|Located 70 kilometers from Carvoeiro and close to the Spanish frontier, Tavira is a must while exploring the Algarve.
This distinctive town has a greater variety of architectural detail than most. Both banks of the River Gilão, which passes through the center, are lined by noble houses with baroque window frames and balustrated parapets. Most have wrought-iron balconies, whose decoration is mirrored in the railings of the pedestrian bridge that links the two sides of the town.
Through out the summer months, the streets are often filled with folkloric festivals, parades and even weddings.
What to see;
Tavira's Moorish castle was rebuilt after the Christian Reconquest and the present walls date from the reign of King Dinis (1261 - 1325). From the rampart walk there are superb views over Tavira's ornate chimneys, roof-tops and church towers.
Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo
Standing alongside the castle, Tavira's parish church incorporates the minaret of the town's Moorish mosque, remodelled to form the clock tower. Inside are the fine 13th-century tombs of seven knights of the crusading Order of Saint James, whose ambush and murder prompted the Christian reconquest of the city. In addition to the fine tilework and gilded alter surrounds, the sacristy has a small museum displaying vestments and chalices.
Igreja de São Paulo
Entered through a classical portico, more like a Greek temple than a church, St. Paul's is unusual for the heavy, dark woodwork of its two side altars, ornately carved but not covered in gold. The fine collection of religious statues includes a delicate 15th-cenury Flemish Virgin.
Only a few minutes away by ferry is Tavira Island. Here you can find Tavira's famous beach. This beach is perfect for the sea shell hunter looking to spend hours combing the beach for it's treasures. If this sounds too strenuous to you simply hire a sun shade and lounge chair and soak up the warm Portugal sun. The island is very casual with many restaurants, bars and facilitlies.
If you're looking for a place to spend the night, the charming guest house Tavira Inn / Casa do Rio is an excellent alternative.