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This small city straddles River Gilão, which reaches the sea through the inlets and lagoons of Ria Formosa Natural Park. The city dates from around 1000BC. Today, Tavira is a charming city with cobblestone streets and reflecting an architectural legacy that spans centuries.

We can provide further information during your stay.

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Eating out in Tavira

Most Portuguese restaurants use local ingredients. Fresh fish, seafood or meat dishes are complemented by locally grown vegetables. Such dishes typically form the "Mediterranean Diet". Restaurants offering International and Vegetarian cuisine are equally popular.

Spending time

It is easy to relax in Tavira with the abundance of cafés and bars that have outdoor seating. Just soak up sun and the atmosphere of white-walled buildings with red "hipped" terracotta roofs, ornate chimney pots, cobblestones, and a slower pace.

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Local attractions

Medieval Castle: This dates to the 13th century. Though in ruins, it offers a fabulous view.

Camera Obscura: A water tower dating from 1931 that has been converted and now home to a rotating mirror that provides a fascinating 360º view of the town.

Churches: All in all, there are 37 churches in Tavira. Igreja da Misericórdia, Igreja Castelo and Igreja de Carmo are the most popular.

Museums: Visit the museums showing the history and culture of Tavira.

Shopping and markets

There are many interesting, small shops that sell hand-made products, some by local artisans, and items made from cork and ceramics. Or visit the local markets to buy local produce, freshly caught fish and enjoy the ambience. Additionally, every weekend there are open air Gypsy/Flea markets in and around Tavira.

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Tours

Take a guided walking tour of Tavira in a small group or in the tourist train as it meanders through the town, taking you up to the castle, the salt pans, and the Ferry port. Alternatively, hire a Tuk-tuk for a personalised tour to enjoy the sites.

Other Attractions: Listen to typical Portuguese Fado performed live and in the months of July and August, you can attend the free open-air International musical concerts hosted in the amphitheatre.

Boat tours of the Islands that include dolphin spotting, an Olive Oil Farm Tour, or a Cork Factory visit are some more experiences to enjoy.

Beaches

The beaches of Tavira and nearby coastal towns have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag – Gold Quality awards as confirmation of the high quality of water, environment and facilities.

Tavira has an island beach of eleven kilometres of fine, golden sand and warm water. It can be accessed at different points.

  • Ilha de Tavira is accessed by ferry boat from Tavira town centre or by a ferry from Quatro Aguas.
  • Praia de Terra Estreita is further along and quieter. Access is by ferry from Santa Luzia.
  • Barril is a continuation of the sandy beach situated in the middle of the island. Access is via a tourist train or footpath from Perdras De’l Rei.
  • Homen Nu (Naked man), on the western extreme of the island is the official naturist beach. Access is from Barril Beach.

There are many more beautiful beaches within a short driving distance. Please ask us for further information.

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Walks

Whatever your motivation: keeping fit, searching for wildflowers, spotting rare birds and butterflies, or just to enjoy the scenic views, you will not be disappointed. We have selection of several walks and trails in and around Tavira.

Bird watching

The coastline of Tavira is part of the protected Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the largest wetland of southern Portugal covering approximately 60 km of the coastline.

This estuary and lagoon area is an important stopping point for bird migration between Northern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. The wetlands offer shelter and food for thousands of aquatic birds such as flamingos, spoon bills, and many winter waders. The Ria Formosa is also a breeding environment for many birds.

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Bike hire

Cycle through the quiet cobbled streets or venture on to the pathways of the Ria Formosa Nature Park for a leisurely ride. We can arrange bike hire.

Golf in East Algarve

The Algarve is one of the best golfing and holiday destinations in Europe. It boasts an average of over 3000 hours of sunshine over 300 days of sun a year. There are 5 prestigious courses within 5 to 25 minutes' drive.

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