Ria de Aveiro



With about 45km long and a length up to 11km, the Ria de Aveiro is very shallow and has several watercourses that flow into it: the River Vouga, Antuã, Boco and Fontão. It is separated from the sea by a long line of sandy dunes, of varying width, interrupted only by an artificial bar built in the 19th century.
The Ria de Aveiro has about 11.000 hectares, of which 6.000 hectares are permanently underwater, and a lagoon with several islets dotted around it.
The Salt evaporation ponds mark the landscape and occupy around 50.000 hectares.
Crustaceans and molluscs can be found in the silt and mud deposits revealed at low tide, whilst countless birds are to be seen concentrated on the salt flats.
These waters house a varied fish-fauna, and produce countless varieties of seaweed, which count as an important source of food for certain birds.
Especially in summer time, the Ria de Aveiro becomes a major tourist attraction, turning into a festival of light and colour that reaches its high spot during the Regatta of the Barcos Moliceiros.
These boats are traditional of Aveiro, and it is a long, pinewood built, very colourful with humorous ornamental paintings following strict rules of popular origin. Their finality was to collect aquatic vegetation (Moliço, in Portuguese) for agricultural use.

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