According to Lonely Planet, Costa Nova (near Aveiro) is one of the "10 of Europe's most colourful destinations"
Costa Nova, Portugal
Costa Nova’s candy-striped beach houses were once more pongy than pretty. Built in the 19th century to accommodate an influx of fishermen, the shelters were used for sardine salting and stashing fishing equipment. Known as palheiros, the whiffy warehouses were decorated with bright red exterior planks.
As the population grew and beach-bound visitors increased, palheiros gradually lost their fish-centric functionality, with owners transforming them into accommodations. Today’s cottages are a riot of rainbow and bone-white stripes that attract gawkers from around the globe.
While you’re there: For more artistic architecture, take a 35-minute bus ride to Aveiro; the city is officially classified as a cidade-museu da Arte Nova (Art Nouveau city-museum) for its wealth of wonderful buildings including Casa Major Pessoa – home to the Museu de Arte Nova and the hip Casa de Chá café – and Casa da Cooperativa Agrícola, abloom with hand-painted floral tiles dating to 1913.
Beautiful things happen when you treat your home like a chalk board © Axiom Photographic / Getty Images