Geography

altominho1The 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.

All the Alto Minho is crossed by several watercourses that form roughly vast fertile plains.

On the north, the coastline features rock formations and small beaches fitted between headlands and rocky outcrops, and south, it registers the presence of a broad and continuous system of sandy dunes (embryo and frontal dunes between 50m and 300m) secured by small natural spits of land and countless beaches. The estuaries of the Minho, Lima and Neiva rivers complete this particular coastal environment.

Main Mountains

• Salgosa Mountain - 448 m asl
• Santa Luzia Mountain – 549 m asl
• Vale Mourinho Hill – 711 m asl
• Arga Mountain – 825 m asl
• Alagoa Mountain - 842 m asl
• Corno do Bico – 883 m asl
• Pernidelo Hill
• Laboreiro Mountain - 1335 m asl
• Amarela Mountain – 1361 m asl
• Peneda Mountain – 1416 m asl
• Soajo Mountain - 1416 m asl

The Alto Minho hydrographic network is criss-crossed by the basins of three rivers: bordering Spain, on the north, the Minho River and its tributaries, Coura, Mouro, Trancoso and Laboreiro; on the south, bordering the Braga district, the basin of the Neiva River, and running through region centre the basin of the Lima River.

The hydro graphic network of Lima Valley basin main tributaries are the Vez, Labruja and Estorãos rivers, on the right bank and the Vade and Trovela rivers on the left bank. The geographical area of the Lima basin extends over four municipalities: Arcos de Valdevez, Ponte da Barca, Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo. Besides, both the Âncora and Cabanas rivers have their springs in the district, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean in Vila Praia de Âncora and Afife.

The Pagade dam, on the Coura River, and the Alto Lindoso and Touvedo Dams on the Lima River, are some of the few water reservoirs in the district.


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