Costa Nova, Portugal | Bike Ride Along the Lagoon to Praia da Vagueira

Praia da Vagueira sandy beach

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Discover more of the Atlantic Coast

After 48 hours of exploring Costa Nova, Portugal’s prettiest and most photogenic village we decided to take the bikes, our hotel offered to their guests to ride along the coast, towards Praia da Vagueira and discover more of the coast. Cycling along the back street through the small fishing village of Coast Nova, we again passed some of the colourful houses and their pretty gardens.  Leaving the houses behind we followed the coast road along behind the harbour, passing the water sports centre where the boys had enjoyed a sailing session on the saltwater lagoon the day before.

Cycling Along the Salt Water Lagoon

From there a separate bike path runs parallel to the main road, following the lagoon’s shore. Wild flower fields and farms, some abandoned and derelict, others busy at work, made an interesting change of scenery from the beach hut prettiness we had left behind. The towering sand dunes behind the meadows and pastures accompanied our ride.  Seagulls caught the up draughts and their cries echoed over the distant sound of the surf.

Reaching Praia Vagueira

The 7 kilometeres to Praia de Vagueira were quickly covered and we rode on. Shortly after the bridge that joins the beach village to the main land we reached a water park (still closed at this time of year) with fun slides and a turn off to the beach. Small huts in the design of the striped houses of Costa Nova served as a campsite, each abode painted a different bright shade.  

The Wild Atlantic Coast

Clambering up the sandy dunes behind the closed camp site we discovered a beach shack, serving as a bar, overlooking the wild Atlantic coast.  It could have been the ideal spot for lunch or a drink, but sadly it was still closed.  A boardwalk that must have once run along the dunes towards Praia de Vagueira had collapsed, cutting off our preferred route back to the village. Unable to negotiate the dunes with our wheels we returned to Praia de Vagueira along the tarmac road and there hoped to find a restaurant in the village that would serve us a tasty lunch, maybe even with sea views.

Out of Season

However, unlike the pretty Costa Nova, the village appeared to be almost dead out of season, the vast apartment blocks mostly shut, eagerly awaiting their proprietors’ return for the warmer summer months.  We mounted the path behind the beach and watched the surf and the cycled along trying to spot the best option for some food.

Lunch at Restaurant “Ei”

After a few failed attempts on our restaurant hunt we eventually found a sunny table on the terrace at “Ei” (German for egg).  The restaurant offers a mixture of German and Portuguese dishes and despite being tempted by some comfort food from my childhood I opted for the franceshinha, a traditional dish from the Porto area, while the boys had some rather large but tasty fresh grilled burgers.

Praia da Vagueira Ei Francesinha

Desolate Praia de Vagueira

Back on the streets of Praia Vageuira we cycled along the empty village streets, wondering what it would be like to live in such a desolate place that only thrives for about two months or so during the summer time. It stood in a stark contrast to the residential streets of Costa Nova and we could not imagine staying in one of the many modern holiday apartments there.

Return to Costa Nova

The return to Costa Nova once again was an easy and pleasant bike ride.  It was an enjoyable short detour from the colourful fishing village and interesting to witness the contrast of the two places, especially due to their proximity and location along the Atlantic coast.

On to Aveiro

We returned our bikes to the hotel and collected our luggage. However we still had some time left before we needed to be at the airport in Porto for our flight and chose to visit Aveiro, a picturesque town nestled in the lagoon, Portugal’s very own Venice!

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Where we stayed in Costa Nova:

Costa Nova Hotel

Alternatively, if you prefer apartments, try this stylish abode:

Cesteria

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