Just 15 minutes from the tourist Aveiro (the Venice Lusa), we find another huge claim: the beaches of Costa Nova . For us, the Spaniards, accustomed to our overcrowded beaches and their characteristic chiringuitos (they also have their charm, I know) find us with practically virgin beaches that extend along kilometers with beautiful natural dunes and fine sand, it is little less than surprising.
These Portuguese beaches are awarded the blue flag, so they have good water quality for bathing and also have all the infrastructures and security measures necessary to ensure a pleasant and safe stay.
The beaches face west and open to the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore it is a more than favorable place for the practice of water sports, since its waves are much higher than those of the Mediterranean. At any time of the year, surfers from all over the world make their august in these Portuguese landscapes. Another thing to keep in mind is that the temperature of the water is very low, even in the middle of summer, although it does not seem to be an impediment so that, in high season, it is a destination more popular among locals and foreigners. Although the beaches can be filled quite a lot in the hot months, it is such an extension that we can always find a quiet place to enjoy a sunny day.
The main promenade of Costa Nova is a show with its houses painted in stripes
All houses are different in size and color
These magnificent beaches are sheltered by two tourist towns Barra and Costa Nova that have seen as in recent years, have gradually moved from being fishing towns to be sought after resorts for summer. Although Barra has the attraction of its beach, much quieter in terms of waves and therefore more pleasant for a stay with children, is the town of Costa Nova which takes all the applause.
The toponym of Costa Nova do Prado emerged at the beginning of the 19th century, when the fishing village of Costa Nova was founded. The term “Costa Nova” (New Coast) began to be used with the opening of the bar of the Ria de Aveiro in 1808, to differentiate it from the “old coast”, that of the beach of São Jacinto, used until then by the fishermen. The designation “do Prado” simply indicates that next to the beach there was an extensive and green meadow, of which you can still enjoy a pleasant walk.
On the main avenue we will find many shops and restaurants
The neighbors take care of their original homes
The great attraction of this town, are some wooden houses (called the palheiros) painted with striking colors and that is happening one after another creating a beautiful multicolored horizon. These typical buildings, originally used by fishermen in the area to store fishing materials, have been used over the years as summer homes. During the nineteenth century the fishermen of Ílhavo were installed in Costa Nova, since this new coastal area allowed access to the sea safer than that of São Jacinto. The construction of the barns, warehouses and refuges of the men of sea and of the boats that worked in the Ría then began. The original haystacks were built with local materials, built on fixed stakes in the dry sands of Costa Nova, with the external platform arranged horizontally and painted a very bright red, greeting the sea with color and energy. The interior space was wide, without any division, fulfilling its function of being nothing more than a spacious warehouse. Over the years, some fishermen began to transform the barns, adapting them to make them habitable and to accommodate families in the summer season. And so, little by little, the old barns were transformed into homes, charming restaurants and small shops that still smell of yesteryear, but do not stop creating a tourist offer more than desirable.
The ride of the estuary is a delight. On one side are those houses, with their restaurants where they serve seafood and fish, souvenir shops, pastry shops and ice cream parlors, and on the other, the wide estuary; in the middle, the cobblestone, with its drawings of sea horses and fish, a large lawn and a path for bicycles. Let’s add the tripe stalls (typical sweets, such as ovos moles, which feel better to the palate than the line) and the palm trees, tennis courts and a free-use indoor soccer field, where you can improvise friendly matches and international, and you have a perfect setting for a quiet holiday in a very beautiful setting. I can assure you that with all this you want to buy one of these houses.
From the main avenue to the beach there is a row of three rows of houses
Where to eat
The offer is wide and varied, but I think that among all that we can find in Costa Nova, these two restaurants stand out:
Clube de Vela of Costa Nova
We will find it on the same beach, next to the colorful houses painted with stripes. The menu is wide and varied, although you can go there without eating delicious grelhadas (grilled baby squid), exquisite clams from the estuary or the spectacular cod brás , the specialty of the house. As it is close to the estuary, the views from the restaurant with the boats sailing are idyllic.
Marisquería Costa Nova
It is very close to Clube de Vela, on the main avenue of Costa Nova. As the name of the restaurant indicates, here you come to eat fish or seafood. To suck your fingers: the cod lagareiro, prawns and clams. If you have a craving for seafood, you can taste one for € 50 for two people. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that it is always steamed here and not steamed. Delicious homemade desserts.
In both restaurants, if we do not overdo it, we can eat phenomenally for around € 20 per person. As you know, in Portugal you still eat very well and at very competitive prices. What a pleasure!
Costa Nova has become the perfect place to seek our well-deserved rest
The waves of the Costa Nova beach are known for their bravery
How to get there from Aveiro
The beaches are located about 10km west of Aveiro. Aveiro is connected to the beach by a summer bus service, which runs with an approximate frequency of 1 hour during the summer season. The bus leaves its own dock, which is located in Rossio Square, past the docks of the Moliceiros. A single ticket to Barra or Costa Nova is priced at € 2.30, and the round-trip ticket costs € 3.75. If you prefer to take a taxi to the beach, the race will cost about € 12, so it is always advisable to take the bus.
To reach the beaches by car, follow the A25 motorway westbound from Aveiro; At the end of the road you will find a roundabout: turn right (north) to go to Barra or left (south) to go to Costa Nova. Both towns have enough space to park, but it can be difficult to find a good place near the beach access during the summer.