Aveiro: the small, beautiful and unmissable “Veneza Portuguesa”
A small and charming town, bathed by small maritime channels that give it a very special charm. This is Aveiro.
Located on the west coast of Portugal, 75 km (46 mi) from Porto and 250 km (155 mi) from Lisbon, it is known as the “Portuguese Venice” for being built next to a lagoon and for having many channels, navigated by dozens of colorful boats.
To live in, Aveiro offers the comforts of a small town with all the advantages of a developed metropolitan center. With about 80 thousand inhabitants, it has a variety of leisure and shopping options, access to culture, quality health services and the University of Aveiro, an important higher education institution in Portugal with more than 14 thousand students. Being flat, it is easy to walk and exercise in the open air, and in its several squares, parks and beaches.
And for the tourist, Aveiro offers beautiful landscapes and diverse activities.
During the day, there are many attractions close to the city center and many beaches to visit in this stretch of the beautiful Portuguese coastline. Close to the center are the Sé de Aveiro, with a beautiful belfry attached, the Aveiro Museum, located in the old Convent, the University and the set of buildings in “Art Nouveau” style that distinguished the Municipality as the Museum-City of Art Nouveau in Portugal.
At night, a walk hand in hand through the narrow streets or dinner in a good restaurant are great choices. For those with a younger, more adventurous spirit, youthful and partying nightlife is everywhere. University city, Aveiro has good bars to have a few drinks with friends, try cocktails and learn about new craft brewery. And if you want to end the night in a disco, the Beira-Mar neighborhood is the place.
Moliceiro Boat Tour
The name “Moliceiro” has a historical origin. In the past, these boats were used to collect moliço, a kind of algae used as fertilizer in agriculture. Currently, it is the best known attraction in the city and practically mandatory for everyone who visits it. The Moliceiro Boat tour is just contemplative. The boats somewhat resemble the gondolas of Venice, but are larger and motorized. They traverse four channels while the guides offer a description of Aveiro’s rich history. A good suggestion is to take this tour at the end of the day to contemplate the sunset, when the silver of the waters is replaced by shades of gold. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and costs, on average, 10 euros per person.
At Praia da Costa (a 15-minute drive from the Center of Aveiro, in the Costa Nova region), there are iconic colorful and striped houses, which extend along Avenida José Estêvão. Dubbed “Casas Scandinavas” or “Casinhas de Bonecas”, they color and give a special beauty to this part of Aveiro with their famous geometric painting.
In the past, these buildings were known as “haystacks”, small warehouses built by fishermen in the late 19th century, used to store fishing articles. Today, they are charming residences, whose façades have become the main attraction of Costa Nova.
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