The Magazine

Do you know Tavira, in Algarve?

Tavira, in Algarve, is a southern coastal city in Portugal that is situated a little over 20 miles east of Faro, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of years of occupation by many old dynasties over multiple centuries have resulted in one of Portugal’s most distinctive cities.

 

The city retains an old-world charm that has been lost in other sections of Algarve for a long time. Thanks to its lengthy history, it still boasts a beautiful collection of stately old structures and picturesque winding lanes. The perfect city to enjoy the sun and relax.

So what to see in Tavira, Algarve?

Ria Formosa

Ria Formosa, the most important wildlife sanctuary in Algarve, and the Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António marshlands – the River Guadiana wetland zone – are two protected areas waiting to be discovered on foot or by boat. Trips that will surely stay in your memory!

 

The best way to start your visit is to talk to those in the know. The relevant Environmental

Education Centres provide information about the species that can be seen and the best

footpaths to take to fully enjoy the scenery while respecting nature. And there is much to admire in these labyrinths of channels. From the green vegetation that harmonizes with the blue waters and contrasts with the whiteness of the salt pans, to the pink hues of the flamingos’ feathers, you will find many excuses to take the photographs of your dreams.

You’ll find it hard not to keep pressing the shutter!

 

On the long strip of sand that separates the Ria Formosa from the sea, you will discover some beautiful, almost deserted, beaches, while the Natural Park, which extends over 60 kilometers between the Ancão Peninsula and Manta Rota Beach, is frequented by about 1500 species of living creatures. The gallinule and kingfishers with their showy plumage, the chameleon that takes on the colours of the places it passes through, and the warm and fuzzy Portuguese water dog are just some of the regular residents.

Cacela Velha Beach 

Located on the settlement beside the Ria Formosa, the village of Cacela Velha is well worth your visit just for its beautiful landscape. 

 

But while you’re here, why not spend some time at the beach? Condé Nast Traveller listed Cacela Velha Beach among the top 15 beaches in the world in 2015. Amazing views and fine, golden sand are guaranteed, and you can also choose to cross the lagoon from Cacela Velha at low tide if some shallow water is not a problem. 

 

But what might make you fall in love with this beach is that it changes appearance daily due to winds and tides.

Tavira’s Historic Center

Tavira had a significant role in various empires. During their respective reigns over the area, the Romans and the Moors both viewed the town as an important port city that was strategically situated. The Moors took over for roughly 500 years a couple centuries after the Romans, who first arrived in the fifth century. The city, which today has a magnificent old town full of stunning cathedrals, palaces, museums, and more, bears the remarkable imprint of both empires.

 

Tavira’s ancient streets are lined with an almost infinite number of stunning antique structures. One of them is the magnificent Igreja da Misericordia, a 16th-century Renaissance building with an amazing interior, and another is the 13th-century Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo, which is now a Gothic-inspired building. The Roman Bridge, which spans the Gilao River, was allegedly constructed in the 12th century by the Moors. The present layout was created in the 1600s.

Fabrica Beach

The beach is located at the easternmost end of Cabanas Island, close to Cacela Harbour and you can get to it by boat departing from a place called “Sítio da Fábrica” (“the site of the factory”) in Cacela Velha. 

 

This historical town, where you can admire the bright white houses with their traditional cobalt blue decoration, is surrounded by dry orchards on gentle hills all the way down to the estuary. Here, in total peace and quiet, you can admire the rich dune flora of this sandy barrier, broken only at the places where the sea stubbornly breaches the natural wall. Countless birds seek refuge in these dunes and you can expect to see species such as the Kentish plover, the ruddy turnstone and the little tern.

If a lovely old town within a stone’s throw from some of Portugal’s most stunning beaches sounds appealing, Tavira, in Algarve, is well worth a visit. And the best part, you can always count on Flattered Apartments to ensure that you have the best accommodation. A trip that will surely stay in your memory!