Terra de lendários e corajosos marinheiros, capital do bacalhau

Ílhavo is full of flavour

Codfish is the king of gastronomy in Ílhavo. It can be prepared one thousand and one ways, and here, using all of its parts, some less common and rarely found elsewhere. This is the case of codfish swim bladders, tongues, face and other parts. Ocean fish, such as the sand eel (March) and a vast variety of seafood are part of the local restaurants’ menus, always prepared in the traditional ways of the Ílhavo kitchen.

Other Flavours: Sweets, including crème brûlée and Ílhavo style rice pudding and tripa (folded crepe) sold in kiosks on the street. The pumpkin or corn cob meal porridges are also famous traditions, as are the Vale de Ílhavo loaves and breads, made with the ancestral knowledge of the land’s bakers.


Codfish Route – Ílhavo Maritime Museum and its unique codfish aquarium, and the Santo André Ship-Museum (in Oudinot park) and the trawler which belonged to the mythical White Fleet, the Santa Maria Manuela Ship

Bacalhoeiros Pier, in Gafanha da Nazaré, a place of living memory of cod fishing

Ria Canals, where different activities, can be practised, such as fishing, nautical sports, and bird watching or where the salt pans, naval yards, nautical clubs and port can be observed. Along the way, meet fisherman catching fish or clams

Barra and Costa Nova beaches, which offer many leisure and nautical activities, always in the presence of the Barra Lighthouse

Costa Nova, admire the famous and traditional striped houses (Palheiros), originally painted in red ochre and black, previously used as warehouses to store fishing equipment

Costa Nova Municipal Market, where products fresh from the ocean and Ria can be bought and the only one where the seafood is cooked on the spot

Vista Alegre Factory, an integral part of the Ceramics Route: a brand present on European royal tables

Don't miss

“Bacalhau” (cod) Festival, emblematic event pairing history and local traditions – 3rd week in August, from Thursday to Sunday, integrated in the Festivals of the Sea programme

Seafood Festival “Ria a Gosto” (“Ria to Taste”), at Costa Nova Beach – 1st week in August integrated in the Festivals of the Sea programme

Bakers Route, an event to promote and propagate the traditional Vale de Ílhavo Bread