Built on the lagoon of an estuary, Aveiro was an important salt production center in Roman times; nowadays it’s a popular tourist destination. For most visitors, a city tour on abarco moliceiro is a must. Once used for harvesting seaweed, these brightly painted traditional boats are similar in shape to the Venetian gondola. Some sightseeing cruises include lunch and round-trip transport from nearby cities. Aveiro is close to both Coimbra and Porto, and it’s easy to explore several towns in the region on a single trip.If you’re craving time in nature, head to the São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve for a hike. Or, hit the beaches of Barra and Costa Nova, which attract families and surfers in equal measure. Look for Costa Nova’s striped wooden houses, as well as the Barra lighthouse, whose light can be seen 26 miles (42 kilometers) away.