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Salgado de Aveiro

The Salgado de Aveiro (40.65615965408628, -8.664093017578125) located in Ria de Aveiro covers the parishes of Glória, Aradas, Vera-Cruz and Esgueira from the Aveiro Municipality and the parish of S. Salvador from the Ílhavo Municipality.


Occupying about 2600 ha, including productive and non productive areas, the Salgado de Aveiro is organized in 5 groups:

  • Grupo do Norte, limited by Cale do Espinheiro or Rio Novo, by North and West; the Esteiro de Sama or Esteiro dos Frades, by South and the Cale de Bulhões and Cale da Vila by East;
  • Grupo do Mar, limited to the south by Canal Principal, to the north by Esteiro de Sama or Esteiro dos Frades, to the east by Cale da Vila and to the west by Canal de Ílhavo;
  • Grupo de Monte Farinha, between the Cale de Oiro and the mouth of the Rio Vouga, also knowned as Boca do Parrachil, limited to the east and to the south by Cale do Espinheiro or Rio Novo and to the West by Cale do Oiro and Cale da Gaivota;
  • Grupo de S. Roque, limited to the north and west by the Esteiro de Esgueira, to the east by the Canal de S. Roque and limited to the south by the city of Aveiro;
  • Grupo do Sul, between Aveiro and the road to Costa Nova, east and north, and also limited by the Canal de Ílhavo and Ílhavo city to the west and South (in Inês Amorim [2001] “Aveiro os caminhos do SAL”)


In 2007 there were about 252 salt pans in these 5 groups (see next table)

Table 1 – Number of Salt pans in each Group.

Group Nº Salt Pans (2007)
Grupo do Sul 61
Grupo do Mar 52
Grupo de São Roque ou Esgueira 63
Grupo do Norte 68
Grupo do Monte Farinha 8

Most common types of uses

Having as a reference the year of 2007, we could find two types of uses, salt production and aquaculture, with very distinct occupation areas as showed in the next table:

Table 2 – Occupation areas by use

Type of use Area 2007 (m2)
Active salt production 429830
Partial active salt production 111413
Inactive salt production 861057
Extensive aquaculture 759014
Semi-intensive aquaculture 1927499

Socioeconomic characteristics

Referring to the year of 2009 the salt production of the 9 salt pans (Podre, Santiago da Fonte, Pajota, Troncalhada, Senitra, Grã-Caravela, Passã, 18 do Caramonetes e Puxadoiros) still dedicated to the production of salt according to traditional methods, reached 908 tons.
This value, according with one of the 19 salt producers (saltern workers) still in operation, represents an increase of about 44% compared to the volume produced in 2008.

Table 3 - Approximate area of salt pans still in operation in 2009.

Salt pan Area 2009 (ha)
Puchadoiros 8,99
Troncalhada 4,20
Senitra 4,48
Passã 8,19
Pajota 6,57
Santiago da Fonte 5,90
Gran Caravela 4,98
Dezoito dos Caramonetes 3,99
Podre 2,15

Two of the nine salt pans who were in production by traditional methods in 2009, are owned by the project partners Ecosal Atlantis:

  • Marinha da Troncalhada, property of the Municipality of Aveiro, performs the task of an Ecomuseum that seeks to provide knowledge and interpretation of the territory, has the provision, in addition to the actual production of traditional sea salt, to demonstrate the practice of saliculture with educational, cultural and environmental purposes, also integrating the municipal network of the Aveiro’s city museum. The increasing search of this space by the public, the purpose of developing it as a museum and the potentiation of its resources led to the participation in the European Atlantic Salt Project and to the construction of the Environmental Interpretative Center that will open in 2011.
  • Marinha Santiago da Fonte, where salt is produced by artisanal methods, was acquired by the University of Aveiro in 1993. In the scope of Interreg IIIB – SAL project (2004-2007), this salt pan was subjected to several interventions: warehouse rehabilitation (in the product certification context), the restore of salt pan walls using new materials and artistic creation of the salt pan image. The last intervention done was the harvest certification in 2009. All of this interventions had allowed to adapt the salt pan to new functionalities, namely in the development of research activities and scientific dissemination.