The porcelain route will lead you to the most amazing places, such as the city Aveiro and its one-of-a-kind tile-covered train station; the city of Ovar, considered an open-air tile museum and the uniquely colourful Válega church; and the iconic factories of worldwide prestigious brands Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro!There are beautiful cities with magnificent buildings and churches covered in tiles, amazing porcelain details and the most exquisite products that combine tradition and modernity. Discover the fascinating porcelain routes, a symbol of Portugal’s most authentic identity! Portugal has a deep-rooted tradition, in terms of porcelain manufacturing. And no doubt that Portugal does it better!
Our porcelain route starts in the beautiful coastal city of Aveiro. Apart from many other highlights, the railway station of Aveiro is a true iconic place. Completely covered with blue and white tiles, depicting regional scenes, this amazing building stands out as the most significant collection of outdoor tiles in the city.
Located 43 km away from the city of Aveiro, the city of Ovar is a true open-air tile museum! This Arab-origin art dates back to the second half of the 15th century. The tiles were mainly used indoors on palaces and churches. In Ovar, by the end of the 19th century semi-industrial pattern tiles were applied in the façades of most of public buildings, ornamented with balusters, pine cones and small ceramics statues.
Only 4 km away from Ovar, you will find Válega church, which is a true masterpiece of tile painting art and surely one of the remarkable churches in Portugal! On sunset the west-facing church façade is particularly beautiful, bathed by sunlight. A true golden temple that sparkles with its amazing tiles of many colours!
The city of Ílhavo, praised by its deep sea-related traditions and the unique Maritime Museum, is also the place where one of the top Portuguese brands is based. Known as one the most remarkable porcelain brands in the world, Vista Alegre Factory was created by José Ferreira Pinto Basto early in the 19th century to produce porcelain, glass and chemical processes. To visit Vista Alegre Factory is to enter a world which keeps the secrets of a century old of the most international Portuguese porcelain manufacturing process.
Our porcelain route moves south, heading to the city of Caldas da Rainha, where we will find one of the most iconic Portuguese brands. Bordallo Pinheiro Factory of Artistic Earthenware was founded in 1884 in Caldas da Rainha, originally under the name “Fábrica de Faianças das Caldas da Rainha” (The Earthenware Factory of Caldas da Rainha). It has been, for over a century, responsible for the design of a gallery of utilitarian and decorative ceramic pieces that have become a worldwide artistic reference.