Aveiro is a picturesque town smelling of sea and salt. It is located on the Atlantic coast, about 50 km to the south of Porto and 260 km from Lisbon. It's an interesting place for a one-day visit, where you can enjoy quiet walks and water trips. Aveiro is one of provincial Portugal mostly hidden gems with its friendly local people and unique colourful facades.
Three channels with slightly saulty water divide the town center. Thanks to them Aveiro vaguely reminds Venice. Sometimes it is even called so, Portuguese or Atlantic Venice. Of course, the comparision is a bit exaggerated.
'Moliceiro', local colourful boats sailing in the channels, will surely attract your attention. Its raised bows and sterns are curiously decorated with scenes on religious and romantic themes, pictures of popular life and satirical cartoons. Each moliceiro pattern is individual and extremely interesting. Long time ago these boats were used to transport salt and algae, collected to use as fertilizer. However, their current mission has reduced to touristic boat trips through Aveiro channels. The average duration of a trip is about 45 minutes and the price is more than modest, 8 euros. Sailors will tell you with pleasure lots of intriguing facts about the town's history and local sea salt production. Take your time to visit where its traditional production takes place and watch how the salt gradually emerges on the surface of sea water.
I strongly recommend to visit Aveiro fish market, located just nearby the town center area. It is open until noon. You can have tasty and inexpensive dinner on the second floor of the market building, at 'Mercado do peixe' restaurant. http://mercadopeixeaveiro.pt/pt.