Like all residents of Aveiro, Nuno and I spent many summers with our families and friends on the beaches of Barra and Costa Nova. Every year from June to September, these beaches are brought to life by the influx of visitors coming from all its neighboring cities to soak up the sun, boogie-board, and stroll on the boardwalks.

 

promenade at Barra beach

But even when winter sets in, these beaches near Aveiro remain the cheeriest getaways for the local sun worshipers. So there’s still plenty to see during the cold season as well.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can find:

Bus from Aveiro to Costa Nova and Barra Beaches (Updated July 2020)

You can take the Transdev bus (L5951) in the Rossio area or near Aveiro Train Station, which will take you to Costa nova or Barra in 40 minutes.

Ticket cost: €4,92 (round-trip to Barra) and €5,20 (round-trip to Costa Nova)
Bus Schedule: 

Public Bus Aveiro to Barra Costa Nova beach(Click on the image to enlarge)

Keep in mind that your bus stops are called either “Barra” or “Costa Nova” and not “Forte da Barra” which is far from the beach.

 

Weather warning for the Beach

The most frustrating thing about living in Aveiro is the constant stiff wind that won’t quit. That’s why if you’re coming to spend a day at the beach, be sure to get yourself a windbreak. There’s an 80% chance that it’ll be windy and not getting pounded by sand will make your day much more pleasant.
Summer average temperature: 20ºC

Windy beach

Don’t expect warm tropical waters either — it’s the Atlantic ocean.
Sea average temperature: 16ºC

Having said that, there’s still a 20% chance of you having the best beach day of your life, ‘cause when it’s good, oh… it’s gooood.

 

Guide Map

All spots mentioned in this post are marked on the map below by the yellow pins.

What to do in Barra Beach

The beach is divided by a long breakwater: to its right is the laid-back old beach (or meia-laranja). To the left and stretching along 1.5 km is the new beach, frequented by different types of crowds spread throughout its length. Right next to the breakwater is where families and children hang, but if you keep moving you’ll find a younger demographic in the area called “7º ano”.

 

The beach and breakwater of Barra beach

 

The Lighthouse

It’s right here on Barra beach that you’ll find the highest lighthouse of the Iberian Peninsula, and the oldest in Portugal. The view from the top is spectacular and a definite must-see.

 

Barra beach in Aveiro
Barra beach view


Visits to the lighthouse in Barra beach are on Wednesdays. During the summer months from 2 PM to 5 PM, and in the winter from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Free of charge.





Where to Eat in Barra Beach

In Barra, as the commercial and residential areas are right next to the beach, you can easily find many options for restaurants, foods, and drinks. However, these are the ones we recommend:

Miami for great burgers and fries.

 

Miami burgers restaurant

 

For good handmade pizza try Pizzaria Brasão on the main street in front of the lighthouse. Also on that same main street is the hip sushi house Barba Azul.  

If you don’t feel like spending time in a restaurant, grab a quick bite at the supermarket Auto Mercado Gonçalves at the beginning of the breakwater: they sell deep-fried goodies, bread, fruits, and drinks. Grab what you need and have a picnic at the beach!

 

Mini Market Gonçalves exterior
Mini market in barra beach

For an Afternoon Snack at the Beach

Regueifas

Try the Portuguese sweet bread called “regueifa” or a “pão de deus” with sugar and shredded coconut on top. Regueifas are a staple from Barra and have been sold here since we can remember. In fact, a good summer day is not complete without eating one of these.

 

Regueifas and pão de deus


Get yours at the Iracema kiosk, a small wooden stall right at the entrance of the breakwater.

Iracema kiosk

 

Bolacha Americana

Bolachas Americanas, are big wafers sold by a loud gentleman carrying a white can through the beach. He’s a well-known figure in Aveiro and has been selling Bolachas Americanas since he was 12. His name is Carlos, and you won’t be able to miss him if he walks by you.

 

Bolacha americana

 

Tripa de Aveiro

If you haven’t tried a “tripa com chocolate” yet, just do it! Along the main road parallel to the beach, many kiosks sell them with a myriad of fillings to choose from.

 

Vendor making a tripa of Aveiro

 

For more info on other Aveiro delicacies, dishes, or where to eat in Aveiro, read Aveiro Travel Guide: best food, bars, and accommodation.

 

Beach bars and Cafes

Along the boardwalks of Barra, you can find several beach bars providing fresh drinks, good music, and bean bags for lounging on the sand.

In Barra, the ones we like best are 7º ano de Praia and Offshore, right next to each other.

 

Offshore bar

 

What to do in Costa Nova

By now, you probably saw one of these colorful striped houses on the internet — they’re in Costa Nova, only a 15-minute walk from Barra beach. Around here, key attractions are organized on a main street parallel to the sea, along with locally owned shops and seafood restaurants.

Striped houses of Costa Nova Aveiro

The beach of Costa Nova

These smaller beaches are a great alternative to the crowded sands of Barra, and perfect for a sunset stroll.

 

Costa Nova beach

 

The Fish Market

On the main street in Costa Nova, is the tiny Municipal Market. Here, the hardworking fishmongers sell the catch of the day like their mother and grandmothers taught them: effusively. It’s a treat to walk through and a great place to get a typically Portuguese gift.

Municipal market Costa Nova
During summer the Fish Market opens from 8 AM to 8 PM.
On winter weekdays opens from 8 AM to 12 PM and it’s always closed on Mondays. On winter weekends opens from 8 AM to 6 PM.

 

A must-eat in Costa Nova (Pastel de Nata)

Don’t miss Café Atlântida and try a pastel de nata — they’re said to be the best in Aveiro. The staff is not super friendly, but the tarts make up for the tartness.

 

pastel de nata atlantida Costa Nova





Beach Bar in Costa Nova

In Costa Nova, we always hang out at Bronze because it has the best terrace and sea view.

 

Bronze in Costa Nova

 

The boardwalks (Costa Nova and Barra)

In the midst of winter on those days when we’re missing summer the most, we often go for a stroll along the boardwalks whilst eating a warm tripa. Walking over the dunes and having the ocean as a backdrop makes them extra scrumptious. You should try it: it’s both soul cleansing and artery-clogging.
Some people use the boardwalks for jogging though.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Choices.

 

Barra beach boardwalks

 

Other activities

Through the scenic route from Barra beach all the way up to Costa Nova, is an excellent path for running, cycling, and skating. If you don’t have gear for any of that, rent a bicycle on Be Tour at the Memorial Park in Barra beach (between the lighthouse and the ria) for €5 per hour. Only from June to September.

 

Bike rental in Barra beach, Aveiro


Many schools offer lessons in surfing, sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle on the ria, and the list goes on.

Surf’aqui – Surf school: with surf lessons, bodyboard, longboard, stand up paddle lessons.

Trilhos d’Água  Diving school: for diving lessons.

Ria ActivaWindsurf and Kitesurf lessons, and bicycle rentals.

 

Accommodation in Costa Nova and Barra

Accommodation at the beach tends to be pricier than in the city, so go enjoy your day by the ocean and return to Aveiro by the end of the day — there are plenty of buses to take you back. However, if you decide to spend the night closer to the beach you have:

Pensão José das Hortas (Costa Nova)

It’s a traditional Portuguese lodging with more than 100 years of history, located on the main street where all the colorful striped houses are.

As it is a family-owned business, it only opens during high season (from June to late September).

Camping (Barra)

If you came prepared, camping can be an affordable option: there’s a camping ground in the middle of the residential area in Barra.

 

If you have any questions, contact us. Nuno and I live in Aveiro and we can help you out! 

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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