Aveiro
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AVEIRO

South of Porto for about 68km (42 miles) and 58km (35 miles) north of Coimbra is the jagged lagoon coastline that is the Ria de Aveiro (Ria Lit: submerged river valley that remains open to the sea). The old port and fishing town of Aveiro has harvested the tidal nature of the lagoon system for generations. It is famed for salt production and the gathering of seaweed for use as a fertiliser. It is also renowned for the manufacture of ceramics. Aveiro is often referred to as the "Venice of Portugal", a somewhat overstatement. The canals, the number of low-arched bridges and the gondola type boats called barcas moliceiros do, however, add a Venetian charm to the town.

THE TOWN

Aveiro Cathedral

|  Aveiro Cathedral

The town also boasts some magnificent Art Nouveau buildings and building fronts decorated with azulejos, the façade of the train station is of special significance. One of the best ways to experience the town is to take a boat trip along the canals. Most of the tours start from the central canal, which effectively divides the lower town into two halves. The moliceiros are ornately painted with a low edge bow that enables easy grasping of seaweed from the lagoon. Seaweed was used to fertilise the surrounding farmland. You can also venture on a bike ride with BUGA, a public service where you can use bikes borrowed by the municipality for free.


Aveiro Cathedral

Also know as the São Domingos Church, the first stone of the Cathedral (Sé) was laid down in 1423 as part of a Dominican convent and was considerably restored in the 16th and 17th centuries. Located in the heart of Aveiro and it is well maintained and makes an ideal location to investigate. The baroque façade has twisted columns and sculpted figures of the three graces; Faith, Hope and Charity. Inside is a 17th-century organ and 17th-century tiles. The bell and clock tower standing on one side is clad in white sandstone. The cathedral was declared a national monument in 1996.
67 Rua Batalhão Caçadores Dez, 3810-064 Aveiro, Portugal . | 40° 38′ 23″ N | 08° 39′ 1″ W

Beira Mar District

A stroll along the São Roque canal leading off from the Jardim do Rossio leads you into the Beira Mar district, on one side is the Ria and on the other bank, across the circular pedestrian bridge, along the Cais dos Botirões is a row of brightly coloured houses whose former occupants were Marnotos (Salt pan workers) and accosted warehouses. This arm of the canal terminates at a square where the central fish market is located, a number of cafés and restaurants occupy the perimeter.

Fish Market (Mercado do Peixe)

The central fish market is a great place to visit. Housed in its new construction overlooking the São Roque canal, the market is an insight into the local traditional fishing industry and with all sorts of fish and seafood being sold.
It's also possible to eat here, in fact, the restaurant above the market is where locals and students from the University like to have lunch. As expected the fish here is as fresh as it's possible to be and at very reasonable prices. Popular dishes include fish and prawn kebabs, grilled sea bass and carapauzinhos - fried whitebait. Those with an adventurous nature can ask for the catch of the day.
Monday - Saturday: 12h30 - 16h00/19h30 - 00h00, Sunday: CLOSED
1 Largo Praça Peixe, 3800-243, Aveiro, Portugal | 40º 38' 33.4" N | 08º 39' 19.1" W
+351 234 351 303 | mercadopeixe@hotmail.com.pt |  Website

Beira Mar District

|  Aveiro Cathedral

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Praça da República

|  Praça da República

Praça da República

In the centre of the square, one finds the statue of José Estêvão Coelho, born in Aveiro on December 26 1809, José Estêvão was a noted journalist, revolutionary politician and speaker at the Portuguese parliament, installed on August 12, 1889. On one side of the square is the Câmara Municipal (town hall building), constructed in 1797, in a typical local style, with a red-tiled roof with light pink stonework. A clock and bell town takes a commanding position over the main portal. On the opposite side of the square is the magnificent Igreja da Misericórdia church.

Completed in 1653, the design of this church is attributed to the Italian architect Filipo Terzio, who first drafted the plans way back in 1585. The azulejos that cover its façade are a later addition dating from the 19th century. A grandiose limestone classical portal gives access inside, four Corinthian columns are carved into the lower part and houses two statues. In the upper portion, the figures have been replaced by windows, flanking the stone statue of Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia. Inside, one finds the long nave adorned with more azulejos dating from the 16th century. The panelled vaulted ceiling of the chancel is carved from Ançã stone, a local commodity found in great abundance.

