While Aveiro itself has no beach the coast each side of the town is a more or less continuous line of sand cut off from the mainland by a meandering lagoon, which is home to an abundant array of birdlife. The beaches of Barra and Costa Nova are both easily reached on public transport from Aveiro and remain relatively unspoilt.
Barra, 9km south of Aveiro, is reached first and the beach comes with a range of (pricey) accommodation, restaurants and nightclubs as well as a municipal campsite.
Costa Nova, 3km south of Barra, is mostly famous for its colourful striped houses, squashed onto a tiny strip of land between the beach and the lagoon. Slightly less commercial than Barra, there is still the inevitable spread of newer concrete buildings, as well as a huge campsite with its own supermarket and disco.
Both beaches are excellent for swimming and both back onto the lagoon which offers further opportunities for water sports. Facilities exist for sailing, rowing, motorboats and water skiing and both beaches, especially Costa Nova, are popular with surfers and windsurfers.