Aveiro does indeed have canals along which ply the barcos moliceiros, the equivalents of gondolas, but there the similarity ends. Besides, Aveiro is interesting enough in its own right. This is Portugal, nao e
Barcos Moliceiros, Aveiro (photo: Christopher Page)
It used to be a major port at the mouth of the Rio Vouga but after that silted up a canal was dug in the 1800s to reopen the harbour and in the process the lagoon system known as the Ria de Aveiro was created. This was developed to produce salt, which with seaweed became the main business. The brightly painted barcos were used to collect the seaweed.
Camara Municipal and statue of Jose Magalhaes, Aveiro (photo: Christopher Page)
These industries are less important now but they're commemorated by statues of salt and seaweed workers on the main bridge over the Central Canal. Today many visit Aveiro and the Ria for the superb sea beaches, the Vista Alegre pottery or just to admire the fine buildings (many of them brasileiras, built by wealthy emigrantes returning from South America) or sample the local cuisine, especially enguias (eels) and mariscos (shellfish).
Central Canal, Aveiro (photo: Christopher Page)
The Ria extends to the charming small towns of Ovar to the north and Mira to the south. The narrow spit of land to the north west has superb beaches at Torrao do Lameiro and Sao Jacinto, and much of this area is a nature reserve. The beach at Mira is again spectacular.
Igreja da Misericordia, Aveiro (photo: Christopher Page)
For your accommodation we offer Mata
, our villa for 6 at Torreira, near Ovar.
Typical street, Aveiro (photo: Christopher Page)
Do please contact us
with any queries.