Tavira Travel Guide
Overview The holiday resort destination of Tavira, to the east of Faro in
the south-east corner of Portugal, is one of the most photogenic
towns along the Algarve coast, sporting white-washed houses topped
with decorative chimneys and pyramid shaped Roman-tiled roofs, set
among orange, fig and almond trees. The charming town, on the Gilao
River, dates back to around 2,000 BC, and also boasts a Moorish
Castle, with some splendid views from the ramparts.
There are some attractive churches (37 of them to be exact) to
see on holiday in Tavira, including the Church of the Misericordia
with a beautiful Renaissance door and carved high altar. Not many
of the buildings pre-date the devastating earthquake of 1755, which
destroyed much of the Algarve, but the town was painstakingly
rebuilt with many fine 18th century buildings.
Tavira flanks both banks of the river, which are linked by a
Roman bridge. Along the coast and on an island opposite the town
(reached by ferry) are some beautiful isolated sandy beaches, well
worth visiting while on holiday in the area.
Tavira's bridge © David Boocock
Shopping Tavira is well equipped with utilitarian supermarkets for
self-caterers on holiday, and many souvenir shops selling cork
items, lace, embroidered goods and shell art. There is an upmarket
handcraft shopping centre called "Old Market" for discerning
shoppers. The town has a fresh produce market daily.
Restaurants Like most of the holiday resort towns on the Algarve, Tavira is
a food-lovers haven, especially for those who enjoy seafood. There
are numerous restaurants along the quayside and riverbank, serving
excellent cuisine at reasonable prices.
Nightlife There are bars and cafés aplenty in Tavira, though the
town is not famous for its nightlife. Docas, near the central
market, has number of lively bars. Arco Bar mixes up some great
cocktails, or for a more chilled out evening The Poet, in the
middle of town, always attracts a good crowd. Patrick's is popular
with expats, and UBI is a sleek bar located in a former tuna
Activities Hunt for seashells on a Tavira Island holiday, and enjoy a
variety of watersports, explore the quaint town itself, or play
golf at the nearby Benamor Course. It is a good idea to hire a car
and explore into Spain to the East (Tavira is close to the border)
and along the rest of the Algarve to the West.