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Aveiro, Portugal: Seaside Town with Unique Boat Rides Along the Lagoon

couple on a bridge looking over the Ria de Aveiro
Going under the bridge on the Ria de Aveiro canal
Home » Portugal » Aveiro, Portugal: Seaside Town with Unique Boat Rides Along the Lagoon

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Smooth operator sang in my head for this ride

Aveiro was day 6 on my weeklong tour of Portugal. We got there to discover there was a citywide running marathon going on which caused us to slightly alter our original plans.

That turned out to be a good thing because we took a unique boat ride on the canal that runs through the town.

The ride lasted 45 minutes and was very smooth and peaceful. The boats, called moliceiros,  have brightly painted stories representing historial fact on their upturned bows. Once used as fishing boats to harvest seaweed in the 19th century, they now take throngs of tourists across the Ria de Aveiro to get a feel for this charming seaside town.

Along the way we saw several recently built modern homes mixed in between traditional architecture giving the city an eclectic vibe. Since the ocean is only a few minutes away, it wouldn’t be hard to see why foreigners put this town on the list to explore. After the boat ride, there are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants to choose from. We stopped at a cafe and had a nice, healthy lunch.

Unique confection and buildings

Besides unique boats, Aveiro is known for a desert called Ovos Moles. These confections look similar to an egg and have a creamy, yellow inside with a thicker texture looking like egg yolk. Thus, why they are called “soft eggs”. I tried one and found it sweet (another sweet treat in Portugal!) yet delightful. 

We didn’t get to explore the town as much as I would have liked. The Art Nouveau style buildings we saw on the boat ride are deserving of a tour. Some are Museums and others are lived in to this day. There is also a historical monastery nearby.

Family friendly activities

On this beautiful blue-sky sunny day in April, I can see why there was a big marathon event taking place near the Parque da Fonte Nova. Families were situated everywhere on the sprawling green lawns. It was noisy and busy but fun-filled for children and adults. This was the “Marathon of a Thousand Emotions” as stated on the European Marathon website. Aveiro turned out to be a nice place to visit even if only for a few hours. If I go again I would give it a full-day to explore this charming seaside town.

European Marathon Aveiro Portugal
The European Marathon, Aveiro, Portugal – April 2022

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