City of the Month: Aveiro

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
  • Students
  • FITs


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: 

  1. Catedral de São Domingos / Cathedral of Aveiro – formerly a Dominican convent, the cathedral’s pristine white interior contrasts with its ornate exterior.
  2. Mosteiro de Jesus /Museu de Aveiro – a 15th century convent and religious art museum.
  3. Museu Arte Nova – a museum dedicated to Art Nouveau and newer local artists with teahouse.
  4. Praia da Costa Nova – a little way out of Aveiro is the pristine surf beach.
  5. 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.
  6. Aliança Underground Museum – visitors can explore the winery as well as the African and Portugese art collections.
  7. 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.
  8. Ria de Aveiro – take a peaceful canal cruise by moliceiro.
  9. 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.


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