The roots of this city have always been tied to the sea, and the natural cove has always been a privileged area for shing, providing the ideal conditions for cabotage services and naval construction. This settlement received its charter from the king D. Dinis in 1308 and from D. Manuel. In 1514 it was involved in the adventures of the Portuguese Empire and fought against the mighty neighbours to af rm its territory and autonomy. But it was always shing that sustained this community and it became the biggest maritime shing market in the north and centre of Portugal during the 18th and 19th century.

The proceeds from the shing trade sustained urban expansion and helped to embellish the town by rehabilitating public spaces and equipment, especially those related to leisure and tourism. These changes made Póvoa more attractive, reinforcing its importance as a seaside resort, a phenomenon that is well documented since the ends of the 18th century and which only became stronger in subsequent centuries.

Nowadays the sea is still the central character and the city structures itself around its presence. It is in the western part of the city, where the city limits meet the extensive sands of the beach, that the major attractions are found, mixing culture and sports, testimonials of a modern, dynamic city, an ever growing city that provides good quality of life