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Trip PlannerEurope  /  Portugal  /  Northern Portugal  /  Viana do Castelo District  /  Caminha


Architectural Buildings · Churches · Fountains
Caminha is a municipality in the north-west of Portugal, 21 km north from Viana do Castelo, located in the Viana do Castelo District. The population in 2011 was 16,684, in an area of 136.52 km².Caminha is subdivided into 14 civil parishes. The parish Vilar de Mouros is well known for the oldest rock festival in Portugal. The seat of the municipality is the town (or vila in Portuguese) of Caminha, with 2,500 inhabitants.The present Mayor is Luís Miguel da Silva Mendonça Alves. The municipal holiday is Easter Monday.General informationCaminha is located 2 km from the Atlantic Ocean, on the southern side of the Minho estuary, where this river is met by the smaller and meandering Coura. Here the Minho reaches its widest point (about 2 km) and marks the border between Portugal and Spain. The highly scenic area, with the wide estuary marked by low-tide sandbars, a pastoral and green rural landscape, and pine forests on the slopes of the granitic mountains is increasingly popular for second homes and as a summer resort.HistoryDespite Strabo reference to Phoenician docks in the mouth of the Minho, no further evidence was found. An islet at the confluence of the Minho and Coura, now connected to the mainland, was the site of a small Roman military settlement. Caminha was called Camenae or Camina during the period of Sueve domination in the 5th century. The area was depopulated due to Arab and Norman raids, and slowly reoccupied after the 10th century. Around 1060, during the reign of Ferdinand I of León, Caminha was briefly a county and it is known that a castle existed in the area.
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