Ovar and Aveiro are the
two special Cities to begin your discovery of
area where the glorious past still glimmers throughout the
areas many charming small towns. Just South or Porto and the
Douro river basin, your trip will be
blessed with the
rich experience of sharing the region's abundant natural beauty and rich
traditions of a people with a proud history.
is well known throughout Portugal for
wonderfully creative Carnaval as well as the religious processions
of the Lenten season
which immediate follow as Easter
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by page topic.
Dig deep to discover why we decided to do extensive development of Ovar whose region is amongst the most historically rich in Portugal.
Share the love of the country, its great history and its charming hosts at this leading web guide with not only some of the best options on where to stay but also one of the web's most comprehensive guides to Portugal
|These Routes of Light (Rota da Luz) are primarily in the province of Aviero (map) just South of Porto (Oporto) and the Douro River on Portugal's Silver Coast. It has 19 counties or Concelhos for its 720,000 people almost a third who chose to live outside the urban areas. Also Portugal Maps & Location Finder at portugal-info.net are your best map bet. Also click image to right for an expanded map.|
|Route 1: OVAR <-> Aviero North of the "Ria"|
|We begin the tour in Ovar a City of powerful traditions and the thriving metro center of the region. Visitors will want to locate the unusual Stations of the Cross, attesting to the strong Lenten and pre-Lenten religious traditions which include the best known and most spectacular Carnival in Portugal. Ovar's wide sandy Furadoura beach helps the population swell an extra 20,000, to over 75,000 inhabitants during the summer months of July and August. The long list of gastronomic distinctions begin with its famous Pão-de-Ló sponge cake.||
|From Ovar, proceed to Aveiro,
stopping at Valega to see the famous
church covered with azulejo tile murals. Crossing through the town of Avanca
and its beautiful manor town houses and the azulejos panels at the railway
station. Visit the Egas Moniz Museum that celebrates the local
Prize winning scientist continue through Estarrega up to Aveiro.
Leaving Aveiro, head toward Murtosa passing Estarreha. Arriving at Murtosa, continue to Torreira, crossing the Ria at the Varela Bridge. In Torreira you will be able to see the traditional fishing method called “xaega”. Going south, you will find the Sao Jacinto natural reservation, a special place with spectacular flora and fauna and many different migratory birds.
Heading back on the same Ria road to Ovar and thoughout the rich estuary of Sao Jacinto you will witness many colorful Portuguese fisherman. Be sure to appreciate the distinctive detailing of the traditional “moliceriro” boats, and glimpse the river beach of Areinho. Continue north to Furadouro beach and then head inland to Ovar. Ovar is well know for its azulejo (colored tile) covered houses which can also be conveniently observed from your vehicle.
|ROUTE 2: Aviero <-> Vista Alegre South of the Ria|
|Leaving Aveiro towards the beaches,
you can see the salt marshes all along the way, and
a fishing port. At Praia da Barra, where the
Ria meets the sea, there is a harbour built in 1808 and the highest lighthouse in the country. The next beach, Costa Nova, has typical coloured striped houses, called "palheiros". Continuing along the Ria, you will arrive at Vagueira beach, where fishing is still performed in the old traditional way called "x:lvega". From Vagueira continue to Vagos, taking a nice road that crosses a pine wood. From Vagos, drive towards Aveiro, stopping at Vista Alegre, a picturesque village on the left side of the road. There you will find the famous china factory, and the chapel and museum of Nossa Senhora da Penha de França. Following the road, you will encounter Ílhavo, a charming town with beautiful houses, many of which are fine Art Nouveau examples, and the Sea Museum, which tells all you want to know about life on board of tile "bacallloeiros", the codfishing boats. From Ílhavo, head back to Aveiro.
|Douro River to the Mountains|
Starting your journey from Oliveira de Azeméis, follow in the direction of S. João da Madeira, both dynamic towns, and continue north taking the IC2 road, until the exit for Castelo de Paiva. Passing through Pedorido, where the old coal mines of Pejão lie, the road follows the meandering Douro river. From Castelo de Paiva, proceed to Arouca. At Real, take a look at the local church.
Arouca has a monastery -now transformed into a sacred art museum, and a rich gastronomy; particularly
the veal and the convent sweets. The town is surrounded by Serra da Freita,
with its picturesque mountain villages and beautiful waterfalls. From Arouca, head to
Vale de Cambra, nowadays an important industrial and economic centre, and turn back towards Oliveira de Azemeis, taking the chance to visit the green
|TOWNS of the Rota da Luz|
Nearby surrounded by salt flats, beaches and lagoons you
can find the colourfully painted ‘moliceiro’ boats, which still gather
seaweed from the vast saltwater lagoon. Located between the Ria and the
sea is the São Jacinto Dune nature reserve filled with beautiful flora and fauna.
|Castelo de Paiva|
A quiet and picturesque town, set among vine covered hills. Nearby, old manors, and the blue ribbon of the Douro, with its old wharves where the " rabelos" (port wine sail boats) are moored. Enjoy the historic villages of Raiva, Sao Martinho, Santa Maria de Sardoura, and Sao Domingos miradouro where one can admire a beautiful view. The region produces interesting handicrafts such as basketry and copper artifacts.
are within an easy walk from the town center. Praia Baia is closest
and most crowded followed by Praia Azula, Praia Pop and
Praia do Costa Verde which all offer clean sunbathing areas and
not particularly dangerous surf. For calmer waters, there's the town's
swimming-pool complex, Solar Atlântico, adjacent to Praia Baia
(tel. 22/734-01-52). Open from mid-May to September.
Ilhavo & Vista Alegre
(3 miles (4.75km) south of Aveiro on the IC1)
Oliveira de Azemeis
Oliveira do Bairro
The streets are alive with trade as the region's metro center as City father's moving forward with an impressive amount of infrastructure a visitor will appreciate. Surrounded by green fields, the ocean and the lagoon the colourful "azulejos" often take their inspiration from nature. The many decorated houses make the city a living museum of the azulejo. The unusual Chapels of the Stations of the Cross bear witness to strong religious traditions.
Maria Da Feira
João da Madeira
Sever do Vouga
Vale de Cambra
last update Dec-2002
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Last Link Check 26MAY2006