Tony DeOliveira


Moliceiro Boat

Flanked by dunes, Torreira Beach lies on the coastal cordon separating the Ria de Aveiro estuary from the sea ensuring that visitors, while only having to move a few meters, may opt between the open sea with its good surfing waves or the calm of the estuary, ideal for sailing or windsurfing. 

The beach is part of the huge stretch of sand that runs for an unbroken 25 kilometers from São Jacinto in the south to Furadouro in the north and much appreciated by walkers. Torreira Beach has maintained its traditional fishing roots with the brightly colored boats often to be seen taking to the sea. This trade, although belonging to times gone by, helps preserve some of the wonderful regional gastronomic specialties including the most characteristic dishes such as eel, served either pickled or as a caldeirada, a fish stew cooked in copper dishes.

The boats you see above are actually part of an outdoor museum. Moliceiro is the name given to the boats that circulate in the Ria de Aveiro, lagoon region of Rio Vouga. This vessel was originally used for harvesting the moliço, but currently more used for tourist purposes. It is one of the main features of Aveiro, together with Ovos Moles and the University of Aveiro. Among the typical boats of the region, the moliceiro is considered the most elegant; despite the colorful and humorous decoration, is a working boat for the harvesting of moliço, (seegrass) which was the main source of fertilization on the agricultural lands of Aveiro. They are low-level boats to facilitate the loading of the mill. Moliceiros have a very elegant prow and aft that are usually decorated with paintings that ridicule everyday situations.


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