Visiting Tavira feels like being let in on a secret. While most holidaymakers head west out of Faro on arrival, heading instead to this picturesque port town is a special and rewarding experience. Tavira holidays are all about taking time to relax amid traditional Portuguese surroundings.
Stroll through ancient streets past ornate churches, such as the 13th-century Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo. Alternatively, explore long stretches of unspoiled sand – this being the Algarve, holidays to Tavira have plenty of pristine beaches to choose from. Take a break from sunbathing and be sure to visit the anchor graveyard on Praia do Barril – an homage to the town’s early beginnings as a base for tuna fishing. Locals are proud of their fresh seafood and foodies will love the variety on offer. Try fresh clams from the Gilao riverbed or a traditional cataplana stew.
Tavira Island is excellent for bird-spotting – its long, sandy beach and salt pans attract flamingos, spoonbills and other species, with expert guides available to hire.
Embrace the old town
Exploring Tavira’s cobbled streets is like a journey through history. Castle remnants, Moorish influences and traditional tiles are all part of the town’s rich tapestry.
Climb the castle walls
Parts of Tavira’s fortress date back more than 2,000 years and protected the town against pirate invasions – climb up to the top for fantastic views.