Aveiro is a Portuguese coastal city located between Lisbon and Porto. In the last couple of years, the city has been attracting visitors and the attention of international media that insist on calling it “the Venice of Portugal”— a comparison that we strongly disagree with, and a premise that might leave many tourists disappointed. That’s why, as locals, we believe that Aveiro should be known for its fish gastronomy, scenic water canals, white-sand beaches, and its unique Portuguese character that transcend any analogy.
In this post, you’ll be introduced to Aveiro as we explore some of its key features, however, to read a complete guide to the city go to The Ultimate Aveiro Travel Guide.
Like all Portuguese cities, Aveiro is bathed by the sun all year round. Temperatures range from 9 degrees in the winter to 30 degrees in the summer, but the wind is stiff and constant.
The connection between locals and the salt water canals of the ria is ancient, profound, and it always played an important role in the local economy. The traditional Moliceiro boats that once served as a working tool to many local families are still used today to transport tourists through the most picturesque parts of Aveiro.
In the western part of town at Marina da Troncalhada, local salt pickers still harvest salt by hand. This saltpan now transformed into an eco-museum is a beautiful spot to visit at any time of day, but the late-afternoons skies and sunsets are the best!
By walking around the city center you’ll understand why Aveiro is an acclaimed city-museum of Art Nouveau. We recommend a visit to the beautiful Casa Major.
One of the symbols and must-eats of Aveiro are the Ovos moles. You can find them in every bakery and pastry-shop around town as thin little wafers in the form of barrels, fishes, or shells filled with thick sugary egg custard.
Another typical delicacy is the tripa, a very versatile sweet that can be described as a warm semi-baked-waffle-dough stuffed with a filling of your choice (usually chocolate, fruit jams, or ovos moles) and topped off with a dash of cinnamon—the ultimate comfort food!
The city and the beaches are separated by a 10-minute car (or bus) ride. There’s Praia da Barra, with soft white sand, surf, and the largest lighthouse on the Iberian Peninsula.
And then there’s Praia da Costa Nova with a smaller beach, calmer vibe, fresh seafood and the popular and largely photographed colorful striped houses.
Have fun in Aveiro!