There are some places that seem to pop up over and over again on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. If you spend any time on travel-related accounts on these platforms, chances are you’ve seen the famous striped beachfront houses of Aveiro (specifically the Costa Nova neighborhood). Only an hour from Porto and with lots of time to kill on our last day before our late flight, we decided to rent a car and make the trip!
We’ve learned to temper our enthusiasm for places like this—oftentimes the reality isn’t quite as attractive or exciting as the photos. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that it looks just as it did in our imagination! We wandered the streets around 40.615019, -8.749785 and snapped what must have been 100 photos of all the houses of different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. And when our legs tired, we hung out by the beach on the west side of the neighborhood.
We also stopped in central Aveiro which is one of the quirkiest places we’ve ever been. It was just such an oddly interesting place. There are no noteworthy sights, but wandering the streets immediately south of Cais das Falcoeiras and Cais dos Remadores Olimpicos yielded funky views of haphazardly tiled homes, peculiarly colored buildings, and a seemingly random jumble of architectural styles. And lunch at Armazém da Alfândega (steak, gnocchi with asparagus) was just what we needed to refuel!
Portugal just keeps surprising us. After a mediocre trip to the Algarve last year, our visit to Porto and Aveiro evoked the magic we felt in Lisbon and reminded us what the other parts of the country have to offer. Best yet, though tourism to Portugal is increasing at a fiery pace, it’s still a very inexpensive place to visit. In part for these reasons, Porto ended up being a perfect early summer city break!