My hometown of Vila Nova in Portugal is situated on the mouth of the River Mira and was founded in 1485 by King John II. Its location at the mouth of the river means it has been strategically and economically important ever since.
There is a modern statue of Neptune guarding the entrance to the river and, of course, protecting our fishermen.
In 1590 the village was totally ransacked by pirates — which lead to the building of the castle and fortifications. Should you fancy living in the castle — it is currently up for sale with a price tag of around four million euros.
The town today is a curious mix of old and new, with the old clustered around the castle with narrow winding streets and the original church.
The newer town spreads out along the top, with the schools and banks and the main street with restaurants and shops either side. The main revenue is from tourism with a wide variety of hotels, pensions, lodging and villas available. It also retains its tradition of being a fishing port.
It has beautiful beaches and scenery and is surrounded by an area of Natural Beauty which is incorporated in the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast.
Being on the estuary it also supports its own unique ecosystem with a wide range of marine and bird life.
It is a wonderful place to live — with just enough of what you need for modern life combined with the retention of its old world charm and traditional customs.