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Aveiro and Costa Nova — A paradise made of water
Located in the west of Portugal, Aveiro and Costa Nova are two must-see places for those who want to know a region that combines the Ria, the channels, and urban areas like no other in Portugal.
Known as the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro is a fishing village that looks more like a balcony with privileged views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Here, tradition walks arm in arm with modernity.
With its channels loaded with colourful boats – the Moliceiros – Aveiro is a city of channels that lead us to embark on a journey through its historic heritage, dominated by Roman influence, leaving room for the charm of Art Nouveau and industrial architecture.
Separated by a lagoon or estuary, Aveiro and the Costa Nova are long-standing neighbours which have known each other for all of time.
Famous for its beautiful houses with colourful striped, Costa Nova takes us to paradise beaches, in what has become one of the main summer holiday areas in Portugal.
The charm of the Costa Nova makes us fall in love with its simplicity and harmony, between the relaxing landscapes of the Ria and the sunsets, impossible to describe.
The perfect setting for a private visit is set.
The “legend” tells us that the houses have stripes of different colours so that, on foggy days, fishermen could locate their haystack — the original name of these houses that today have become the biggest stars of Costa Nova.
However, some people tell another version of the story.
The houses are painted in stripes to help fishermen on days when they had drunk too much, so there was never a risk of setting foot in other people’s homes.
Between the Ria, beach and the city — A perfect getaway
Aveiro and Costa Nova are made for sightseeing and rest, which makes these two places the ideal destination for families.
Embark on a mix of history and relax and learn the secrets of churches and shrines, such as the City Cathedral and the Santa Joana Museum where you will find religious art and painting exhibitions.
But the visit cannot end without a Moliceiro boat tour.
This is one of the iconic activities in the Portuguese Venice, which allows you to get to know the city in a very special way.
So that the morning ends in the best possible way, we suggest that you give in to the wonders of a treatment that helps you to recharge — a lot: the salt spa.
In what is a unique experience in the country, relax and let the high degree of salinity in the water purify your body and your skin.
Know that this is the best natural treatment you can offer your body.
And what do you eat here?
But we can´t survive on fresh air alone, does we?
When hunger grips you, satisfy your stomach with the best of regional gastronomy.
Waiting for you is a wide variety of fish, including the unforgettable eel, the famous cod and even different types of seafood stew.
For those who prefer meat, there is the famous chanfana, roasted piglet or even lamb as you have never tasted it before. All foods you don’t want to miss.
We continue the tour, with a satisfied stomach, towards Costa Nova and Praia da Barra. Here you can watch an activity which has been going on for centuries, one of the various traditional fishing arts, known as Xávega Art.
This natural scenery will help you relax on one of the best beaches in the country, which is also a destination of choice for surfers visiting the region.
But a visit to Costa Nova is not complete without seeing the famous striped houses, inspired by the old haystacks of fishermen.
The good news is that this private tour doesn’t end here.
This region has historical traces of the presence of the Romans in Portugal, which will make it possible to travel to the past to get to know the origins of the region.
There is still time to take a peek at what is the largest natural lake on the Iberian Peninsula, Pateira de Fermentelos.
Come with us on this private tour
Accept our invitation to this little getaway that will renew your energies.
Dare to dive on white sandy beaches and fall in love with unique landscapes that will leave you longing for more and make you want to return to a place where you will be happy.
Contact us for more information on the programme for this exclusive tour that lasts about 12 hours.
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
Aveiro Train Station
Aveiro Train Station is in the city Centre and is an interface of the north line (the line that connects Lisbon to Porto). Now, it has two buildings: the new in operation since 2005 and the old one, known as a façade decorated with polychrome tiles, depicting railway scenes, natural and traditional activities.
Infante D. Pedro Park
Spend a few minutes from the city center and enjoy quiet moments in one of Aveiro’s most beautiful parks. Walk through the extensive gardens, then take a relaxing boat ride on one of the lakes and visit the Hunting and Fishing Museum located in this area - an ideal setting for a quiet morning.
Its origin dates to the sixteenth century, but the cathedral is the primitive church of the convent of Santo Domingo. The beginning consisted of a chapel, without choir and three naves, being transformed between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and converted into the devotional chapel of the corridors.
In 1835, this church is converted into the parish of the Church of Our Lady of Glory, passing in 1938 by the Cathedral of the Diocese of Aveiro by the bull of Pope Pius XI.
In the 18th century, the nave of the church was rebuilt, becoming brighter with the opening of large ovals windows. In this century, the free spaces of the church walls were covered with tile panels.
Aveiro Museum - Santa Joana (Old Monastery of Jesus)
Founded in the fifteenth century, situated inside the great convent of Jesus, it is strongly associated with the most influential princess of Aveiro - Santa Joana de Portugal. Today we can visit who will be his marble tomb and admire the Baroque style, the Manueline porticos, the Manueline-inspired cloisters and the Lyrian chapels that embellish this historic monument.
This museum is considered one of the most important religious art in the country, exhibits a collection of Portuguese paintings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, meticulous work of tiles, elegantly crafted pieces in gold and a vast collection of clothes, jewellery and relics.
