Introducing Aveiro

Big on charm, small on ego. Sat beside vast sandy shores, discover bright and bustling Aveiro. Noise and colour fill the air, as the city bursts with Art Nouveau buildings, history and vibrant soul. It’s often described as Portugal’s very own version of Venice, with picture-perfect canals weaving between its streets. And it has a food scene to rival any of Europe’s big-hitting cities.

Things to do

Head to the cobbled Fishermen’s Quarter to discover the joys of fresh, local cuisine and savour some of the best seafood in the world in the bustling fish market. Eat like a resident and try eel – fried, or stewed. Although the region’s renowned for its fish delicacies, that’s not all Aveiro has to offer. Pastel de nata is a must try Portuguese favourite; buttery pastry filled with a creamy egg custard dusted in cinnamon – utterly moreish. 

Although Aveiro is full of life, it also has calm spaces to escape the heat and learn about the region’s history. To experience the lavish elegance of the Aveiro’s past, visit the Museu de Aveiro. Housed in a former convent, the museum features a tomb made entirely from the most exquisite marble. But top of the list should be a stroll around the Cathedral of Aveiro. Head here at dusk and watch as the sun sets behind its prominent bell tower. Be sure to have your camera in hand for what may be the most memorable shot of your trip.

Sat beside the Atlantic Ocean, Aveiro is just the spot for lovers of a sandy beach and oceanfront strolls, or snorkellers looking to explore the deep blue. Costa Nova is a particularly special beach, famous for its bright, striped beach houses that line the shore. While the best spot for a swim without the waves is Ria de Aveiro – a saltwater lagoon. This epic landscape encompasses far more than the coastline. Venture out to hike the pristine pine forests of Reserva Natural das Dundas de São Jacinto. 

Top Tip from SLH

Glide between Aveiro’s Art Nouveau buildings on the canal in a brightly painted Moliceiros boat, and learn a little local history from your guide.