On Aveiro’s main Canal Central, the traffic consists largely of barcos moliceiros, the traditional flat-bottomed lagoon boats with raised prows, colourfully adorned with paintings of flowers and scantily-dressed women. Once used to transport kelp, they now almost exclusively serve as cruise boats, and a trip on them is something of a must. Numerous companies offer 45-minute tours departing from either side of the Canal Central in front of the turismo (departures every 30 minutes or so, daily 10am–6pm, longer hours in July & Aug; 45min; around €5). The boat trips usually pass down the main canal to local saltpans and back into town; if you’re lucky, your commentary may be accompanied by the odd singing boatman.

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