Aveiro Portugal is a lovely port city that has a resemblance to Venice Italy—in fact, Aveiro is often referred to as the “Portuguese Venice." The main similarity between the two cities is the fact that they feature canals that are navigated by gondolas and other kinds of boats. Providing a means to cross the canals of Aveiro are low-arched bridges, and where the Vouga River empties into the Atlantic Ocean, a long sandbar provides protection for several groupings of islets.
Aveiro is an important port city, and it is world famous for its seaweed harvesting industry and its production of salt. These aren’t the reasons that most tourists visit the city, however. Being a coastal city, this can be a good place to enjoy a little sun and surf. Other delights for tourists include the renowned baroque convent that is known as the Convento de Jesus, the fifteenth-century Church of Sao Domingo, and the traffic-free bicycle route that connects Aveiro to Ovar. Free bike rentals are available near the tourist office on Rua Joao Mendonca if you’d like to add this to your list of things to do in Portugal.
Aveiro is on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal approximately 35 miles north of Coimbra and 40 miles south of Porto. A lagoon separates the city from two delightful beach resorts, Barra and Costa Nova, and they are very easy to access. Barra is the more commercialized of the two and features a tall lighthouse to go with its white sands, bars, and nightclubs. At Costa Nova, among the main features are the colorful, striped houses that sit beachside. More secluded area beaches include Sao Jacinto Beach and Torreira Beach. As for other Aveiro beaches that deserve a nod, they include Vagueira Beach, Cortegaca Beach, Esmoriz Beach, and Furadouro.
The coastal stretches in northern Portugal are known for getting their fair share of swells. Aveiro certainly sees waves rolling in on a rather consistent basis, and as such, it can make for a fine place to do some surfing. The surfing isn’t limited to the traditional kind, however—windsurfing is a great option here. Either way, equipment for these kinds of water sports activities can be rented, and it is possible to book lessons at places such as Costa Nova Beach. As for the best time to go surfing in Portugal in general, late winter and early spring tend to see the strongest swells coming in.
The Aveiro hotels are numerous enough and provide visitors to the city with options to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Among the very best is the stylish and modern Hotel Moliceiro, which overlooks a canal in the heart of the city. Should the budget allow, the 4 star Melia Ria Hotel is also an excellent Aveiro lodging choice, while those looking to spend less might prefer the delightful Veneza Hotel or the Hotel das Salinas. Other Aveiro hotels that figure among the best picks in town include the Hotel Arcada and the Best Western Hotel Imperial. If you don’t mind staying outside of the city, then it can be a good idea to also consider area hotels like the Eurosol Estarreja Resort and the Pousada da Ria de Aveiro Charming Hotel.