Exploring the many canals of Aveiro

It is thanks to Nelson Carvalheiro that I discovered Aveiro, and learnt all about its beautiful network of canals, Art Nouveau buildings and wonderful sweet delicacies called Ovos Moles de Aveiro. As soon as I read Nelson’s post Aveiro was on my list, never envisaging we would be visiting only a few weeks later.Convergence of Canals

We were in Porto when I realised (thanks to numerous advertising boards) how close Aveiro was. There are numerous organised day trips from Porto, and I’m sure they are excellent but they do seem expensive. Aveiro is one of those places where you don’t really need a guidebook let alone a guide and it’s also very easy and cheap to get there by train. The organised trips do arrange boat rides and often a quick visit to Costa Nova, which are all great but if you enjoy exploring on foot and long lunches you’ll want more flexibility than an organised trip can offer. So we recommend catching the train, and making your own arrangements.Aveiro, Portugal

The obvious and shortest route from the railway station is along Avenida do Doutor Lourenço Peixinho, which is where you will find all the incredible Art Nouveau. It was a Monday though when we visited and consequently Jo’s Monday Walks were in my head and so we took a detour south to find the canal basin!

From here (Cais da Fonte Nova) we headed west and followed the canal into the centre of Aveiro. We could have hitched a ride on one of the many and colourful moliceiro boats. These boats were once powered by sails in the lagoon to harvest the moliço (sea grasses/seaweed), but are now are powered by engines and transport tourists around the ferry system. They are beautiful boats with wonderful paintings depicting their or their owners origins.

We were tempted to board one of them as they look so much fun and clearly at this end of the canal network were much quieter. However we decided a brief stop for coffee was needed first. And then after coffee (well green tea for me!) in the brand new shopping complex we opted to continue our ramble alongside canal do Cojo, canal Central, canal de São Roque and canal das Pirâmides.

We soon realised travelling by foot under constantly changing skies was enabling us to appreciate the beauty of the boats, Aveiro’s buildings and canal system far more than if we had been in one of the moliceiro. The canal walls are quite high in places and the moliceiro don’t explore every canal section. I acknowledge though they give excellent running commentaries and are reasonably priced. So again we were tempted . . . . .

However we were also feeling rather peckish! So instead of hopping aboard a moliceiro we returned to Cais dos Mercantéis y Cais dos Botirões. A rather beautiful quayside by the fish market with lots of places to eat and drink.

Cais dos Mercantéis y Cais dos Botirões

I suspect it is busy here in high season and at weekends but on a Monday in March it was peaceful and the restaurant was superb. After our incredibly long lunch it was time to explore the Canal dos Santos Mártires, A glimpse of the canala much narrower and quieter canal to the south east. From here we meandered our way back to Avenida do Doutor Lourenço Peixinho and onto the railway station. The Art Nouveau buildings are stunning as is the old station, but you’ll have to wait for those photographs as this was meant to be a short post for Six Word Saturday (oops 600 rather than 6 Debbie)!

Author: BeckyB

It's a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, reading, blogging, and best of all spending time with family, friends & the cat!

30 thoughts

  1. Ha ha! Glad you counted words for me – I didn’t have the energy 😉
    Looks a beautiful place – just the sort I like, as I’m a moocher and long-luncher too!

  2. We love Porto but have never been to Aveiro – now a must on our visits north! Thank you for finding it and your lovely photos.

    1. oh I am so glad you found this post, and thank you for your lovely comments. Aveiro was such a find 😀

  3. It’s beautiful Becky, all those different kinds of bridges, I think you went at the best time of year, somewhere that lovely is bound to be crowded in summer!

    1. Thank you so much 😊
      When we got back to Porto I just wanted to put stickers on all the advertising boards – saying don’t do it, catch the train instead!!

  4. What an absolutely glorious place – with sunshine to boot! I can see how you would enjoy this place and your photographs are great.

    1. Thank you so much and we were so lucky the sun came out as was very grey when we arrived. We loved exploring here and definitely want to go back

  5. The lovely moliceiro look like a cross between a Venetian gondola and a Maltese Luzzu. Can’t wait to see the Art Deco buildings.

  6. It looks like a kind of Portuguese Burano, doesn’t it? I’m so glad you did the canals for me, Becky. Viveka just came back from Porto and said Aveiro was ‘not much’ so I’ll have to wait for her post to see if she found the canals. I could just sail up and down 🙂 🙂 Some people spend rather a lot of time eating and drinking… 🙂

    1. Hee hee MrBs influence nothing to do with me all that food 😉
      Oh I’m sorry to hear she didn’t enjoy it. We loved it. I wonder if she took an organised tour as some of the prices were ridiculous and I really couldn’t see what you got for your money. As you say though have to await the post x

  7. I love boats and water, and that looks like a lovely place to explore. The first large photo reminds me of the waterfront at Venice near the Bridge of Sighs, and the coloured houses remind me of the island of Burano in the Venice lagoon 🙂

    1. They are gorgeous aren’t they . . .I wanted to go on the small one with a sail but it wasn’t going anywhere the day we were there. An excuse to return methinks!

  8. Hi Becky, I am sooo glad you shared this. It was a place we wanted to visit but never got round to it. I had no idea it was so beautiful. Can’t wait to show Mr, Pipglet your post. I think you are right about high season. Perhaps I’ll surprise him and book for our wedding addiniversary in Oct..

    1. and you’ve made me so happy that the post has had that impact. An October treat sounds fabulous, make sure he doesn’t see the comments though otherwise won’t be a surprise!!
      The lagoon areas and Costa Nova would be perfect for walks on the 2nd day and there are museums too . . 🙂

Comments are closed.