TOP TOURS

Aveiro Tour Including Moliceiro Cruise

Aveiro Tour Including Moliceiro Cruise

Explore the coastal canals of Aveiro on a tour that includes a Moliceiro cruise during a half-day guided trip from Porto. Aveiro’s charm lies in its Venice-like canals, which you will experience aboard a classic ‘moliceiro’ boat. Walking alongside an expert guide, discover more captivating sights of Aveiro’s town centre. On your trip back to Porto, stop in the stripy fishing town of Costa Nova and visit its spectacular white sand beaches. For your convenience, this tour offers a choice of both morning and afternoon departures.


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Aveiro and Coimbra small-group full-day tour

Aveiro and Coimbra small-group full-day tour

Explore the central Portuguese cities of Aveiro and Coimbra on this small-group tour from Porto. Visit Aveiro, dubbed the ‘Venice of Portugal,’ and relax on a 1-hour boat cruise along the famous waterways. Then head to Coimbra, known as the ‘City of Students,’ and discover the city’s rich history as you explore the old town and Portugal’s oldest university.



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Aveiro - Half Day Tour with Boat Ride

Aveiro - Half Day Tour with Boat Ride

A visit to the city of Aveiro, a trip on typical boat “Moliceiro” among its numerous water channels is mandatory. Its incredible natural and architectural beauty, perfectly aligned with its people, give a lively idea of a cheerful town where water and sea have the leading role. Discover the charm of this delicate and seductive art period of the 20th century by taking a walking tour with a guide through the Art Nouveau route, a track created to help to identify all buildings and monuments. We will also visit the beach of Costa Nova and its peculiar coloured striped houses.

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The Museum of Art Nouveau (Museu Arte Nova)

Located in the Casa Major Pessoa, one of the most architecturally admired buildings in the city and a prime example of Portuguese Art Nouveau. Designed by architects Silvia Rocha and Ernest Korrodi and constructed in 1909, during the peak of the Art Nouveau period. Art Nouveau had particular popularity in Porto, Lisbon and in Aveiro. The style is locally known as "Arte nova". The floral decorative characteristics of Art Nouveau are prevalent on the stone façade of the building and on the wrought iron embellishments. The building is topped by a noble eagle, a theme that continues throughout the interior.

Inside azulejo tiles are the main design feature; motifs of birds, animals, and flowers are the recurring theme. On the first floor, there is a roadmap of 28 iconic art nouveau buildings in the area. The second floor houses an art gallery exhibiting works from new artists and architects from Aveiro, as well as an auditorium. The top floor is reserved for temporary exhibitions. The is also an excellent ornate tea room on the first floor, which serves a wide range of infusions and pastries. In the evenings, the tea room becomes a chill-out bar serving cocktails.

Tuesday - Friday: 09h30 - 12h30/14h00 - 21h00, Weekends: 14h00 - 18h00, Mondays: CLOSED | €1.00
Casa Major Pessôa, Rua Dr. Barbosa, 9 Magalhães, Aveiro. Portugal | 40º 38' 30.3" N | 08º 39' 19.9" W
+351 234 406 485 | geral@casadechaartenova.com |  Website

The Museum of Art Nouveau (Museu Arte Nova)

|  The Museum of Art Nouveau (Museu Arte Nova)

Convento de Jesus (City Museum)

|  Convento de Jesus (City Museum)


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Convento de Jesus (City Museum)

The current façade of the convent dates from the 18th century and includes three doorways with beautiful frontons, emblazoned with the royal coat of arms. The building retains several former convent areas: the atrium, used as an entrance hall, the 15th-century cloister, that conserves a set of Renaissance columns, several Manueline chapels decorated with azulejo tiles and the Chapter House. The church interior includes a main chapel, with notable late 16th-century gilded woodwork, reminiscent of the work of a goldsmith. The walls are covered by azulejo panels and have paintings representing moments from the life of Santa Joana Princesa, daughter of King D.Afonso V.

