The municipality counts on about 60,000 inhabitants, has an area of 87.64 Km2 and is formed by 12 localities distributed by 7 freguesias: Union of the Freguesias of Aguçadoura and Navais; Union of the Parishes of Aver-o-Mar, Amorim e Terroso; Balasar; Stele; Laúndos; Union of the Parishes of Póvoa de Varzim, Beiriz and Argivai; and Rates.
Embedded on the seashore, there are virtually no boundaries around the city. The town, enjoying the vast space that the ocean provides to the west, also benefits from its location on the wide coastal plain, which stretches north and south, and the view is only barred by the barrier formed by the Rates Range, 7 km to the northeast.
In times very retreated, the waters of the sea shaped a plain that, to the north of the city of Póvoa, is occupied by the localities of Aver-o-Mar, Aguçadoura, Navais and Estela. This ancient maritime platform has left us a sandy soil where, with ingenuity and effort, the people dedicate themselves to horticulture and, unable to resist the appeal and blessings of the sea, leave in small boats for a coastal fishing that complements the sustenance. To the ocean they also remove the natural fertilizer (the sargaço) that so effectively fertilizes the fields.
With a very shallow water table, the dune was excavated almost to this water table, which allows a constant degree of humidity. With the lowering of the area of cultivation is achieved a protection of the maritime winds, reinforced by hedges at the top of the valves, resulting in a thermal increase. These two allied factors (humidity and temperature) make the fields work as a kind of greenhouse.
Exceeding the mountain range, in the innermost towns of the county, Balasar and Rates, the soil presents a greater forest cover and the small farms, while maintaining the small size, are surrounded by vines. Corn, potato and forage crops are particularly important. But here too there is the mark of the ocean - Rates owes its name to the boats that made the crossing of a language of sea that hitherto extended. One of the largest parishes, it is also located the Romanesque Church of S.Pedro de Rates, site of.
It crosses roads that follow north to Ofir, Viana do Castelo and to the border of Valença; which shorten distances to the interior (Trofa, Santo Tirso, Braga, Guimarães, etc); or to the south, leading to the airport and the city of Porto. Since the second half of the 19th century, Póvoa de Varzim is sought after by the people of the interior for its beaches and the famous hot baths, nowadays disappeared, being always land associated with tourism.
Source of Texts: cm-pvarzim.pt