Costa Nova – The Instagram Worthy Town of Portugal
A short drive from Aviero lies the colorful town of Costa Nova. Striped houses with vibrant colors surrounded by palm trees set a striking combination giving off a cool beach vibe feel. Traditionally these houses were built to store the fishing materials by the fishermen.
At first sight, this place reminded me of Burano Islands in Venice, Italy which had a similar feel with the houses painted in bright and garish colors. It is a picture perfect view to stroll through the narrow canals with the colorful buildings facing each other and opening into the sea. Legend has it that the reason of painting the houses in striking colors is to aid the fishermen back home when the fog blanketed the lagoon.
The name Costa Nova means New Coast. During 19th century, fishermen moved towards this part of the town due to the easy accessibility to sea compared to São Jacinto. They began to build shelters to store local materials and boats and painted them in bright colors to welcome the sea. These houses are called Palheiros in Portuguese which means haystack. The interiors of these houses did not have any divisions. Later, they began to transform these storage houses into live-able spaces. Today they even rent out these spaces during summer time for tourists. The oldest Palheiros had only one floor and the exterior planking was set horizontally. The vertical rise in the owners’ economic status resulted in the planking being set vertically and they started building two-storied Palheiros.
I was not able to spend much time here as the weather started turning rogue. Strong winds and light drizzles were making it difficult for me to capture photographs. Life here appeared to be still and quiet in winter. Barring me and my guide I could hardly glimpse a human figure. I wondered how the life would be during summer. I swayed like a ghost going with the flow of the whooshing wind while my guide chose to enjoy her hot cup of coffee.
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