In the lower choir of the Church – where the faithful took part in liturgical duties – we find the tomb of Santa Joana, a finely carved work with intricate embedded Italian marble of different colours. Installation of the tomb was authorised by a papal bull issued by Pope Pio II, in 1461. The tomb is surrounded by a carved woodwork parietal decoration, azulejo tiles and marble, beneath a polychrome baroque-style ceiling. Several Portuguese artisans worked on the tomb, designed by the Royal architect, Manuel Antunes. Construction work of the tomb commenced in 1699, in the wake of a commission by D. Pedro II, but the ashes of the Infanta were only placed in the tomb in 1711.

Aveiro dedicates a religious festivity to the Infanta on May 12 (the municipal public holiday), to mark the anniversary of her death. The festivity includes a pilgrimage to the site and a liturgical procession which also includes civil elements, such as ladies, knights, princes, and pages, amongst other figures.

Tuesday - Friday: 09h30 - 18h00, Weekends: 14h00 - 18h00, Mondays: CLOSED
Adults: €3.00, Concessionary: €1.00
Av. de Santa Joana Princesa, 3810-329. Aveiro, Portugal. | 40° 38' 21" N | 08° 39' 03.9" W
+351 234 406 485 | maveiro@drcc.pt |  Website

WHAT TO DO

Marinha da Troncalhada Ecomuseum

Ecomuseum Marinha da Troncalhada

Artisanal salt making is bound up with the history of the area. During Aveiro's heyday, there were 357 solar salinas (salt pans), of which only seven survive. Salt production through solar evaporation of seawater was introduced by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC. During the Roman period, salt was intensively exploited. There are abundant archaeological remains of fish salting settlements around Portugal. Even before the Portuguese maritime expansion, Portuguese salt was regarded as a high-quality product in various parts of the world. The Ria de Aveiro region became an integral part of this trade.

You can try your hand at the craft at the Troncalhada Ecomuseum, a salt-works beside the Canal das Pirâmides, using the centuries-old implements and practices of the Aveiro salt panners. You can also enjoy the outstanding surrounding landscape, the fauna and the flora of this extraordinary environment.
Daily: 10h00 - 18h00
Marinha da Troncalhada, Cais das Pirâmides 3800, Aveiro, Portugal. | 40º 38' 42" N | 08º 39' 44" W | +351 234 406 485
museucidade@cm-aveiro.pt |  Website

Maritime Museum of Ílhavo

Maritime Museum of Ílhavo

Four miles (6km) from Aveiro is the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo. It dates back to the late 1930s. It was fully remodelled in 2001 by the architects Nuno Mateus and José Mateus and subsequently won the EU Contemporary Architecture Prize of the Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation in 2003. Home to four permanent exhibitions and host to several temporary exhibitions, the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo makes an interesting day out. One exhibit pays homage to Portugal's cod fishing industry, amongst the displays is a two-masted schooner. Another exhibit is dedicated to the items relating to the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, including the famous moliceiros and other fishing vessels, many of which have been beautifully restored. One more exhibition room documents Portugal's age of discovery and displays nautical instruments, ancient maps, compasses and so on. Also at the museum is a gallery of oil paintings and watercolours from the mid-twentieth century, with works by local and national artists.
Monday - Saturday: 10h00 - 18h00, Sunday: 10h00 - 18h00
Adults: €5.00, Concessionary: €2.50
Av. Dr. Rocha Madahíl, 3830-193 Ílhavo, Portugal.
40º 36' 16.1" N | 08º 39' 57.6" W | +351 234 329 990
museuilhavo@cm-ilhavo.pt |  Website

Vista Alegre Museum/Factory (Fábrica Vista Alegre)

Vista Alegre Museum/Factory (Fábrica Vista Alegre)

Vista Alegre Museum/Factory, (Fábrica Vista Alegre) is on a branch of the Aveiro estuary in the village of Vista Alegre, which has given its name to the famous porcelain factory. The factory was founded in 1824 as the Royal ceramics factory during the reign of King John VI. Fine pieces of porcelain of Vista Alegre continue to receive royal commissions, including from King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Elizabeth II. A visit to this prestigious company allows you an insight into the manufacturing process of glass and crystal whilst observing skilled artisans at work. Watch as they shape unique pieces of renowned quality and design. Visit the Museum to discover the history of Atlantis, a company founded in 1945. Browse the well-stocked shops and choose a souvenir from a wide range of products manufactured by the Vista Alegre Atlantis Group.
Tuesday - Friday: 09h00 - 18h00 , Weekend: 09h00 - 12h30/14h30 - 18h00, Monday: CLOSED
Adults: €2.50, Concessionary: FREE
Museu de Vista Alegre, Vista Alegre, 3830-292 Ílhavo, Portugal.
40º 35' 20.3" N | 08º 41' 03.9" W | +351 234 320 628
centro.visitas.va@vaa.pt |  Website

