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A haven of elegance and peacefulness

The Ria de Aveiro 

Stretching 45 kilometers in length, parallel to the sea, the Ria de Aveiro traverses the municipalities of Aveiro, Estarreja, Ílhavo, Murtosa, Ovar, and Vagos.

Its formation dates back to the 16th century. It is the result of the sea’s retreat and ongoing sedimentation, which led to the development of a lagoon and a network of canals that earned Aveiro the title of “Portuguese Venice.”

It has been a long journey for the Ria to become a symbol and one of the most distinctive and significant elements of the region’s heritage. Today, the Ria is the heart of this territory, and it is what gives it its unique charm and enchantment.


From the Ria comes sustenance

In the mid-18th century, the soils near the Ria de Aveiro were sandy and unsuitable for cultivation. This led to finding a solution to make the lands more fertile. Local farmers discovered that “moliço” (seaweed) was an excellent fertilizer. Thus, harvesting “moliço” became one of the main activities in the Ria de Aveiro.

Since “moliço” was located at the bottom of the Ria, it was necessary to develop a boat adapted to the lagoon’s conditions and the task of harvesting “moliço”, giving rise to the traditional Moliceiro Boats. Nowadays, these beautiful boats that paint the Ria with color are no longer used for the same purposes as before. Still, they are highly sought after by tourists and visitors who take leisurely rides along the navigable channels of the Ria de Aveiro on these typical boats.

In addition to these elements that are part of the territory’s identity, there is also the fishing activity, which remains an essential source of income for the populations near the Ria, as well as port activities that have marked significant activity in the region.

I die of Love for the waters of the Ria
This foam of pain, I did not know
I am a moliceiro of your fertile mud
I am the Ria of Aveiro, the Salt of the world
Long pole, the size of life

An arm of sea, plowing, plowing...
I die of Love in this net I weave
and it is in the Salt of Sweat that I happen.
Beyond the Salina, the horizon teaches me
that there is much Sea, to plow, to plow...

José Carlos Ary dos Santos


The perfect symbiosis between humans and nature

The Ria de Aveiro is a special place, painted with the most beautiful colors, offering the most whimsical and diverse landscapes imaginable, including plains, forests, beaches, canals, and even islands. Therefore, the enchantment of the Ria is endless, providing a new experience with each visit.

Dozens of fish species inhabit the waters of the Ria, and fishing is one of the main activities practiced here. Among the main species are cockles, crabs, sea bream, shad, sole, bass, turbot, flounder, lamprey, and eel – one of the region’s most relevant and sought-after culinary delicacies. This diversity of fish promotes the presence of hundreds of birds that feed and nest along the waters of the Ria.

The Ria de Aveiro stands out for its scenic beauty and unique natural heritage in the region, the country, and the Iberian Peninsula, making its protection and conservation imperative. The Ria is classified as a Special Protection Area. It has been designated a Site of Community Importance under the Natura 2000 network.

Curiosities about the Ria de Aveiro


The most relevant tourist attraction in the region.

The Ria is now one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Aveiro region. The boat tours on the traditional Moliceiro boats are one of the main tourist highlights and allow visitors to admire the picturesque views of the canals while discovering some secrets of the city.

The Ria is also highly sought after by water sports enthusiasts, as the deep waters of the Ria de Aveiro are navigable for all types of recreational boats and provide a variety of unique environments and conditions in the country.

Rich in biodiversity, the Ria de Aveiro is also one of the country’s most abundant and exciting areas for birdwatching. If you are a nature lover, you will absolutely love this experience!

One of the most exciting and challenging ways to explore and experience the region is through the Great Route of Ria de Aveiro, which is defined as a long-distance trail spanning almost 600 km. This unique experience covers eleven regional municipalities and promotes an authentic awakening of the senses.

Must-do activities in the Aveiro Region

An unforgettable destination awaits you

A Land of Stories and Traditions

The Ria de Aveiro has undergone many changes. Knowledge, flavors, habits, and beliefs have been passed from hand to hand, from mouth to mouth, until they have reached the present day, bringing us a glimpse of the history that shaped the region’s identity.

From the festivals of Santa Joana and São Gonçalinho to the Ria de Aveiro Weekend Festival and the March Fair, and not forgetting the “Xávega” traditional fishing art and the artisanal crafts that find their rich and unique legacy in the hands of the masters, the Ria de Aveiro is a place of sensory experiences, emotions, genuine smiles, and friendly people that are worth getting to know.

Embark on one of the four experiences we have created for you.

Experiences to

Enjoy on rainy days

In the region of Aveiro, on rainy days, there is plenty to see and do. Indoor activities include fascinating museums and interactive experiences promoting leisure and fun moments in enclosed environments.
Experiences to

Explore as a student

The region of Aveiro boasts a rich history, architectural and artistic diversity, and a solid connection to the Ria de Aveiro, which has always influenced the region's local culture. Are you studying in Aveiro? Immerse yourself in the local culture.
Experiences to

De-stress after work

Throughout the year, the region of Aveiro offers various enjoyable activities to make the most of the last rays of sunshine at the end of the day and unwind relaxedly.
Experiences to

Learn from the masters

The region of Aveiro is renowned for its rich artisanal tradition and the variety of arts and crafts. If you love local culture, take advantage of your days in the Aveiro region to visit and learn from the masters, the true guardians of cultural and traditional wisdom.