Ria de Aveiro is one of the most important and beautiful river accidents of the Portuguese coast.
The Ria de Aveiro is extended 45 kilometers along the sea with a maximum width of 11 miles, in the east-west direction, from Mira to Ovar. It is the result of the recess of the sea, with the formation of coast ridges. Since the sixteenth century, these ridges formed a lagoon, the Ria, which is one of the most important and beautiful river accidents of the Portuguese coast.
The Ria measures eleven thousand hectares, six thousands of them are permanently flooded. It breaks down into four major channels, which, like a tree, form branches around a great number of islands. Some are quite small, others are a little bigger. Some rivers flow in the Ria: Vouga, Antuã, Bocoa and Fontão. Is through a channel between Barra and São Jacinto. Through this channel vessels of large draft can access Aveiro’s port.
It is rich in fish and waterfowl and has good conditions, at some points, for the practice all water sports. Although it has been lost from year to year, the importance it has had in Aveiro’s economy, the production of salt, using ancient techniques, is still one of the most important traditions of Aveiro.
“Moliceiro” is the name given to the boats moving in the Ria de Aveiro, the lagoon of the Vouga’s river. This vessel was originally used for carrying the “moliço”, but now it is used mainly for touristic purposes. It is one of the ex-libris of Aveiro, together with the “ovos moles”, some kind of traditional cakes, made of eggs, and the University of Aveiro. Among the typical boats of the region, the “moliceiro” is considered the most elegant. Despite the humorous and colorful decoration, it is a work boat for capturing and carrying the “moliço”, which was the main fertilizer used in the fields of this region.
The edge of the boats is low to facilitate the loading of the “moliço”. Its bow is very elegant and decorated with paintings which joke with situations from everyday life. Its total length is about 15 meters, a width of 2.50 meters mouth.