RIA DE AVEIRO

Ria de Aveiro

|  Ria de Aveiro - lagoon

Extending 28 miles from (45km) from Ovar to Mira with a width of six miles (10km), into which flows the river Vouga, the Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon was formed by the retreat of the sea and the subsequent build-up of sandbanks which eventually closed, forming the lagoon. Sediment washed downstream accumulated, forming the interesting ecosystem which exists now, the dunes and grasslands. Tidal ecologies, such as these, although delicate, are valuable areas of extreme bio-diversity and multi-functionality as they that provide a variety of goods and services which are essential to human wellbeing as well as wildlife.

Boat trips around the lagoon depart throughout the day from the main canal, just in front of the tourist office. A typical fare is €5 for one hour or €20 for a two-hour ride with lunch included. A boat trip offers an up-close experience with the ecology, water foul (including flamingoes), fauna, fish and local people who work the lagoon.

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BEACHES

Although Aveiro isn't on the coast, there are many excellent beaches close by as part of the northern part of the Silver Coast…

Costa Nova

Located along the length of a sandy bar south of Praia de Barra on the southern mouth of the Ria Aveiro lagoon, its western shore coasts the Atlantic whilst the lagoon estuary washes over the eastern bank. Costa Nova is popular with surfers, sun worshippers and bathers alike. The most spectacular feature is the 'palheiros', the famed colourful candy-striped houses.

The beach itself is wide with light coloured fine-grained sand bordered with grassy dunes. The beach can be traversed along wooden boardwalks and floating bridges. The beach on the estuary side carries blue flag status, and there are lifeguards for your safety. Considering the beauty of the area, Costa Nova surprisingly is never crowded. Costa Nova can easily be reached from Aveiro by bus, the bus stops outside the old train station and outside the English School. [ More About ► ]

Costa Nova

|  Costa Nova

Praia da Barra

|  Praia da Barra

Praia da Barra

Rounding the northern tip of the southern sand bar stands Praia da Barra. The beach is equally good as Costa Nova. The area has a more "urbanised" feel. The 19th-century lighthouse here is Portugal's tallest. The Farol da Barra rises 203 feet (62 metres). The site around it is open to the general public throughout the year. Barra's exposure to the Atlantic elements makes it ideal for surfing and water sports.

São Jacinto

On the northern bar of the Ria lies São Jacinto, its expanse of beach and nature reserve dunes. It has good amenities such as fully equipped locker rooms, beach facilities, café and disabled access. The dunes are not only spectacular but also play a vital role in the area's ecology and stabilising water levels. To get to São Jacinto from Aveiro it's possible to take a ferry across the lagoon. The drive takes a roundabout route.

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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Hotel Casa da Calçada

Aveiro Palace Hotel ★ ★ ★ ★

In Aveiro, Hotel Aveiro Palace imposes itself through its architecture and art of hospitality. Situated in the city centre and the central canal where the typical moliceiros are moored. It was founded in 1937, under the name Arcada Hotel. Rooms at Hotel Aveiro Palace are bright and soundproofed. Each comfortable room includes a satellite TV and a private bathroom. Some rooms include a spacious seating area equipped with armchairs and a work desk. The rooms' floors have parquet floors and not feature any carpeting.

Hotel Aveiro Palace serves a rich breakfast buffet prepared with seasonal ingredients in the breakfast room, featuring a tiled wall from 1937. Guests can also enjoy refreshing drinks in the lounge, which features a flat-screen TV.

