seafood cuisine pervades.

Estela beach (photo: Vitor Cunha)

Estela beach (photo: Vitor Cunha)

Local customs include the siglas poveiras, hieroglyphics used to mark possessions cut into wood or painted on boats and buildings, and the masseira farming method, where large areas are dug in the sand and the spoil used to create banked surrounds. Both the sheltered centre and ramparts are planted variously with vines, reeds and food crops and dried seaweed used as a fertiliser, the whole acting as a form of greenhouse. These days modern glasshouses or polytunnels have mostly replaced masseira, but the local council has set aside land to prevent it disappearing altogether.

Povoa de Varzim from Monte do Sao Felix (photo: Christopher Page)

Povoa de Varzim from Monte do Sao Felix (photo: Christopher Page)

National monuments in the area include the Romanesque Church of Sao Pedro de Rates and the Santa Clara Aqueduct. Monte do Sao Felix with its church, windmills and memorial to Portuguese emigrants is the major landmark and vantage point.

4km to the south is Vila do Conde, much more traditional, with beaches at Guia and Forno and the Convento de Santa Clara, the original destination of the Aqueduct. Povoa and Vila do Conde are the final stops on the metro from Porto, so day trips between the two or to Portugal's second city are even easier than by road.

Igreja da Misericordia, Povoa de Varzim (photo: PedroPVZ)

Igreja da Misericordia, Povoa de Varzim (photo: PedroPVZ)

The sights, history and folklore of Povoa de Varzim can provide many interesting diversions during your stay. But primarily Povoa has good beaches and all the facilities to help make an enjoyable holiday.

Do please contact us with any queries.

For more information on this area you need
The Rough Guide to Portugal (Rough Guide Travel Guides).
Click here to buy a copy.

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