Portugal certainly isn’t one of Europe’s biggest countries by size, and most visitors spend their time either on the beaches of the Algarve or in the lively streets of the historic capital, Lisbon. As a result, the rest of the country offers a pleasant, unhurried experience for those who choose to explore beyond the main attractions. Best of all, Portugal has many places which I suspect, if you put them in Italy or France, would attract many times the number of visitors they receive.

One such example is the city of Aveiro, some 5o miles south of Porto. Once an important sea port at the mouth of the Rio Vouga estuary, the city’s fortunes took a nose-dive after a major storm in the 16th century blocked the mouth of the river, creating a lagoon and swampland between the residents and the Atlantic. The population dwindled over the next 200 years, before a canal was constructed to restore Aveiro’s link the sea. The city recovered and became prosperous again, with wealthy merchants and businessmen building fancy homes along the city’s waterfronts.

Whether the label ‘Venice of Portugal’ is appropriate is open for debate, but what is undeniable is that Aveiro is an attractive, laid-back city with a rich history and plenty to warrant a few days of exploration. Here’s a quick look at some of the city’s highlights.

Canals and Moliceiros

Keeping with the Venice analogy, Aveiro’s answer to the gondola is the moliceiro. These colourful boats were originally employed to gather seaweed from the lagoon for use as a fertiliser. Nowadays their only cargo is tourists, and one of the main activities in Aveiro is a boat trip around the city’s canals to enjoy its many fine buildings from the water.

Architecture

The city’s renewed wealth came about at the turn of the 20th century – as a result, Aveiro now has one of western Europe’s best collection of art nouveau architecture. Take a walk (or a canal trip) to admire some of the more eye-catching buildings. Older than the art nouveau buildings but just as impressive, is the cathedral, covered in classic azulejo tiles and boasting an elaborate facade. Even older is the Jesus Monastery, set up as a female Dominican convent in the 15th century, and now home to the Aveiro Museum.

Mercado do Peixe

While a visit to a local fish market typically offers a noisy if somewhat smelly slice of local life, the real attraction in Aveiro’s fish market is the restaurant on site, which offers fresh, reasonably-priced seafood lunches in a buzzing atmosphere – you’re just as likely to sit with locals and students as you are with fellow visitors to the city.

Beaches

One of the main attractions of Aveiro, for Portuguese visitors at least, are the sandy beaches within easy reach of the city centre. Pretty wooden beach houses line the sandy spit, and the Atlantic waves are popular with surfers, while the inland lagoon is a favoured spot for windsurfing and kayaking. Even if you’re not one to spend a day lazing on the beach, the dunes offer plenty of hiking and are a home to a rich diversity of wildlife.

Aveiro is included in Sunvil’s 9-day Cultural Portugal itinerary.

The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

9th September 2015



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8568 4499

We're open tomorrow at 9:00 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Details

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account


Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close