Póvoa de Varzim is a Portuguese city in the Norte Region and sub-region of Greater Porto, with a 2011 estimated population of 63,364. According to the 2001 census, there were 63,470 inhabitants with 42,396 living in the city proper. The urban area expanded, southwards, to Vila do Conde, and there are about 100,000 inhabitants in the urban agglomeration alone. It is located in a sandy coastal plain, just south of Cape Santo André, halfway between the Minho and Douro rivers.
Permanent habitation in Póvoa de Varzim dates back to around four to six thousand years ago; around 900 BC, unrest in the region led to the establishment of a fortified city. The ocean has played an important part in its culture and economy, through maritime trade, and later through fishing, leading it to acquire a Foral in 1308 and to become, in the 18th century, the main fishing port in northern Portugal. Since the late 19th century, its beaches have helped it become one of the main tourist areas of the region.
Póvoa de Varzim is one of the few legal gambling areas in Portugal, and has significant textile and food industries. The town has a rich seafood cuisine, and retains ancient customs such as the writing system of siglas poveiras and the masseira farming technique. Discoveries of Acheulean stone tools suggest Póvoa de Varzim has been inhabited since the Lower Palaeolithic, around 200,000 BC.