Travelling the network



It is believed that Ovar has been inhabited since prehistoric times, since it presented favorable conditions for the settlement of communities due to its coastline and the two lagoons, a terrain that was perfect for hunting and fishing and was formed by light soils that were easy to farm.

However, historical evidence only exists from the 11th century, when Ovar was established from the union of several nearby villages, including Ovar itself and Cabanões.

Ovar, land of farmers, fishermen, salt merchants and artisans, grew and gained importance, receiving a regional right granted by Manuel I of Portugal on February 10th, 1514.  The great impetus for growth in the area came in the 18th century, due to the introduction of new fishing and fish preservation techniques (Arte Xávega).

In the 20th century, with industrialization, Ovar became a totally different municipality, where more than half of the active population is employed in the secondary sector.

It is currently an industrial city with very varied activities ranging from the manufacture of textile products and clothing, to the metallurgical and cooperage industry, including the production of nets and ropes, as well as electrical material for automobile assembly or component manufacturing.

The municipality of Ovar is also characterized by the brilliance and originality of its tiles and by the dynamism of its community, reflected in popular festivals, ethnographic demonstrations, and unique religious manifestations. Culture stands out as a factor of differentiation and competitiveness of this territory, where museum spaces, celebrations and their inhabitants genuinely welcome visitors.


Despite its industrial development, Ovar still has very attractive natural spaces with kilometers of beaches surrounded by pine forests, along with the beauty of its lagoons and estuaries.

This territory, with an excellent geostrategic location, offers surprising and challenging spaces such as the Estuary of Aveiro, the Barrinha de Esmoriz or the Buçaquinho Environmental Park, with its extensive forest area that integrates a rich and unique biodiversity that has become a great natural reference in the area.

Ovar is also known for being an outdoors tile museum, thanks to the great concentration of tiles dated between the 19th and 20th centuries that decorate hundreds of facades in the historic center.

The Chiesa Matrice of Ovar stands out for its façade in blue and white tiles and the seven altarpieces built between the 17th and 20th centuries, two of which are of mannerist style. Throughout the city there are also several chapels dependent on this church that have tiles as the main element of their façade.

In addition to the Júlio Dinis Museum, a traditional Ovar style house where this Portuguese writer and doctor resided for a time, we must also mention the Museum of Ovar, that has had a varied exhibition program for more than six decades and an important permanent collection of art and local ethnography pieces.

Ovar has 60 kilometers of cycle tracks, 7.5 kilometers of footbridges and many pedestrian trails that allow you to explore small ecosystems of native fauna and flora, next to amazing landscapes. You can practice surf, sailing, and canoeing, as well as enjoying stand-up paddle. There are also Arte Xávega boats to discover and relive the beauty of this traditional and artisanal way of fishing.

The gastronomic experiences are also outstanding, offering a wide variety of dishes that emerged within the fishing communities, as well as the famous Pão-de-Ló cake of Ovar.


Lent in the city of Ovar is marked by several manifestations of faith and cultural expressions. Lenten processions were introduced in the early 17th century and were developed thanks to the work of the Brotherhood of Our Lord of the Steps and of the Third Order of Saint Francis. To this day, they continue to be a living heritage full of traditions, preserving original processions of great beauty, not only for their antiquity, but also for the way in which the people live and experience them.

The Lenten and Holy Week Solemnities Commission of Ovar was stablished in 2022. It is composed by the parish of San Cristobal, the Brotherhood of Our Lord of the Steps, the Third Order of Saint Francis and by the Municipality of Ovar. Its mission is to organize and promote the cultural and religious program of the Holy Week of the town.

Faithful to secular traditions, the Procession of the Third Order continues to take place during Lent. Its fourteen beautiful floats carried by Franciscan monks depart from the Parish Church. The Procession of the Transfer of Our Lady of Sorrows, from the Chapel of the Calvary to the Chapel of San Antonio still takes place, as well as the Procession of Our Lord of the Steps, that departs from the Parish Church and crosses the Float of Our Lady of Sorrows halfway, by the Chapel of the Meeting (El Encuentro). We should also mention the Procession of the Ecce Homo on Holy Thursday, the Procession of the Vía-Crucis on Good Friday morning, and the Procession of The Entombment, that takes place at the end of that same day.

Many people enjoy the religious ceremonies held during these days and that reach their peak with the celebration of Easter. To celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, the bells ring and the Cross of the Risen Christ is carried in procession through the streets of Ovar.