Aveiro Is Decidedly Not The "Venice of Portugal"
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Can we speak honestly about Aveiro Portugal?
Honesty seems largely eclipsed by enthusiasm in the blogosphere. Perhaps it's because we travel bloggers travel to objectively beautiful places and mostly have phenomenal experiences. But that can't always be the case, can it?
Sometimes a place doesn't live up to its billing. Or doesn't suit. Or something dreadful happens there to color our opinions, like a flat tire or faux Air Bnb or torrential rain.
Aveiro didn't really suit me. Aveiro is ridiculously hyped. It's a popular day trip from Porto or stop on the way from Lisbon to Porto. It's often referred to as "adorable," "picturesque," "romantic," "must see," and -- wait for it -- the "Venice of Portugal." Huh.
I quote this from Lonely Planet, a notoriously picky analyst:
Aveiro (uh-vey-roo) is a prosperous town with a good-looking centre and a youthful, energetic buzz. It's occasionally dubbed the Venice of Portugal thanks to its small network of picturesque canals. But where the Italian city has gondolas, Aveiro has moliceiros – colourful boats traditionally used for seaweed-harvesting but now used for canal cruises.