The characterful Portuguese city of Aveiro is our City of the Month for March…
Located at the edge of the Ria de Aveiro, a saltwater lagoon, the charming old town is crisscrossed by a network of scenic canals and is sometimes described as ‘the Venice of Portugal’. In fact, taking a canal cruise by moliceiros – the colourful long boats, similar to Venetian gondolas – is one of the most popular tourist activities in Aveiro.
Aveiro’s old town offers ornate pastel-coloured Art Nouveau and Romanesque architecture, and the bustling university city still has a fishermen’s district as well as numerous museums and grand religious buildings to discover. Head a little way out of the city and there’s picturesque beach and sand dunes to hike through.
Summary: with museums, great restaurants and a buzzing nightlife – plus the stunning coastline of nearby Costa Nova – Aveiro is an appealing destination for:
- Leisure groups
Population of Aveiro: 57,000
Location: on the west coast of Portugal, in the Centro region.
Nearest airport: Oporto Airport is 70 kilometres from Aveiro.
Getting around Aveiro:
The city is compact and flat, so is easily covered on foot but buses are frequent; free bikes can easily be borrowed from a BUGA stand; and Aveiro also has electric tuk-tuks.
What to eat and drink in Aveiro:
- Fresh fish
- Seafood Cataplana – traditional seafood stew
- Caldeirada de enguias – Portuguese eel stew seasoned with saffron
- Raivas – traditional cinnamon butter cookies
- Ovos moles de Aveiro – a dessert of thin wafer shells, filled with rich sweetened egg
Weather/seasons in Aveiro:
Aveiro has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with a narrow temperature range, year-round.
Aveiro’s top attractions:
- Catedral de São Domingos / Cathedral of Aveiro – formerly a Dominican convent, the cathedral’s pristine white interior contrasts with its ornate exterior.
- Mosteiro de Jesus /Museu de Aveiro – a 15th century convent and religious art museum.
- Museu Arte Nova – a museum dedicated to Art Nouveau and newer local artists with teahouse.
- Praia da Costa Nova – a little way out of Aveiro is the pristine surf beach.
- Reserva Natural das Dunas De São Jacinto – the peaceful nature reserve is a network of trails through pine woods and sand dunes – perfect for walking and bird-watching.
- Aliança Underground Museum – visitors can explore the winery as well as the African and Portugese art collections.
- Mercado do Peixe – explore the covered fish market, sample the catch of the day in the restaurant and enjoy the lively bars and terraces at night.
- Ria de Aveiro – take a peaceful canal cruise by moliceiro.
- Farol da Barra / the Aveiro Lighthouse – Portugal’s tallest lighthouse.
Best times to visit Aveiro
June – September – it’s the warmest and driest time. Although Aveiro – and Portugal in general – is sunny all year round, it can be windy and may get cold at night, outside of the high season.
Late June – for FESTIM, or World Music Festival, to coincide with the festival of Sao Joao.
July – for Festival dos Canais, a week long festival packed with performances and music.
Please get in touch with our knowledgeable team to discuss a tailor-made Portuguese itinerary for your clients, perhaps combining Aveiro with Porto, Coimbra or the Douro Valley.