Costa Nova
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If you're in the Central region of Portugal, you're very likely to see images of Costa Nova appear on postcards, and rightly so. This picturesque coastal village is a delight to behold. The village's most famous feature is the brightly coloured candy-striped fisherman's houses, known as Palheiros. These houses, traditionally inhabited during summer and autumn, are painted in vertical stripes of green, blue, yellow, or red with bright red geraniums in their window boxes that are uplifting to the soul. Costa Nova is located on Portugal's Costa de Prata or "Silver Coast". There is a wonderful stretch of beautiful sandy beaches that have yet to suffer the pitfalls of mass tourism. Situated on a long sand bar between the Ria de Aveiro and the Atlantic, the village has a long fishing heritage that has given way to visiting families who have maintained the village's charm. Costa Nova is within easy reach of Aveiro by bus and makes a great day excursion.


Costa Nova
Costa Nova

|  Costa Nova

The palm tree-lined promenade runs along the Ria Aveiro estuary and makes an ideal stroll or leisurely cycle ride. The route takes you past sailing clubs, a mini-golf course and beautiful views over the Ria. It is along here you'll encounter most of the Palheiros houses on one side and traditional brightly painted fishing boats on the other. Towards the end of the 19th Century, Costa Nova began to attract visitors and the local fishermen began to rent out their Palheiros in the summer season. It was during this time the idea arose to paint the outside panels of these wooden houses in bright colours.

Along this strip, you will also find many cafés and restaurants serving the catch of the day at very reasonable prices. The sunset over the estuary is a sight to behold. In contrast to the calm waters of the estuary on the other side of Costa Nova is the seashore.

Mercado Municipal de Costa Nova

Within a hideously designed exterior is the municipal market which everyone calls the fish market. Inside is an intriguing insight into local life and contains every conceivable and unconceivable type of fish these rich waters contain. The vendors service the region's restaurants and anyone who enjoys buying the freshest fish possible. There are also stalls that prepare and cook local dishes.

Tuesday - Sunday: 08h00 - 19h00, Monday: CLOSED
236 Avenida José Estêvão, Costa Nova do Prado, 3830-453 Gafanha da Encarnação, Portugal. | 40° 36' 39.0" N | 08° 44' 58.5" W
+351 234 394 512 |


Praia da Costa Nova

The coastal beach at the opposite side to the river Costa Nova is wide, lined with grassy dunes, clean and well equipped for a good day by the sea, worthy of its awards as a Blue Flag and Golden Beach. The waves here are much appreciated by surfers. The beach itself extends the length of the sandy spit southwards in the direction of Vagueira Beach, their wooden boardwalks and floating bridges that run the length of the beach for those who like a long walk along the seashore. Although the beach sees many visitors, the sheer size of the beach ensures it never feels crowded. | 40° 36' 54.4" N | 08° 45' 12.7" W

Praia da Barra

Rounding the northern tip of the southern sand bar stands Praia da Barra, the beach is equally good as Costa Nova but the area has a more "urbanised" feel. The 19th-century lighthouse here is Portugal's tallest, the Farol da Barra rises 62 metres (203 feet). 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.
40° 37' 54.3" N | 08° 44' 57.5" W

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 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.
40° 40' 09.1" N | 08° 44' 47.7" W

Praia da Costa Nova

|  Praia da Costa Nova


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 and Costa Nova small-group half-day tour from Porto with river cruise

Aveiro and Costa Nova small-group half-day tour from Porto with river cruise

Discover the ‘Venice of Portugal’ on a half-day tour to Aveiro. Visit the canals, stroll across the familiar-looking bridges, and even take a gondola cruise on the Aveiro River. Learn about the history of this quaint city from your informative tour guide and enjoy a personalised experience with a small-group tour. Take a half-day tour of the quaint river city of Aveiro.

