Surrounded by long stretches of pristine beaches and Ria Formosa’s marshes, Tavira is commonly considered one of the most beautiful towns in the Algarve.
With its remarkable architecture, both religious and vernacular, its cobbled streets and charming little squares, Tavira still retains the atmosphere of an old village. The Gilão river splits the city and its historical center in two halves and connects the city to the Ria Formosa. On its path to the sea, on both banks, lies the traditional saltpans. This activity, with its roots in ancient times, still uses traditional methods to produce what has been largely acclaimed as the best Portuguese salt.
Besides this immense heritage Tavira, and the Eastern Algarve in general, is also a special place when it comes to food and local gastronomic traditions. The excellent fish and seafood, sourced from the local coast and the Ria Formosa, together with an amazing variety of produce contribute to the richness of its culinary traditions. If food is in your interest list, a visit to the local market becomes mandatory.
Another highlight of the city are the boat trips to explore the Ria Formosa marsh. From Tavira’s river banks you have multiple options including dolphin watching, marine life observation, birdwatching and sport fishing. There is also a regular ferry boat that takes you to the Ilha de Tavira beach (the closest from the city center).
If you prefer more quiet and secluded options a short drive will take you to places like Praia da Fábrica, Cacela Velha, Terra Estreita or Praia do Barril, where you can enjoy long days at the beach.