Costa Nova, Portugal | A Day Exploring Picturesque Costa Nova

Costa Nova Portugal side street mirror view

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Another Day in the Charming Fishing Village

Our second day in the picturesque village of Costa Nova started with a lazy breakfast at our small boutique hotel.  I was glad to have booked a few nights in the charming fishing village, rather than a brief visit from Porto, and could not wait to get out and about to take more photos of the colourful houses.   Just as well that the boys had planned their own escape for an hour or two sailing on the saltwater lagoon.

Sailing on the Salt Water Lagoon

Sadly the weather was not quite as cheerful as I had hoped for my photo excursion as the previous days sun had now been obscured by clouds, but the boys were happy to have enough wind for their sailing excursion. They wore a waterproof rain jacket over their t-shirts and swimming trunks, just in case the water spray might soak them or even worse they might capsize.  I took a stroll with them to the water sports centre, Riactiva.  To our slight surprise the owner had offered them to hire a catamaran without asking too many questions about their sailing experience, however, both Chris and Jerome had sailed enough times on their own in Mallorca and the UK to skipper the small boat on the relatively calm lagoon behind Costa Nova. 

My Brief Sailing Adventure

They persuaded me to initially join them as the “cat” could in theory take three, so I reluctantly stepped on board.  However it soon became clear that the extra weight and my inexperience on moving around the boat was not helping us tack into the wind, or stay balanced and so I happily left them for their exciting sailing adventure.

Photo Tour Through Costa Nova

My photo tour through Costa Nova took me along some of the lesser-visited side streets.  I met some local women out for some gossip, kids racing along the roads on their bikes and of course plenty of picture perfect opportunities of the cute, little houses that have made the seaside village a popular destination over the last few years.

Meet the Locals

The market hall had newly been re-built and now houses a large array of fresh caught fish and other local products, plus a few souvenir shops. I enjoyed watching the tourists and residents shop for fresh goodies, plus I had a browse through the keepsakes and ended up buying some handcrafted pottery from the area.

Spotted the Boys on the Lagoon

On my wander along the lagoon side of Costa Nova, I spotted the boys across the water sailing towards the large bridge that connects the peninsular with the mainland.  The wind was getting stronger as the tide came in and they were clearly getting up a fair speed now I was not on-board!

Colourful Houses and Architecture

Along the water front, besides the striped houses, the art deco style tourist information and an old abandoned cinema stood out from among the cluster of pretty buildings. I could have spent hours taking photos, but it was also fun to watch other people posing in front of the picturesque houses to take selfies, that without a doubt they would soon post on Instagram.  I could imagine that some of the house owners on the main stretch might get quite annoyed by the tourists. Some visitors completely ignored the fact that colourful houses largely are private abodes and even climbed across railings and into gardens to get that perfect calendar shot!  The Instagram generation both older and younger need to learn some respect I fear.

The Fishing Harbour

The walk back to the water sports centre took me along the small fishing harbour. Most boats lay anchored in the lagoon but some fishermen were repairing their wooden boats. Costa Nova and nearby Aveiro have a vast array of different style boats, some are unique to the area and were designed primarily with a specific use in mind.  Locals living around the lagoon not only made a living by fishing, they also sold seaweed, harvested salt and transported live stock in the traditional boats.

Pasteis de Nata, again…

The boys were still out sailing upon my return to Riavtiva but I was happy to sit on the boarded terrace and enjoy the views accompanied by some cuddles from the centre’s cat. The boys were frozen by the time they returned to the shore but after a hot shower they were soon back to normal. Their sailing excursion had made them hungry and they craved some of the delicious “pasteis de nata” from Atlandia.

Back on the Beach

The rest of the afternoon we spent on the beach, Jerome had bought a kite with him and the constant breeze prove to be perfect for a flight. The sun had decided to stop hiding behind the clouds and now provided the ideal setting for a sunset cocktail at one of the beach bars.

Dinner at Restaurant Dom Fernando

That evening we enjoyed an excellent dinner of local seafood at the Restaurante Dom Fernando facing the lagoon, and made plans for our last day in Costa Nova.  We all agreed that we should take a bike ride along the lagoon and dunes to Praia da Vagueira, and we just had enough time after for a visit to Portugal’s own little Venice, Aveiro.

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Where we stayed in Costa Nova:

Costa Nova Hotel

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5 thoughts on “Costa Nova, Portugal | A Day Exploring Picturesque Costa Nova

  1. Beautifully successful photos, despite the bad weather, The fishermen’s houses are particularly special (does not really feel like Portuguese). The blue tiles are again very characteristic. And the beautiful beach of course.

    1. Thank you! I had wished for blue skies but then reality has many different faces.

  2. I just love all the little striped houses and I think my kids would love the sailing as well.

    1. It is such a whimsical place to explore, kids must think they are in a fairy tale. I can highly recommend a stay in the area for a few days, especially as the crowds are still heading for other parts of Portugal.

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