|Take the road leading out of Aveiro towards Gafanha da Nazaré and the beaches along the coast. If taking this tour during Spring or Summer, you will have the chance to see the small white pyramids of salt running into the distance in never-ending lines.
Every year, in April, the marmotos, the name given to the men working on the salt-marshes, return to their labours. After repairing the damage that the winter has brought to the salt-pans, they clean them and cover the bottom with a fine bluish clay to prevent the sodium crystals sticking to the ground.
The wind will then cause the salt to crystallise, with the help of the marmotos, who rake through the salt every day.
Crossing over the bridge at Gafanha, make a slight detour to see the posts where the ships (luggers) used to moor when they brought the codfish caught in the cold seas off the coast of the remote Newfoundland. Here you can study the long racks on which one of the most popular varieties of fish found in Portuguese cuisine dries in the heat of the sun.
Return to the road and take the bridge across the Ria, turning right towards the beach at Barra, where the highest lighthouse in Portugal, built in 1884, dominates the entrance channel to the port of Aveiro.
Continue southwards to the beach of Costa Nova, with its rows of delightful wooden houses painted with different-coloured vertical stripes.
A dirt road leads from here to the village of Vagos. At the Museu da Fábrica de Porcelana Vista Alegre, with the help of some of the most significant examples, you can discover all about the porcelain produced at this factory. Dating from 1824, it is still one of the most famous such potteries worldwide.
On the way back to Aveiro, you should make sure to stop at Ílhavo, a very ancient town from where hundreds of men first set sail on the great cod-fishing adventure. This feat is so well illustrated in the regional museum, in a delightful exhibition dedicated to the theme of the river delta and the sea, including replicas of the old boats.