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Covering a group of eleven municipalities - Águeda, Albergaria-a-Velha, Anadia, Aveiro, Estarreja, Ílhavo, Murtosa, Oliveira do Bairro, Ovar, Sever do Vouga and Vagos - the territory of the Comunidade Intermunicipal da Região de Aveiro presents different and unique characteristics when compared to other regions of the country.

There is, however, one formation which, due to its size and geomorphological differentiation from the rest of the national territory, strongly marks the whole region: the Ria de Aveiro.

Ria de Aveiro is the most extensive and striking territorial unit of the whole region since it interrupts the uniformity of a coastal strip which, with its wide sandy shore supported by an extensive dune zone covered by dense, tree-covered vegetation, stretches from Esmoriz to Cabo Mondego. Ria de Aveiro breaks this monotony, creating two narrow strips of sand and dunes which are preceded on the continental side by water mirrors and aquatic channels which together form a ramified water labyrinth which penetrates deeply to the east.


Grande Rota da Ria de Aveiro is defined as a long route, with almost 600km of total length, which is divided into three independent itinerary. Through the diversity of environments present in the whole territory, each itinerary has its own characteristics, its own qualities and its own stamp which distinguishes it from the others. Being all linked together, they allow parallel activities of walking, cycling or boating. Grande Rota da Ria de Aveiro plays a fundamental role in the promotion of the biodiversity of the region, of its fauna and flora. The relevance of its natural values has allowed the attribution of several national and international classifications which aim at the safeguard of its conservation, such as Site of Community Interest (SCI) and Special Protection Area (SPA). It was also classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and SPEA, and designated as a CORINE biotope and the São Jacinto Dunes Nature Reserve.

Uniting sea and land, with its diversity of habitats - some of which have their greatest expression here at a national level - Grande Rota da Ria de Aveiro is an opportunity to get to know a rich territorial space: it proposes relevant points of interest concerning Nature preservation.

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