Traditional Fishing Boats in Portugal

Photographing in the Lagoon of Aveiro

Last week we introduced you to the colorful tiles in the small city of Aveiro, just south of Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal. Click here to read more. »

In the photo above, you see a detail of one of the traditional wooden “Moliceiro” fishing boats in Aveiro that sail in the Ria de Aveiro, the marshy lagoon region of the Vouga River. These boats were originally used to harvest moliço, a type of algae used as agricultural fertilizer, but are now adapted for tourist purposes.

A traditional wooden fishing boat on the beach at Torreira in Portugal

A traditional wooden fishing boat on the beach at Torreira in Portugal

The small fishing village of Torreira

We also mentioned the small traditional fishing villages in the Aveiro Lagoon. One of these villages is Torreira, a beach community that is popular with Europeans for summer vacations. But don’t expect a tropical experience. The beach — one of the largest beaches in Portugal — is beautiful and clean and covered with golden sand but the weather tends to be very windy and the sea can be rough and cold. 

Wooden fishing boats in the small harbor of Torreira in Portugal

These colorful wooden fishing boats in the small harbor of Torreira are being used on a daily basis.

What to photograph in Torreira

What is so amazing about Torreira when it comes to photography is that especially for such a small village, it has so much to offer: beautiful sand dunes on one side of town, a small harbor with colorful traditional fishing boats on the other side, and back alleys full of fun and often surprising house facades. Think architectural detail, color, and photogenic distressed textures. And unlike the boats in Aveiro, the fishing boats in Torreiro are being used by the local fishermen to this day.

Interesting bw composition in the sand dunes in Torreira

We can always find interesting compositions in the sand dunes in Torreira.

The colorful fishing-boats in Torreira in Portugal create attractive reflections in the lagoon

The colorful fishing boats in Torreira create attractive reflections in the lagoon.

A closeup of the wooden boat reflections in Torreira in Portugal

A closeup of the wooden boat reflections

A paintbrush being used to paint a wooden fishing boat in Torreira in Portugal

Another coat of paint awaits!

On our Portugal Photography Tour, we get to shoot the small harbor full of these traditional fishing boats, some being used on a daily basis, others parked for good and exposed to the elements. We love photographing all of them, their reflections in the lagoon, and the distressed textures and bright colors of their wooden exteriors. 


We always have fun with closeups and abstracts.


The bows of the fishing boats in Torreira are painted with local themes related to daily life in this small fishing village.


Bare-breasted mermaids seem to be part of the fabric of life here. ;-)

The town itself is very interesting and photogenic with its many colorful facades from different historic eras. We’ll give you a flavor of Torreira’s architecture in our next installment. 


This little boat doesn’t look too seaworthy.

Portugal is such a fascinating country

Portugal is situated at the south-western tip of the Iberian Peninsula and like all EU countries, it’s part of the Union but has retained its own cultural, culinary, and linguistic identity which is full of surprises and so different from other European countries.

On top of that, even though it’s a fairly small country by American standards, Portugal offers an amazing diversity of photographic highlights.

We’ll take you to Porto of port wine fame and the beautiful Douro Valley in future blog posts
(and hopefully in person on our tour in 2022).

Curious about this tour? Contact us here »


Even the boat graveyard makes for interesting shooting.