Aveiro, Portugal

A Delightful Day in Portugal’s Aveiro

Being one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal is a land of many wonders with culturally rich encounters around every corner; from the poignant strums of traditional Fado music to the blue of the azulejo tiles and of course, exquisite port wine. Among its many features is the quaint maritime town of Aveiro, just 45 minutes to the south of Porto. Aveiro is the perfect complement to exploring the Douro Valley thanks to beautiful architecture, shimmering beaches, fascinating museums and delicious food. So, why not discover it on a Douro river cruise with Scenic?

Charming Canals

Known as the Venice of Portugal, Aviero’s network of picturesque canals are yours to explore during a brand new Scenic Freechoice excursion on our 11-day Unforgettable Douro river cruise. Navigate the meandering waterways on a vibrant moliceiros, boats reminiscent of Venitian gondolas painted with vivid and quirky designs. A ride on one of these beautiful vessels is the perfect way to take in the sights and sounds of this historic town – simply sit back and let the boatman guide you around tranquil bends and past opulent art nouveau buildings, which line the banks of the canals.

Architecture to behold

Although Aveiro features canals and boats, the similarities with Venice end here. Discover much more to this lovely city with a Scenic Freechoice guided walking tour, and wander by the pastel-painted buildings along the main canal. Stop and admire the Mosteiro de Jesus, built between the 15th and 17th centuries in late Gothic style, as a monastery for Poor Clares nuns, and visit the stunning Mausoleum of Princess Saint Joana, who died in 1490 and was beatified in the 17th century. The nave and apse of the church, with ornate floor tiles and gilded woodcarvings are truly remarkable sights. 

While the city is easily walkable, Aveiro’s flat landscape and paved quays are perfect for cycling, and bicycles have been a preferred mode of transport since the start of the 20th century. You can easily hire a bike from the BUGA bike hire depots around the city, and explore the ancient cobblestone streets while keeping an eye out for the larger-than-life street art that adorn the lanes. Aveiro’s pavements (calçada) are worth taking note of with black and white motifs and geometric patterns leading you through the town centre.

A protected biosphere

Aveiro draws in nature enthusiasts from around the world due to its protected birdlife. Ria de Aveiro is regarded as one of Europe's last remaining untouched coastal wetlands and is home to several species of birds, fish, crustaceans, frogs, toads, seaweed and even otters. The lagoon is a designated ‘Special Protection Area’ and ‘Important Bird Area’. 

Prime coastal position

Visit Aveiro’s beautiful sandy beach town of Costa Nova, positioned just a few kilometres out of the city on a long peninsula with the lagoon on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Once a fishing village, you’ll be reminded of this in the delightful weatherboard cottages, painted with vertical stripes. Seafood is a popular choice in this region, with either fresh fish grilled or casseroled, or eels, which are beloved in this region. Sampling it s one of those unforgettable moments where you can taste the freshest seafood straight off the fishing boat.

Sugar Rush

Along with delicious seafood, Aveiro is famous for its sweets, in particular ovos moles (soft eggs), made with just eggs and sugar. It has been said that to visit Aveiro without tasting ovos moles is a sin. They were originally made by nuns in Aveiro’s convents, then the recipes were passed to the townsfolk when the convents closed. Inspired by the nearby ocean and shellfish in the Aveiro Lagoon, the ovos moles are shaped by hand to resemble clam and whelk shells.

Portugal River Cruising with Scenic

If you’re tempted by a luxurious sun-soaked trip to Aveiro and beyond with Scenic, Scenic Azure is our bespoke 5-star Space-Ship built to safely navigate the celebrated Douro. At just 80 metres long, Scenic Azure is smaller than other Space-Ships, and therefore welcomes just 96 guests for an intimate experience. 
Discover Aveiro and more of Portugal’s delights on a Scenic river cruise, our 11 day Unforgettable Douro. For more luxurious Scenic river cruise itineraries, you can download our brochures here. 
Scenic Azure, Douro River Cruise