travel diary, back in porto – 24 hours in costa nova (part 1)

Friday morning … and it was still wet-WET!!! The neighbour’s birds started to sing around 5am – but I enjoyed that. 3 cages they had outside their windows.

I had plans to take the 09.45am train to Aveiro and it was a very wet walk up to the station, but I had my all-weather jacket on. Umbrellas are not really my thing. I was wearing my new cork sneakers, they are naturally waterproofed.

Well at the station there was no departure at that time???!!!!  So I had to wait until 10.20am. Don’t have a clue what happened there, because the 09.45 is on their timetable.

Been to Aveiro before so I know the station … but the bus stop for the Costa Nova bus was a lost cause for quite a while. There was a nice couple for South Korea that was going to Costa Nova too and we 3 didn’t have a clue where to catch the bus. Eventually, we found a bus stop, but then the bus we were going to catch didn’t arrive … so we waited for about 45 min. 2.40€ the journey cost.

Averio is south of Porto, about 75 min train journey famous of its old railway station, magnificent building/houses and their long boats (houses of averio)… and then the bus takes 30 min to Costa Nova, not including the time to find the right bus stop.

While waiting for the bus the sky turned lovely blue and the sun came out. Arriving in Costa Nova, it was a fantastic summers day.

Bus stop in the middle of the little village … and opposite bus stop there is a fish restaurant, very busy … and I thought I will start off with lunch, needed a washroom … and direction to the hotel. So lunch it was.

“Restaurante Marisqueira”: located in a green and white striped house – Costa Nova is famous for their candy-striped houses.

When I entered the restaurant the first person I met thought I wanted to check in, because I had my wheeled cabin bag with me … this is not a hotel!!!???? I know, I want something to eat. One of the bar girls saved the situation and got me a table. They were very busy.

Of course, I had grilled sardines for lunch, always served with boiled potatoes and a pimiento salad. Heavenly!!!! And fresh strawberries with cream as dessert, the strawberries were not so sweet as our Swedish, but not many are … but I enjoyed it.

During lunch I got in contact with a very nice Brazilian man, living in Brooklyn (NYC) and 3 lovely ladies from Taiwan.

The hotel is just situated behind the restaurant, max 3 min walk from the bus stop. There are not that many streets, quite difficult to get lost in Costa Nova, 3 major street with side streets. A bit like Manhattan. *smile

My hotel the only one in the main part of the village – 2* – “Costa Nova Hotel” Very friendly, fantastic location, comfortable room and great bathroom, but nothing fancy. All rooms have a big balcony, mine was against the street (no traffic) – 32 rooms in total, I think it was. Paid 58€ with breakfast. And of course, is the hotel stripped, red & white. Well worth the money.

My room (#204) had a double bed, comfortable chair, desk with chair and LED TV. Think it’s the only hotel in the village itself.

So soon I had unpacked was it me making the village unsafe, blue sky and sunshine were waiting on …. and very soon I realized that even white sand and the ocean was there for me to enjoy, but believe it or not … there are uphills in Costa Nova too. The sand dune is quite steep.

“In the mid-19th century, this became a very popular beach, largely through the influence of the tribune and politician José Estevão, who built his own palheiro here (recognisable by its blue and brown stripes). It was in this house that he met with intellectuals and politicians, including the writer Eça de Queiroz.

Palheiros are the traditional houses built in this coastal region of Portugal, which provided shelter for colonies of fishermen, as well as for the machinery and animals that were used to haul the fishing boats onto the beach. Initially, they were built on stakes to prevent the accumulation of sand blown there from the nearby dunes.

Towards the end of the 19th century when it became fashionable to bathe in the sea, the local fishermen began to rent out their palheiros in the summer season and the idea then arose to paint the outside panels of these wooden houses in bright colours. In this way, they are reminiscent of the polychrome moliceiros, the boats used for harvesting seaweed on the Ria de Aveiro, all of which gives this coastline a brightly-coloured and quite unique appearance.” (text:

I guess it only been a sandbank from the beginning … anyhow it’s worth a visit, day trip or a one-night stopover. Not much to do more than enjoying excellent fish and seafood, plus visiting the beach, one of the best in Europe.

I must have spent 3 hours walking along the beach (loved that “catwalk” with benches that went along the whole beach), talking to others visitors, locals and just sitting there enjoy life when it can’t get any better.

On a distance through the sun haze could I see Barra lighthouse and so could Oscar, about 5 km (3.10 miles) distance.

Well done, Oscar!!!!!!

“Who can count the sand by the sea?”
Lailah Gifty Akita


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