Ovar: Travel and tourism

Nossa Senhora do Parto Church
Nossa Senhora do Parto Church
The county of Ovar has always been marked by its link to the sea and to the salt-water lagoons of the ria de Aveiro, and for centuries the local population earned its living from exploring the natural resources they provided, namely fishing or harvesting moliço (seaweed) for fertilizers.

Foundries and steel mills came with the region's industrialization, but Ovar still preserves much of its original character and seafaring legacy.

The most remarkable feature of the seat of the county is the number of small houses displaying façades covered by typical tiles, mainly from the 19th century.

Other sites worth visiting at Ovar are the twin-towered Mother Church (17th century) and the Capelas dos Passos (Chapels of the Stations of the Cross), scattered across town, namely the Calvary Chapel, dating from the 18th century.

There is also an interesting Ethnographic Museum exhibiting regional costumes and handicrafts.

However, the main attraction for most visitors to Ovar are the county's beautiful beaches, bathed by the Atlantic and with extensive sand dunes leading to wooded zones, such as those of Esmoriz, Cortegaça, Maceda and Furadouro.

The ria stretches its canals parallel to the sea and offers fine fluvial beaches and facilities for fishing and water sports, as well as the sight of the elegant moliceiros, typical boats with a high and curving prow, painted in bright colours, which were used to gather seaweed.

At the parish of Válega, it is worth visiting the pretty church of Nossa Senhora de Entre Águas, from the 16th century.

Ovar is famous for its traditional pão-de-ló, a soft sponge cake known at least since the 17th century and sold at many of the town's shops.

However, the county also boasts of other gastronomic specialities, namely a variety of dishes with eels and a delicious caldeirada de peixe (a rich stew with several kinds of fish).

Ovar celebrates Carnival with floats and costumes in a particularly colourful parade which attracts a large number of visitors.
Hotel La Fontaine Hotel La Fontaine
Esmoriz, Ovar
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

Hotel La Fontaine offers modern rooms with a private balcony and free wired internet. It features an outdoor pool and a jacuzzi. All the air-conditioned rooms have satellite TV and a minibar; some have a private jacuzzi.

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