Ria de Aveiro

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    • Museum or Beach? The Beach Won.

      February 20, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Ten kilometres, or 6 miles, away from the city of Aveiro, there is a beach area called Costa Nova. It is on a sandy spit that runs in a north-south direction from the outer, southern mouth of the Aveiro lagoon. The western side is on the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular spot for surfers, while the eastern side faces the calm waters of a lagoon, making it look like a good place for kayaking, kite surfing, wind surfing and other water-based activities.

      We took a bus to the end of the line and ended up near the tourist office and in an area of colourful houses and restaurants.

      The houses are called ‘palheiros’ (haystacks) and are pretty, wooden buildings that are painted in candy stripes which create a fun, summery feeling to the area.

      Palheiros are the traditional houses built in this coastal region of Portugal. They provided shelter for groups of fishermen, as well as provided storage for the nets, machinery and animals that were used to haul the fishing boats onto the beach.

      Towards the end of the 19th century when it became fashionable to bathe in the sea, the local fishermen began to rent out their palheiros in the summer season and to paint the outside panels of these wooden houses in bright colours like the moliceiros, the boats used for harvesting seaweed in Aveiro.

      Today, the houses are mostly used as holiday homes although there are some permanent residences.

      We went into the fish market and saw at least 20 different kinds of fish, as well as shellfish, barnacles and even wiggling, black eels. Eating fresh seafood in this town can be done in the restaurant above the market as well as in numerous small restaurants on the strip.

      A ten minute walk to the other side of the sand spit took us to some grassy, sand dunes and to the wide and sandy beach. Boardwalks have been built over the dunes to ensure that people will not spoil the natural habitat. We loved walking on them and even sat on one of the many benches and enjoyed the ocean views.

      No swimmers or sunbathers but we can imagine the beach to be full of families during the hot summer months.

      After a leisurely lunch of pizza, seafood salad and sangria, we caught the next bus back to town. It was the perfect little day trip from Aveiro, on a sunny day.

      P.S. On the bus trip, we saw what looked like huge piles of snow, but When we got closer we saw that they were huge piles of sea salt.
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    Ria de Aveiro

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