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Aveiro

Aveiro lies about 58 kms north to Coimbra and 68 kms south to Porto by the scenic river Vouga in Portugal.  It is scarcely populated with 57000 residents of which 14000 are students of the Aveiro University.  It is popular as  “Portuguese Venice” due to presence of bridges, canals and moliceiros, colorful boats resembling  Venetian gondolas in some parts.  The sandy beaches of Sap Jacinto, Barra and Costa Nova well known as the Silver Coast are charming and magnificent.

The temperature is mild and pleasant throughout the year with less rainy months and suitable for wind surfing.

Aveiro city and canal with boats

Aveiro city and canal with boats

The city can be reached by a car drive from highway A1 but you may have to pay the toll.  Those from Porto can take the A29 free highway. Those from Spain and Lisbon can enter the city through the A25 and A8 highways which are connected to the A17 path entering the city.

Aveiro is well connected with other major cities like Porto, Lisbon and Coimbra with local as well as fast trains. The Aveiro railway station is centrally located. It can also be reached by buses plying every hour from other cities.

Aveiro’s attractions are very near to each other. The bust terminal is just within a walk of 15 minutes from the canal area. Alternately, you can take either of the free bicycles (BUGA) services. Just submit your ID and you can hop into one for a ride free of cost. But they can be taken only in a limited area and should be returned within 7 pm.  You can view the important attractions within the city in the bus tour.

The Aveiro Cathedral, Convent of  Jesus,  Aveiro Museum, Santo António Park, Capitania, São Gonçalinho, Dom Pedro Park, Museum of the Republic, Fisherman’s wharf, Fish Market and the Carmelite Church are some of the major sites.

The beaches at Costa Nova as well as Barra offer facilities for surfing and sun baths.  Wind surfing is allowed on the Vouga river side also. Moliceiro tours start at the central canal for a city ride. Lessons on sailing are offered at the Costa Nova. At Ria de Aveiro and Rio Vouga, you can get local guides for a pleasant afternoon ride.

The major shopping destinations include Forum Aveiro near central market, Avenida Dr. Lourenço Peixinho and Rua dos Combatientes da Guerra. The salt flats and Vista Alegre are famous for the sale of salt and ceramics respectively.

The Ovos moles, a native dish made of egg yolk is widely available at the local stores. Restaurants near Old Neighborhood and fish market also offer a taste of tradition. The beaches of Aveiro also feature some exotic dining. Dining at Café Ramouna, Pizzarte, Cervejaria O Augusto, Ferro, Barrigas, Galetos Dourados, Cafe Zig-Zag will fit well within your budget. The popular dish of the Barrigas is the “francesinhas”, made of ham, cheese and meat sandwich with sauce. With the background filled with Brazilian music, the dining offers pleasant memories.

A little high priced dishes occupy the menu at La Mamaroma, Restaurante a Barca, Travessa do Peixinho, Porterhouse, La Piazza. If you have more money for a lavish feast, visit the Restaurante Mercado do Peixe or the Adamastor.

Praça do Peixe is famous for its nightlife extending into the wee hours of morning and drinks.  Entry for men is charged while for women it is free. Drinks are also offered at lower rates at most bars like Botirão, Clube 8, Clandestino, Estaçao da Luz, Mercado Negro and Quest. Some of them have great dancing floors offering you a chance to unwind.