Costa Nova Colourful Striped Houses

A Guide to Costa Nova, Aveiro for Water Lovers

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Costa Nova is a picturesque, charming fishing town in the Aveiro District of Portugal. It’s perfect for anyone who loves being captivated by the water and all its surrounding character. Their famous striped houses feel like you’ve stepped into a Disney Themepark. You have to see it to believe it!

Its authentic Portuguese atmosphere and laid-back ambience may have you feeling like you never want to leave!

Whether visiting as a tour from Porto to Aveiro or spending a few days here to relax, Costa Nova’s enchantment awaits you with warm, open arms. Easy to access by car or public bus from Aveiro, where catching a train from Porto is on a direct line.

Aveiro & Costa Nova with Boat Cruise Guided Tour from Porto
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There are many reasons why you should consider visiting Costa Nova in Portugal, including its unique accommodation and fresh, authentic restaurants:

Beautiful Beaches

Costa Nova is famous for its long and beautiful beaches, extending over 9km wide, which attract visitors worldwide. Praia da Costa Nova is famous for its golden sands, clear waters, and stunning sunsets, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers. The northern section of the beach tends to be the busiest, but its huge size means there is space for everyone, even during the summer. Enjoy walking along the Passadicos Costa Nova – a raised boardwalk footpath connecting Costa Nova to Praia da Barra, a scenic 6km walking route.

Praia da Barra Costa Nova
Praia da Barra Costa Nova

Colourful Striped Houses

One of the most iconic attractions of Costa Nova is its colourful striped houses, symbolising the town’s fishing heritage. The ‘palheiros’ houses are painted in vibrant hues and were originally used to store fishing equipment. They are now a popular subject for photographers and tourists alike. The most colourful striped houses are along Jose Estevao Avenue, the main promenade of Costa Nova. If you are extra lucky, you can even book to stay overnight in one.

Costa Nova Colourful Striped Houses
Colourful Costa Nova striped houses along Jose Estevao Avenue

Traditional Cuisine

Known for its delicious seafood dishes, such as grilled sardines, octopus, and codfish, the town has many restaurants offering fresh and tasty seafood and other traditional Portuguese dishes.

Water Sports

Costa Nova is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, with surfing, kiteboarding, and windsurfing activities along the coast.

Double The Water

Not only are there mesmerising views of the Atlantic Ocean from Praia da Costa Nova and nearby Praia da Barra, but the Ria de Aveiro (Aveiro Lagoon) also runs along the other side of the town. There are many places you can see both the ocean and river simultaneously.

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View of the Aveiro lagoon, Portugal
View of the Ria de Aveiro (Aveiro Lagoon)

Costa Nova’s Natural Beauty

Costa Nova’s surrounding beautiful natural landscapes, including the Ria de Aveiro lagoon and the São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve. These areas are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and offer visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s unique ecosystem.

Close To Porto

Being just over an hour’s drive south of Porto, Costa Nova and Aveiro are popular half-day and day tours from bustling Porto. Escape the city to some tranquillity and be taken back by even more beauty that Portugal offers.

Portugal’s Tallest Lighthouse

The Farol da Barra is the tallest lighthouse in Portugal. Dating back to 1893, it towers over the Praia da Barra beach and is worth the walk to see its sheer height. Check out this recommended tour to explore this incredible region, learning about its history and natural evolution.

Farol da Barra Lighthouse near Costa Nova
Farol da Barra Lighthouse, near Costa Nova

Unique Waterside Accommodation

It’s not the first thing you would think of, but Costa Nova, Portugal, has some really interesting, unique accommodation options for you to enjoy your stay in, including the famous striped fisherman’s houses. As there are limited options, it is best to book well in advance.

Casa Mia Mel

Stay within a traditional colourful striped house at this two-bedroom apartment, perfect for exploring the local area of Aveiro. Situated in the heart of Costa Nova, between the ocean and the river, locations don’t get much better than this.

Costa do Sal Boat Hotel

Embark onto this classic style ship-hotel with 24 double cabins anchored in this fishing town. The ship also has a bar lounge and restaurant on the upper deck and a magnificent terrace on the outer deck. Once a week, Costa do Sal lets go of the moorings and offers its guests a trip along the Aveiro estuary.

Costa Nova Hotel

Stay in this colourful rustic hotel, which is only 400 metres from the Praia da Costa Nova. With 16 rooms, the hotel has a relaxed atmosphere and is made entirely of wood.

Costa Nova Hotel
The bright, colourful Costa Nova Hotel – Image credit:

Casa do Bico da Biaritz

For the ultimate beachfront villa, Casa do Bico da Biaritz has five bedrooms and overlooks the Aveiro Lagoon. In traditional Portuguese style, this luxury accommodation really is the best of the best.

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Casa do Bico da Biaritz
Stunning views from Casa do Bico da Biaritz – Image credit:

Costa Nova Restaurants

Known for its seafood restaurants (known as Marisqueira), the day’s catch doesn’t get much fresher than from the fishing fleet that morning. The small fleet of boat fish the waters of Aveiro Lagoon for shellfish, crab and prawns, used to create delicious Ensopado (fish stews) in local restaurants.

During peak season, these restaurants do get very busy. It’s worth booking ahead or giving yourself time to queue.

Restaurant Dori

Right on top of the fish market’s building, you’ll find the restaurant Dori, with a vast menu covering all tastes when it comes to sitting at the table. This is one of the best seafood restaurants in the area.

Dóris” were small rowing vessels, similar to small boats used in cod fishing. Fishermen sailed to catch the best fish by line. From this boat, they were taken into the main ship, milled, scaled and salted to continue their journey for several months until they reached our coast. You’ll find an example of those boats at the restaurant’s entrance.


The oldest restaurant in the area, dating its licensing back to 1940. Even after all these years, the restaurant is still in the same family, with its knowledge and flavours passed on.

From the entrance, with fresh seafood tanks containing crabs, lobsters and rock lobsters, to the dining room, you are transported to an atmosphere that remains faithful to the restaurant’s origins and to a service that shows pride in where it belongs.

Marisqueira Costa Nova - restaurants in Costa Nova
The oldest and one of the most popular restaurants in Costa nova – Image credit: Visit ilhavo

Bronze Seafood & Lounge Bar

The Bronze Seafood & Lounge Bar is so close to the beach; it’s actually on it! Views across Praia da Costa Nova don’t get any better than this, and I must admit, the food is pretty incredible too.

Don’t miss this one – highly recommended!

Costa Nova, Portugal, is a beautiful and unique destination surrounded by water, offering natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities. Whether looking for relaxation, adventure, or culture, Costa Nova is a destination definitely worth visiting.

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