The Alto Minho
Alto Minho is located in the northwest of Portugal, in the traditional province of Minho, integrating the municipalities of Arcos de Valdevez, Caminha, Melgaço, Monção, Paredes de Coura, Ponte da Barca, Ponte do Lima, Valenca, Viana do Castelo and Vila Nova de Cerveira, with a population of about 250,000 inhabitants, distributed over an area of 2210 km2.
It is bounded on the north and east with Spain, on the south with the district of Braga and by the Atlantic Ocean on the west.
Viana do Castelo is the seat of the district.
The Alto Minho develops gradually into a vast amphitheatre sculptured by geological formations, winds and water, from the coastline to the increasing altitudes of the Castro Laboreiro plateau and the Peneda-Gerês National Park foothills, on the east side, with magnificent landforms of rocky cliffs, steep valleys, and unique landscapes.
The region´s geographical location dictates climatic characteristics of transition, between the cold and moist climates of Northern Europe, and those hot and dry from Africa.
Although, under the climatic point of view, the Mediterranean influence is felt throughout the country, in the peninsular Northwest, it is evident the Atlantic influence.