Church of Mercy
This church is one of the most attractive examples of religious architecture in the district. Built in the late 16th century, this monument is a traditional façade with blue and white tiles, Renaissance elements on its balconies and a wonderful selection of colourful tiles inside.
While in town, visit the famous Fish Market - a traditional market that houses some of Aveiro's best seafood restaurants. Nearby you select several restaurants and a wide variety of shops and bars.
Moliceiro boat ride on the Ria de Aveiro
Visit Aveiro and not ride on the typical boat of the Ria de Aveiro is like visiting Rome and not seeing the Pope. Attention do not be fooled by the comparison of Aveiro with Venice.
The Ria de Aveiro is often used for tourist purposes, mainly through its characteristic boats, the Moliceiros. Moliceiro boat trips take place only in the 4 urban canals of the Ria de Aveiro. The Central Channel, the Cojo Channel, the Pyramid Channel and the São Roque Canal.
These tours last 45 minutes and allow you to get to know the main attractions and monuments.
Visit to the Navy Noeirinha
Aveiro is one of the cities with the greatest tradition in the exploitation of salt. Of the many hundreds of salt that existed in the last century, there are few that still laboram. There is the Navy Noeirinha that lets you see all the salt process. The time of the salt takes place from June to September, visit Aveiro these months will have great chances to see the marnotos bustle of their work.
Vista Alegre Museum (Opcional)
Aveiro is the birthplace of the famous porcelain of Vista Alegre, an example of the long Portuguese tradition in the ceramics area. Set within the original factory, which are produced these delicate works of art, this museum is one of the most visited landmarks in the district. Admire the historical remains of the first pieces of the brand, see the old drawings and how to work the tools used to create these porcelain wonders that have evolved over time.
A beach that besides a great option to go to baths, shows us also the most traditional of fishing gear. An extensive beach protected by rocky areas which hinder the sliding sand.
The Praia da Vagueira enables holidaymakers to the beach access by wooden walkways, among other infrastructure that meet the most demanding needs. With a fantastic surrounding vegetation and dune landscape, the Vagueira proudly shows small houses of fishermen who bring us the freshest fish.
Costa Nova Beach
The most picturesque image of Costa Nova is its marginal where align the wooden barns, painted stripes of alternating bright colours with white. Built by fishermen for shelter or storage of fishing gear, these barns, restored, are now pleasant holiday homes.
Washed by a heavy sea, much appreciated by surfers, the Costa Nova do Prado beach has a vast beach which extends south in the direction of Vagueira Beach, where hiking enthusiasts can exercise it.
Across the road, the Ria de Aveiro with its calm waters, great for sailing and windsurfing, provides a completely different landscape.
With its imposing lighthouse, one of the highest in Europe, the Barra beach is one of the most wanted by vacationers. It is here that flows the Ria de Aveiro. Here too, that wee witnessing the entry and exit of fishing boats, sometimes escorted by seagulls, sometimes waved white handkerchiefs. The barra is an ideal place for surfing, windsurfing, sailing and fishing sea views.
Very popular with bathers, this is a very busy area during the summer, with the animation that extend through the night, in the many bars and parties. Awarded by the Blue Flag since 1989 and the Flag "Accessible Beach, Beach for All" since
2002, the most striking features of Barra Beach are its landscape.
Natural Reserve of São Jacinto Dunes
Located on the edge of the beautiful peninsula of San Jacinto, between the sea and the estuary, this magnificent reserve is one of the natural places more known the country.
Since its opening in the late 1970s, the marshes, sand dunes and wild lakes have become a habitat for flora and fauna, and is considered a true bird sanctuary. Be sure to explore this fantastic reserve, whether you prefer cross it by walking trails or take a ride in the typical moliceiros boats.
???? - Private tour.
✅ - Free Pick-up and Drop-off.
???? - Optional sight-seeing stops along the way.
????️ - Certified Tourist Driver.
????♂️ - English; French; Spanish or Portuguese Speaking drivers with local knowledge.
???? – Chauffer style with code dress.
ℹ️ - Local tips and information - Our friendly drivers are locals and are happy to share their insights or give tips on what to do at your destination.
???? - Free water bottles.
???? - Extra amenities.
???? - Free internet
???? – Tips - Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip.
???? - Admissions to venues and attractions along the route.
⛈️ - Weather
Exact destinations and itineraries may be changed due to weather, road conditions and the guide’s discretion. If cancelled due to poor weather, a different date or a full refund will be offered. Please check our Terms and Conditions.
???? - Wineries
Included wineries are subject to change based on their availability, private events, and holidays.
???? – Valid ID
It is mandatory to present a valid photo ID for drinking alcohol in wineries. Be aware that the legal drinking age in Portugal is 18 years.
???? - Smoke free.
???? - Personal accident and liability insurance included.
???? - Luggage - Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, please inform us.
???? - Big luggage - 29x21x11 inches / 74x54x28 cm
???? - Small luggage - 22x14x9 inches / 56x36x23 cm
What do I need to bring?
????️???? - Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and sunscreen if it’s sunny or a raincoat and an umbrella if it’s raining.
???? - Don’t forget your camera!