Rua de Viana do Castelo 4, 3800-275, Aveiro, Portugal. | 40º 38' 30.6" N | 08º 39' 12.1" W
+351 234 421 885 | geral@hotelaveiropalace.com

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Veneza Hotel

Veneza Hotel

Located in the centre of the city of Aveiro, just a few minutes walk from the train station, close to the Aveiro University Complex, the Cultural Centre and the large Forum Shopping Mall; the amazing beaches of Barra and Costa Nova are about four miles away from the hotel. The colourful gondola-style boats ferry passengers through the canals. The Veneza Hotel offers a total of 49 rooms, equipped with an en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, cable TV, safe, telephone with long-distance phone call accessibility, and free Internet. The hotel's buffet breakfast is available for its guests every morning during the week.

Rua Luis Gomes de Carvalho, 23, 3800-211, Aveiro, Portugal.
40º 38' 39.6" N | 08º 38' 34.95" W | +351 234 404 400 | info@venezahotel.com

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José Estêvão Hotel

José Estêvão Hotel ★ ★

Located in the historic centre of Aveiro, José Estêvão Hotel is a connection to the past as it is where José Estêvão was born, with 12 rooms. Surrounded by the Ria of Aveiro, alleys, shopping area, restaurants and bars, José Estêvão Hotel invites you to come and discover the wonders of Aveiro.

Rua José Estêvão, nº 23, 3800-202 Aveiro, Portugal.
40º 38' 30.6" N | 08º 39' 12.1" W | +351 234 383 964 | info@joseestevao.com

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OUR CHOICE

Oficina do Doce

Oficina do Doce

Many Portuguese towns have their signature pastry, Aveiro has Ovos Moles, the first Portuguese sweet to receive the Protected Geographical Indication certificate. Although they're available all over the country, it would be a shame to visit Aveiro without trying this famous confection. A sweet thick egg yolk filling is wrapped within wafer-thin pastry moulded into fish shapes or seashells. As with many other Portuguese sweets, the recipe has monastic origins. Nuns from the regions convents are who we should thank for these little parcels of heaven. For an enjoyable tasty experience, why not visit Oficina do Doce where not only do they make Ovos Moles but are also more than happy to share with your their passion for this delicacy.

Daily: 10h00 - 18h00
23 Rua João Mendonça, Letra JKL (Galeria Rossio), 3800-200 Aveiro, Portugal. | 40° 38'' 30.2" N | 08° 39' 20.8" W
+351 234 098 840 |  Website

Restaurante Marisqueira Mare Cheia

Restaurante Marisqueira Mare Cheia

One indication of a good restaurant is if it's full of local diners, Restaurante Marisqueira Maré Cheia is usually full every evening so it's wise to arrive early. Serving a wide selection of fish dishes, if there are a number of you why not try their fish platter. Crabs are popular here when in season but in all fairness everything on the menu is excellent. The staff are friendly and multi-lingual. Portions are typically belly-busting and of good value.

Monday - Sunday: 12h30 - 10h30, Wednesday: CLOSED
Rua de José Rabumba 8, 3810-125 Aveiro, Portugal.
40º 38' 26.9" N | 08º 39' 20.2" W
+351 914 306 835


Salpoente Restaurante

Salpoente Restaurante

A high-end restaurant with a great atmosphere, with Bachalau headlining their menu. Friendly and very professional waiting staff welcome you and usher you into the grand dining area. High-quality food and wine choice at reasonable prices. Located on the Canal de São Roque opposite the salt pans, offers great views and amazing sunsets.

Monday - Sunday: 12h30 - 15h00/19h30 - 23h00, Saturday: Monday - Sunday: 12h30 - 15h00/19h30 - 24h00
Cais de S.Roque 83, 3800-256, Aveiro 3800, Portugal.
40º 38' 48.9" N | 08º 39' 4.2" W
351 915 138 619
geral.salpoente@gmail.com |  Website

Aveiro is 54.6 miles (88km) from Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport PORTO. Website

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Access into Aveiro on the A25 which splits into the IP1 toll road and A29 free road which takes you north to Porto and South towards Coimbra and onto Lisbon on the A8 and A17 highways.
Latitude - 40º 38' 25.5" | Longitude - 08º 39' 13.1"


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Aveiro's pretty old train station is well served by several services:
• Linha de Aveiro Urban trains (Comboios Urbanos) to and from Porto Timetable
• Coimbra - Aveiro Regional trains (Comboios Regionais) to and from Coimbra Timetable
Portuguese Trains

• Transdev: Website
• Rede Expressos: Website Regional and National coach services.