In order to solve problems common to Municipalities to which only a broader dimension could answer, in 1991 AMAVE - Association of Municipalities of Vale do Ave was founded.

This Association was born as a regional forum for discussion, conception and implementation of projects of common interest to Associates, with concerns focused on the quality of life of the populations, in the development of the companies, in guaranteeing environmental sustainability, in preserving memory and culture.

The concept "AMAVE" circumscribes a broad definition, not limited only to geographical limits, but extended to the communion of issues of a historical nature, identity, social and economic continuity.

With the aim to contribute to the development of the territory, it was through AMAVE that was implemented in the region from road infrastructure, schools, environmental solutions for waste management and wastewater treatment shared at intermunicipal level.

In another aspect, the Association approached the region of Ave to Europe, through many transnational cooperation programs. It was in this context that ACTE was born.

Presently, the territorial circumscription of AMAVE includes the Municipalities of Fafe, Guimarães, Vizela, Santo Tirso and Vila Nova de Famalicão.

It is located in the North of Portugal, has an area of 820 square kilometers and about 450 thousand inhabitants.

The good name acquire, nationally and internationally, was the fruit of a work of unquestionable quality and dimension, often pioneering. It was through AMAVE that SIDVA - Integrated System of Decontamination of the Vale do Ave - appeared. This system, which counts on more than a hundred kilometers of conduits, allowed companies - in particular textile industrie - to have environmentally sustainable productive processes, leading the their liquid effluents to treatment plants strategically placed in the territory, ensuring that the entire complex pipeline system operated by gravity.

The same happened with SIRVA - Intermunicipal Waste System of Vale do Ave. It was the implementation of a system - to date pioneer - of treatment of urban solid waste by compost as base, differentiated selective collection of packaging waste, ecocenter and, in the end, landfills.

Both systems, which were conceptually born in the late 1980s, were implemented and developed in the early 1990s, were later the genesis of the largest Portuguese companies in water distribution and sanitation and waste treatment - Águas do Norte, SA and RESINORTE, SA. Also in this development path, in the beginning of 1990, VIM - Via Intermunicipal was built, a route with 19 kilometers of extension that crosses the Municipalities of Vila Nova de Famalicão, Guimarães, Santo Tirso and Vizela that allowed to connect the Low Ave Valley, providing people and goods mobility much more fluid than before. In 1996, through a protocol of cooperation between the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Environment and the Association of Municipalities of Vale do Ave, TRIAVE - Arbitral Tribunal for the Resolution of Consumer Disputes, was born, guaranteeing the Right of the Consumer besides providing a permanent legal information service for consumers and economical agents. It should be noted that TRIAVE is the Court with this type of competences, best rated at national level.

AMAVE promoted education and teaching by implementing also elementary schools, in case 6, in several of its Associates. Besides that, developed and develops the area of administrative modernization based on a regional Datacenter his property. In this context, in 2012, AMAVE hosted for the first time in Portugal the international conference EISCO - European Information Society Conference. It should also be noted that, in the area of administrative modernization, in the years 2014 and 2015, an effort was made, together with the COMPETE program, of around 1.2 million euros in this area, in Vale do Ave - DIGITAVE project. It develops several local partnerships with institutions of reference such as the University of Minho and, as is its tradition, international partnerships as with ANSITOSCANA, with whom we have ongoing the project Designscapes. In fact, the curriculum of AMAVE in international projects is vast, and only a few are listed: Finestra, Reqtêxtil, Plustex, PAGUS, etc.

In the scope of ACTE, besides being a founding member, AMAVE actively collaborates, participating in all events, discussing, proposing and promoting, as is the way of being. Vale do Ave is an extremely dynamic and productive region with a strong industrial component that makes it one of the engines of the national economy. However, although the many traits that unite them, each one of its Municipalities has singularities, that makes it justifiable to know them all. The Municipality of Fafe is known as the Minho Visiting Room, located between the shore of the Vizela and Ferro rivers and is renowned for its gastronomy, heritage and natural beauty. Vizela is one of the youngest municipalities in the country. It was the first city in the North of Portugal to be classified as a "Cittaslow", an international movement whose objective is to identify villages and small towns with less than 50.000 inhabitants that offer a better quality of life and a healthier for their populations.

The Municipality of Guimarães, cradle of nationality, has inscribed its Historic Center on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. European Capital of Culture in 2012 and the European City of Sport in 2013. Guimarães presents itself today as a territory open to the world and contemporary, with an economic projection based on a strong industrial and creative dynamic.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of Santo Tirso is the Capital of Contemporary Sculpture in Portugal. It has distributed through its landscape more than half a hundred sculptures of sculptors from all over the world, which compose the International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture. The Matadouro Urban Park, an equipment of this Municipality, was distinguished by the "World Landscape Architeture" as one of the most interesting works of landscape architecture in the world. Vila Nova de Famalicão is a municipality with a rich and varied cultural tradition dating back to prehistoric times. It hosts the largest companies in the country in various sectors of industry: textiles, tires, clothing, food and construction of public works. Throughout the territory of Ave there are several small, medium and large industries, mainly textiles and footwear, increasingly environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, with the incorporation of high technology, making sophisticated products. Here you will also find several organizations of reference in the academic field, research and business associations.

Besides the economic plan, the region also shows a strong cultural, sporting and associative dynamism, which has been generating, especially in the cities, great centers of activity and the proliferation of popular and erudite cultural initiatives of great quality and prestige. It is an entrepreneurial territory, of culture, history and with Future.


Member type

Vice presidency

Contact person

National Coordinator Mr. Antonio
+351 253 422 400


Mr. Alberto Costa

Contact info

Rua Capitão Alfredo Guimaraes, n.º 14800-019 Guimaraes, Amave