Roaming through Aveiro is to dive in the waters of Central Portugal. Known as the "Portuguese Venice" the city allows itself to be quietly dominated by the Ria de Aveiro, described by Saramago as "a living body that connects the land to the sea like a huge heart."
Come on board of a Moliceiro and scroll through the channels of Ria de Aveiro, our silver water road that leads us through the city. Notice the Art Nouveau houses decorating the margins or find every detail, following the pedestrian guided tour organized by the City Museum. Alternatively, venture around town behind the wheel of a BUGA, the free bikes provided by the municipality, which is all you need to move around in Aveiro.
Back in the city center, recharge forces with regional delicacies. If lunch time is near, go for a Stew of Eels or a Sheep à lampantana. Or lose yourself in the delicious traditional desserts, where eggs and sugar make magic, and let the Ovos Moles awaken your palate as if they were fresh gold pieces.
Book still some time for a visit to the Factory of Vista Alegre, the most international Portuguese porcelain, and the Campus of University of Aveiro, a true museum of contemporary Portuguese architecture outdoors, where they built works signed by Siza Vieira, Souto Moura, Alcino Soutinho, Carrilho da Graça and Gonçalo Byrne.
Then scroll down to Costa Nova and let yourself be seduced by this colorful piece of the Portuguese coast. This beach is characteristic due to the houses in white scratched wood and bright colors, descendants of the ancient barns that served as warehouse and shelter to the men of the sea. Right next to it stands the imposing Barra Lighthouse, the highest of Portugal. And while you're here, sail the sea in style. On board of the Santa Maria Manuela, one 4 masts lugger built in 1937 that was rehabilitated and now grooves though the waters, there is an adventure waiting for you.
Aveiro has always been linked to sea trading, fishing and salt production. Since the Middle Ages, the town grew protected and privileged by monarchs, having a turning-point in its history when Infanta Joana, the saint princess daughter of Afonso V, joined the Convento de Jesus. In the following centuries the village experienced times of growth, when the Portuguese Discoveries opened the sea and brought to the shores of Ria de Aveiro merchants and navigators from various parts of Europe. But it was also Ria de Aveiro that influenced one of the periods of greatest crisis in the region, on the 17th century when the communication canal with the sea was closed. It was in the reign of João V the magnanimous that Aveiro became a city, and later the headquarters of the diocese.