A truly hidden gem of Portugal is the candy-striped beach town of Costa Nova.
Costa Nova beach resort is about 10 km from Aveiro on the West Coast of Portugal. Situated on a narrow peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Ria de Aveiro lagoon on the other. It really is very beautiful and unique.
Costa Nova is a great place to visit for the day if you are in Porto. You can easily reach it by train to Aveiro then a 30-minute local bus ride to Costa Nova. If you hire a car the journey is about an hour.
Costa Nova is only a small town which is still an active fishing village but its charm is the colourful candy-striped wooden buildings of all shapes and sizes which line the main street through the town. These buildings which are like beach huts are known as Palheiros and whilst most are used as holiday homes some are permanent residences. There are also really interesting traditional tiled buildings mixed in.
We cycled through the town marvelling at all the different buildings and came to the fishermen’s huts at the end of the town. This is where we sat and had our picnic watching the fishermen repairing their nets and pottering about on their boats.
Walking the bikes back down the street we noticed the fresh fish market which looked really busy. Along the road are some great seafood restaurants, coffee bars and a few shops amongst the amazing buildings. We just loved walking up and down the streets taking in the atmosphere. A few of the old houses had been and were being restored.
After coffee in one of the bars we cut through and cycled up a small hill behind the buildings (I was thankful for our electric bikes), to the beach side and there were even more of the same amazing buildings. What was really impressive this side though was the beautiful sand dunes with a lovely wide, white sandy beach. Boardwalks run along this beach with a few great bars.
We found a bar with really low comfy chairs and spent a good few hours lazing in sun with a glass of wine listening to the waves crashing onto the beach. With the lovely cool breeze it was just perfect. It’s the Atlantic coast so the waves are really powerful which is great for windsurfing.
We were camped in Barra just a short cycle ride away but we noticed lots of motorhomes parked up visiting for the day as there was plenty of room out of season (October). We also noticed a few motorhome aires in the area.
The character and charm of this village combined with the breathtaking views of the ocean and the beaches make it a great stopover to relax and enjoy some quiet time away from busy Porto or Aveiro. A place we will definitely come back to.