Aveiro is a town of 55 000 people in the central western part of Portugal, just a few kilometers from the coast. Storms, construction and art have changed its appearance many times throughout history. Today this town is known for its canals, the colorful moliceiros (gondolas), historical buildings, salt production and seaweed harvesting. Tourists find this place incredibly charming and the population seems to be very friendly and hospitable.
Long ago, this town was a very important port and industrial centre. Of course, fishing was one of the major activities. Its name was Avarium, coming from the Latin – ‘a gathering place for birds.’ At one point, a storm destroyed the port and turned the lagoons into a swamp. In 1808 however, a channel was cut and the city was again linked to the sea.
There are three canals in Aveiro. The barcos moliceiros, once used for gathering seaweed, and the small bridges give Aveiro the title of ‘Portugese Venice‘, which is for sure, a little bit exaggerated. However, a boat ride down the canal is a fabulous experience and one the main tourist attractions here. In that way you can enjoy the picturesque view and the pretty buildings from both sides of the canal. As you go along the Central Canal, on the north side you will see the fish market and on the south- the historical buildings of Aveiro.
Aveiro is a town suitable for all kinds of visitors: couples, families, friends and open minded people. There is a little bit of everything: restaurants, cafes, clubs, museums and many other gathering points for tourists. Concerning food, you have the opportunity to taste some of the best sea food meals prepared with fresh products. The roadside restaurants serve whole piglets, so this could be another interesting idea for a large family meal. Even though you can move around the town with buses or rentable bikes, Aveiro is one of those places where you will enjoy walking If sightseeing does not make your trip complete, then you should know that Aveiro lies very close to the coast where you will find remarkably clean beaches. This is the famous Silver Coast.. Weather is usually pleasant, especially during summer. Even winters are not too cold. Aveiro is a perfect destination regardless of the season.
The Aveiro Cathedrale has quite impressive architecture in baroque style and it is the home of valuable arts. Possibly the most popular sight here is the Convent of Jesus or what has recently become the City Museum. Built in the 25th century and restored in the 18th century, this church looks magnificent and it has a history behind it which is brilliant enough to live up to its appealing exterior. The convent was home of Princess Joana- the daughter of King Alfonso V. She was a very important figure for this town back in the 15th century. It was believed that she performed miracles and that is why people named her Saint Joana. The paintings on the walls in the convent are made by eminent artists and present her life. Her remains are in the convent to this day.
Aveiro has the power to fascinate its visitors. It is quite small, but very alluring. The culture and history are just supplementing the marvelous architecture. The canals make Aveiro romantic, the beaches- attractive. This is a perfect combination of all the things that you need to include in your vacation. It will make you fall in love in a matter of hours.