It’s hard to believe that a place like this even exists in Portugal. Bright colorful houses spread along a beautiful lane parallel from one side to a lagoon and from the other to the Atlantic ocean. But it does, Costa Nova is very well known to the Portuguese for its cute fisherman huts, that once were used to store fishing material.
Before visiting I’ve seen quite a few pictures on the internet, but the real experience was incomparable. The houses with their bright colorful stripes and charming facades bathing in the sun have the power to transport us to another world. The whole place looks like a Summer movie set more than anything else.
On the first day we visited Costa Nova it was rainy and a bit cold for the season – the last days of May. We didn’t let that discourage us and went for a beautiful walk near the lagoon and were able to observe the adorable houses from a further point of view that revealed their vastness. The dark sky contrasted with the fresh green grass on the ground and the happy colours of the huts were adding more spice to the this delightful scenery. And we enjoyed every bit of it.
After a long day of travel and visiting a delicious dinner was in order. When one stays near the sea, one has the obligation to eat fish and seafood. That’s what we did. But for me the highlight of the dinner was the fish soup, surprisingly yummy. Highly recommended.
On the next morning we were gifted clear blue skies by Mother Nature.
First we visited the beach. We found such tranquility and allure amongst the white sand dunes and the clear blue waters of the ocean. There’s a very pleasant wooden promenade that is a must do.
Next we went back to the main street of Costa Nova to take some new pictures in the sunlight and enjoy for one last hour its authentic style.
Where we stayed in Costa Nova
We stayed at Costa Nova Hotel 3*. It’s very simple, but the location is perfect – just behind the main avenue with the fisherman huts and 2 minutes on foot to the ocean. Easy to find free parking around. Breakfast was acceptable. Staff was polite. Considering the price paid – about 50€/ night, I don’t have any complaints. If you want something simple, just to have a rest for the night, Costa Nova Hotel 3* could be your best bet.
When we were walking on the main lane, I did see some very cute guest houses, but they weren’t free when we booked. So I’m leaving you with more two suggestions here, the link includes other travelers’ reviews.
A little bit about the History of the Fisherman Huts
Throughout the 19th century, fishermen from Ílhavo began to move to Costa Nova because the new shore line gave them easier access to sea than in São Jacinto. So, they began to build huts, storages and shelters for the seamen and the fishing boats of the Lagoon. The first huts were built with local materials and stood on top of stakes pitched on the dry sand of Costa Nova. The outside planks were horizontal and painted in bright red welcoming the sea with colour and energy. The interior space was wide and didn’t have any divisions as it was simply a storage house. As the years went by, some fishermen began to transform the huts and turned them into living spaces where several families would live during the summer. (source)
If you’d like to add Costa Nova in a meaningful way to your visit to Portugal, check-out my 1-Week Portugal Itineraries for more information. Prefer a personalized experience? Then let me plan your trip.