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Póvoa de Varzim

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| Hotels (8) | Inns (2) | Pensions and Boarding Houses (3) | Camping Sites (1) |

The ancient town of Póvoa de Varzim received its charter in 1308 and has developped over the ages from a poor fishing community to a resort popular for its sandy beaches and amusements, including a casino which animates the local nightlife.

However, fishing traditions have remained intact and in spite of the undesirable appearance of high-rise apartment buidings and of heavy traffic on the road from Oporto to Viana do Castelo, visitors may still enjoy the sight of typical fishing boats and the old quarter, with characteristic 18th and 19th-century houses displaying colourful tiles and verandas with wrought-iron railings, and also an excellent gastronomy based on fresh fish and seafood.

At about ten kilometres from Póvoa do Varzim, the village of Rates exhibits the 13th-century Romanesque church of Saint Peter, with a portal surmounted by fine sculptures of saints, graceful architecture and beautiful rose window.

Another fine church may be seen at Rio Mau, where the Igreja de São Cristóvão (1151) displays the sculpted statue of a bishop (thought to be Saint Augustine) and of his helpers above the main door.

A curious example of popular architecture is still visible at Estela, in the northern part of the county, where traditionally two types of houses were built: simple ground habitations of stone painted with different colours and including a barn and wine-cellar, and two-storeyed houses, known as «towers», with a large and decorated front door, topped by a cross «to keep evil spirits away».

| Hotels (8) | Inns (2) | Pensions and Boarding Houses (3) | Camping Sites (1) |

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