Fodor's Expert Review Ria de Aveiro
This 45-km (28-mile) delta of the Rio Vouga was formed in 1575, when a violent storm caused shifting sand to block the river's flow into the ocean. Over the next two centuries, as more and more sand piled up, the town's prosperity and population tumbled, recovering only when a canal breached the dunes in 1808. Today the lagoon's narrow waterways are dotted with tiny islands. Salt marshes and pine forests border the area, and the ocean side is lined with sandy beaches. In this tranquil setting, colorful moliceiro boats glide gracefully along, their owners harvesting seaweed. The best way to see the lagoon is in one of the boats that depart from the canal across from the tourist office. A number of operators line the waterfront, most charging around €13 for a 45-minute tour.