Aveiro: The Portugese Venice

Situated on the Beira coast, the seaside town of Aveiro, has a strong culinary reputation. Its famous for its fresh water fish and a world renowned sweet called Oves Moles.

Aveiro was a triving port on the Rio Vouga up until the 1570s, when the mouth of the river silted up, closing its harbour and creating vast, fever ridden marshes.  Recovery began only in 1808 when a canal was cut through to the sea, reopening the port.

Today it’s a tourist seaside town and a network of canals is the town’s main attraction.

In fact, Aveiro is now known as the ‘Portuguese Venice’.  It’s also known for its  boats called moliceiros – working boats used to dredge seaweed for fertilizer and to transport the salt from nearby saltpans.

The restaurants line up around the fish market here… they are all aiming to provide the best fish dishes around

The traditional fish dish from Aveiro is Lampreia de Bordelesa –a kind of  eel stew  People from Lisbon travel 250miles just to enjoy this dish.

Whereas  the Pasteis do Belem is  a Lisbon sweet, the Ovos Moles, is an Aveiro thing.  Each area seems to have a new and different delight on offer.  Here we have egg and sugar like all the other sweets in Portugal, but the egg dough is wraped by a very thick layer of communion wafer with shell like shapes.