Aveiro and Coimbra Tour from Oporto, and if we tell you that you can visit these two important cities; Aveiro known as the Portuguese Venice with its canals and Coimbra with the oldest European University having the library Joanina as ex-libris, all of this retuning to Oporto.
Aveiro is often dubbed Portuguese Venice because it is a city with canals, similar to the Italian Venice. The difference is that while in Venice the gondolas transport tourists, in Aveiro are the Moliceiros or Mercantel boats to do so.
The canals of the “ria” are about 3 km and are all natural channels, except for the Largo da Fábrica de Cerâmica that has been refurbished for the safety of tourist transport boats.
Aveiro and Coimbra Tour from Oporto
And what are Moliceiros and Mercantel boats? Well, in the nineteenth century the harvesting of “moliço”, which are the algae in the ria and were then used to fertilize the agricultural soil.
The catch of it was made with the help of the … Moliceiros. However, with chemical fertilizers this practice has disappeared and now moliceiros are used for the tourists transportation.
The Coimbra University was founded in 1290 by King D. Dinis in Lisbon, then in 1437 moved to Coimbra, by order of D. João III in 1437, during centuries it was the only university in the Portuguese empire, and so it is not surprising that many famous people studied by the city, from writers to famous scientists like: Eça de Queirós, José Bonifácio, Luís de Camões and even the character Brás Cubas, of Machado de Assis.
We will start our Aveiro and Coimbra Tour from Oporto, In the center of Aveiro, where we suggest a trip on a Moliceiro boat to get to know the 3 kilometers of canals that made the support of the city itself, be it moliça (a seaweed used in agriculture and for pharmaceutical purposes), as well as Salt.
Curiosity will be to know the market of Aveiro a construction in wrought iron and glass very to the type of Gustavo Eiffel and to the innumerable buildings Art New all cataloged what they reveal the importance and even the wealth of this city.
The salt is another of the curiosities of Aveiro, today salt does not have the value of other times, especially this type of salt culture that is more time where most of the things are done by hand, here we will understand the importance of this product in the family economy of these families and get to know the salt flower better.
The original haystacks were constructed with local materials, rising on stakes set in the dry sand of Costa Nova, with the exterior plank arranged horizontally and painted bright red, saluting the sea with color and energy, helping fishermen to find their haystacks on very foggy days.
The interior space was ample, without any division, fulfilling its function of being nothing more than a warehouse. Over the years, some fishermen began to transform the haystacks by adapting them to accommodation spaces that began to accommodate families during the summer season.
From Aveiro to Coimbra we will pass at Mealhada (optional) where you can taste one of the Portuguese most famous dishes, “Leitao da Bairrada” (suckling piglet), this pig is roasted in a wood oven for over two hours, leaving the skin completely stalled.
The center of Coimbra (pedestrian) is today a pretty place to walk where you can find small local shops and international shops, we can also find the “tunas” groups of students’ singing Fado, street performers and much more.
In this street we will also find the Church of Santa Cruz where Dom Afonso Henriques the first King of Portugal is buried.
The “Paço das Escolas” is the architectural complex composed of several buildings, whose history dates back to the founding of Portugal. Before the University of Coimbra operated here, it was the first Royal Palace of Portugal, where many of the Kings of the first dynasty were born.
From the reign of D. Dinis the Palace began to be progressively abandoned until the sixteenth century, where it would be extensively renovated, housing the University of Coimbra.When visiting the University of Coimbra, the Joanina Library is obligatory.
Founded in the 18th century, it has a distinctively baroque style, being one of the most spectacular in the World. With three floors, it is the top floor that surprises and the one that is worth the visit, constructed in wood to better preserve the literary collection, the chinoiserie decoration has Asian influence.
Or place of your preference ( in the city )
Absolutely fabulous tour Aveiro and Coimbra with guide Manuel.
We prefer private tours that highlight history and architecture and this was a perfect blend.