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Six kilometres (4 miles) from Aveiro the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo 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. It is home to four permanent exhibitions and host to several temporary exhibitions, the Maritime Museum of Ílhavo makes for 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/CLOSED Low Season
Adult: €5.00, Child & OAP: €2.50
Av. Dr. Rocha Madahíl, 3830-193 Ílhavo, Portugal.
40º 36' 16.11" N | 08º 39' 57.65" W | +351 234 329 990 |  Website

Maritime Museum of Ílhavo

|  Maritime Museum of Ílhavo

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Quinta das Lágrimas

M Costa Nova (Holiday Home)

Make the most of your stay in Costa Nova by staying in a tastefully restored Palheiro (fisherman's house). The house is fully fitted with all conceivable amenities you'll need. The house easily accommodates six people with two double bedrooms and one twin. There's free WiFi, a satellite flat-screen TV, a washing machine and a kitchen with a dishwasher and microwave. There's plenty of outdoor space on the patio for relaxing and a sun terrace. The house is ideally located with a golden sanded beach close at hand and several good restaurants at hand.

Avenida José Estevão 128 costa nova do prado, 3830-453 Costa Nova, Portugal | 40° 36' 52.6" N | 08° 44' 58.5" W

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Costa Nova Hotel

Costa Nova Hotel ★ ★ ★

This modern and well-equipped Hotel resembles the traditional wooden houses of the area that is traditional in Costa Nova. Its interior is finely decorated and fully equipped offering comfort and relaxation. The Hotel has 16 rooms, five of them are twin, 10 double and one specially equipped for special needs.

16 Rua Arrais Ançã, 3830-455 Costa Nova, Portugal.
40º 36' 41" N | 08º 45' 0'' W

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Hotel Dona Inês

Casa da Barra Apartment

Located right next to Barra Beach, this apartment is 190 metres from the sand. The apartment has a spacious living room with sofas and a flat-screen cable TV. The fully fitted kitchen comes with a dining area. There is also a private bathroom. Free WiFi is provided. Guests are welcome to cook their meals in the apartment or go out to eat in one of the several seafront restaurants available in the surrounding area.

Avenida João Corte Real, 87, 3ºG, 3830-751 Praia da Barra, Portugal
40° 38' 25.1" N | 08° 44' 49.3" W

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Restaurante Marisqueira Costa Nova

Restaurante Marisqueira Costa Nova

A true pescatarian paradise. An excellent restaurant to sample local cuisine and freshly caught fish served in a choice of two dining rooms located in front of the Ria.

Daily: 09h00 - 00h00
75 Avenida José Estêvão, Costa Nova do Prado, 3830-453 Gafanha da Encarnação, Costa Nova, Ílhavo, Portugal
40º 36' 54.1" N | 08º 45' 2.5" W
+351 234 242 113

Canastra do Fidalgo

Canastra do Fidalgo

This popular restaurant in Costa Nova adopts the candy-striped theme of the town but this quirkiness doesn't subtract from the quality of the fish dishes served here. As you can expect from a town with two coasts the fish is always fresh but their bacalhau (dried salted cod) is equally excellent. Plenty of choice on the menu, as long as it's caught that day or in season, the wine list is also extensive, reasonably priced and well thought out. Portions are typically belly-busting but a meio doce (half portion) can always be asked for. Deserts maintain high standards, try asking for a pijama.

Daily: 12h00 - 15h30/19h00 - 23h00
Av. Jose Estevao N240, Ilhavo, Portugal.
0º 36' 30.6" N | 08º 44' 56.2" W
+351 234 394 859 | |  Website

Restaurante Dóri

Restaurante Dóri

The Restaurante Dóri is located on the first floor over the Mercado da Costa Nova and Costa Nova fish market with terraces over looking the sea. And it's the sea where they draw their inspiration serving simple but excellent fresh seafood and fish including: eels stew, stew Brill, Fish Fry along with homemade pasties and Pepper Steak. The interior boasts a 18th century fishing boat.

Daily: 12h00 - 15h30/19h00 - 23h00
Mercado Municipal da Costa Nova, Rua José Estêvão, Praia da Costa Nova 3830-453, Gafanha da Encarnação, Portugal.
40º 37' 2.8" N | 08º 44' 58.8" W
351 234 369 017

Costa Nova is 94.9km (59 miles) South of Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport PORTO. Website


Access into Costa Nova via 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 36' 54.1" | Longitude - 08º 45' 2.5"


Cheap Car Hire in Portugal

The nearest train station is at Aveiro which can be reached by bus.
Portuguese Trains

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