7 Best Things to Do & See in Tavira

Showing 1 - 7 of 7

  • Ilha de Tavira - Big beach / big sky
    Ilha de Tavira
    Hendrik Dacquin | BY-SA

    The Ilha de Tavira (Tavira Island) has a well deserved reputation as one of the best beaches on The Algarve. Forming part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve, the island is an 11 kilometre long sand spit, which varies in width from 150 to 1000 metres.

    What brings hordes of sun worshippers here from far and wide are the pristine golden sands and the crystal clear (if slightly chilly) bathing waters. Come here on a sunny day and you could be mistaken for thinking you'd...

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    Tavira
    Natural
  • Tavira Roman Bridge
    Tavira Roman Bridge
    Paolo Querci

    The picturesque town of Tavira was founded in 400 BC and was an important trading post between Europe and North Africa. The River Gilão, on the banks of which the town is built is crossed by two main bridges.  One of these is known as the Roman Bridge (Ponte Romana) as it was built on the foundations of the bridge on the route of the Roman road which linked Faro and Castro Marim.

    In medieval times the old Roman Bridge formed part of an important transport route offering one of the few crossing...

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    Tavira
    Bridges
  • Igreja da Misericórdia interior - Tavira
    Igreja da Misericórdia interior
    Concierge.2C | BY-SA

    The Igreja da Misericórdia (Church of Mercy) in Tavira was built between 1541 and 1551 and is considered to be one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture on The Algarve.

    Before entering the church, take a moment to admire the Renaissance façade, believed to be the work of local architect and master stonemason, Andre Pilarte, who also worked on Lisbon’s Jeronimos Monastery. Above the elaborately carved portal is a niche on which stands a statue of Our Lady of Mercy, supported by angels and flanked by...

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    Tavira
    Churches
  • Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo - Tavira
    Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo
    Concierge.2C | BY-SA

    The church of Santa Maria do Castelo, a short stroll from Tavira's Moorish castle, was built in the 13th century on the site of what was probably one of the largest Moorish mosques on The Algarve. It was significantly damaged in the 1755 earthquake and was later re-modelled in Neo-Classical style, although parts of the clock tower with its arched Arabic-style windows and the Gothic stone portal are believed to date from the original 13th century structure.

    The church exterior is painted white...

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    Tavira
    Churches
  • Tavira Castle
    Tavira Castle
    Peter Broster | BY-SA

    There is no entrance fee to explore the well-preserved ruins of Tavira Castle and visitors will be rewarded with a well-tended garden within the walls of the ruin and some exceptional views of the town and river.  You won't find anything in the way of guides here, and very few signs explaining much about the castle, but it can be a pleasant place to sit and listen to the occasional busker while taking in the views.

    The castle has a turbulent history. It is thought that the Phoenicians had a settlement somewhere around this spot as far back as the 7th or 8th century...

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    Tavira
    Castles
  • Torre de Tavira
    Torre de Tavira
    Wolk9

    A unique way to see the sights of Tavira is offered in this converted 1930s water tower.  A lift takes visitors to an elevation of 100 metres above sea level where there is an opportunity to experience 360ᵒ panoramic views of the city with the help of a remarkable camera obscura.

    Optical experimentation has been going on for millennia, with the earliest written descriptions of devices operating on the same principles as a camera obscura dating back to China in the 4th century B.C.  Leonardo Da Vinci took an interest and Johannes Kepler took matters...

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    Tavira
    Unusual Viewpoints
  • Pousada Convento Graça - Tavira
    Pousada Convento Graça - Tavira
    Jérôme Bon | BY-SA

    Today this is a Pousada hotel, but until the 19th century the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça da Ordem de Santo Agostinho was an Augustinian monastery.

    The building, which has some interesting Baroque and Renaissance features, has an interesting history.  Until the late 15th century this area of Tavira housed the Jewish Quarter.  However, in 1497, under pressure from the Spanish rulers Ferdinand and Isabella, whose daughter he had married, King Manuel 1st of Portugal decreed that all Jews...

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    Tavira
    Churches
Tavira

Tavira travel guide »

Tavira is one of the gems of the eastern Algarve. Straddling the River Gilão and the River Segua, its gentle charm and predominantly low-rise architecture set it aside from other resorts in the region. Sometimes...