Schedules: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)


The Littoral Station of Aguda ELA can be found at Praia de Aguda, a small fishing village on the Portuguese Atlantic coast, 15 km south of the river Douro estuary, in the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is part of the Porto metropolitan area.

Its building was designed by the architect João Paulo Peixoto and comprises three sections:

  • a FISHERY MUSEUM which exhibits ancient and up-to-date equipment;
  • an AQUARIUM which displays the local marine fauna and flora; and,
  • an EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH DEPARTMENT dedicated to marine ecology, aquaculture and artisanal fishery.

The Station belongs to the Town Municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia CMG, is directed by the municipal firm Águas de Gaia, EM. SA., and is linked to the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences ICBAS of the University of Porto UP.

ELA is a 1.5 million euro investment and has received, since its opening on the 1st of July 1999, 400.000 visitors from within Portugal and from all over the world.


  • increase public sensitivity to the littoral’s problems;
  • provide a direct contact with the sea for educational institutions;
  • provide entertainment and environmental education, and participate at all levels of schooling;
  • provide working facilities for students and researchers;
  • promote the biological and ecological research of the littoral;
  • support the local fishery with applied research projects.



  • Educational activities for all pedagogical and age levels.
  • Participation in the courses on Aquatic Environmental Sciences (Licenciatura degree) and Marine Sciences and Resources (Master of Science degree) of ICBAS.
  • Conservation of vulnerable areas of Aguda’s beach (“reefs” of the honeycomb worm Sabellaria alveolata).
  • Recovery and reintroduction of juvenile lobsters (Homarus gammarus).