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Tavira What to visit

Tavira (Algarve) – Quick Guide: What to Visit

Tavira (Algarve) – Quick Guide: What to Visit

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Tavira is that charming Algarve town, unlike anything else in this region. Tavira is an excellent beach destination (with beaches belonging to Ria Formosa), but it is also perfect for a day well spent. So, I invite you to keep reading to get to know what to visit in Tavira.

Raised to city status in the 16th century, in addition to its beautiful beaches, we find here a vast historical heritage that results from previous occupations (such as the Phoenicians or the Muslims).

What is the best time of the year to visit Tavira?

Being located in the Algarve, Tavira has almost always mild temperatures. Therefore, any time of the year is a good time to visit Tavira. However, as you would expect, the summer months are the hottest and also the most popular.

If you are looking for some beach days, I suggest you visit between May and September, otherwise, any time of the year is a good idea!

Algarve Tavira Market
Ribeira Market

How many days do you need to visit Tavira?

If you exclude the beaches, you can easily visit the main points of interest in Tavira in one day. However, I recommend adding a few days to your itinerary, so you can also explore some of Tavira’s fantastic beaches.

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Accommodation in Tavira

Despite far from the historic centre of Tavira, I chose Country House Tavira Monte as my choice for accommodation in the city. There are few rooms, but they are spacious, well-equipped and comfortable. The space also has an outdoor pool and breakfast service.

Anyway, there are other options in Tavira that look very interesting:

Activities & tours in Tavira

What to visit in Tavira?

Before we start the list of places to visit in Tavira, I leave you here a map version of this 1-day itinerary so that you can better plan your trip.

1 | Visit Ordem Terceira do Carmo Church

Ordem Terceira do Carmo Church was commissioned in 1744 by Ordem Terceira do Carmo and, in its interior, we can find a predominant rococo style.

Algarve Tavira Ordem Terceira do Carmo Church
Ordem Terceira do Carmo Church

2 | Relax in the Alagoa Garden and São Paulo Church

The small but flowery Alagoa Church has the best views of São Paulo Church, also known as Nossa Senhora da Ajuda Church.

Algarve Tavira Sao Paulo Church
São Paulo Church

3 | Crossing the Roman Bridge and overlooking the Gilão River

When I think of Tavira it is impossible not to remember the image of the Roman Bridge over the Gilão River. Only pedestrian, this is clearly the city’s trademark.

Algarve Tavira Roman Bridge
Roman Bridge

Take the opportunity to stop by and sit in one of the many openings along the bridge to calmly savour the beautiful houses and the Gilão River.

Algarve Tavira Gilao River
Roman Bridge

4 | Visiting the interior of Misericórdia Church

Built in Renaissance style and ordered by Misericórdia of Tavira, the blue tile panels inside Misericórdia church are worth seeing.

5 | Enjoy an ice cream at the Republic Square

Right next to the Roman Bridge, we find one of the city’s main spaces. Republic Square is the ideal place to stop for a while and enjoy the city in one of the several terraces available there. Take the opportunity to taste the wonderful ice creams at Taviraromana.

Algarve Tavira Republic Square
Republic Square
Algarve Tavira Republic Square
Republic Square

Here you will also find the Islamic Museum, with archaeological remains from the period of the Islamic occupation in the region. The museum can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm and the ticket costs 2€.

6 | Stroll along the banks of the Gilão River and visit Ribeira Market

Next to Republic Square, there is Coreto Garden and, a few steps ahead, the Ribeira Market. The market was inaugurated in 1887 and brought a “home” to the market that already took place in the Republic Square.

Algarve Tavira Market
Ribeira Market

Currently, it is no longer used as a market and serves only commercial and cultural purposes.

Algarve Tavira Garden
Coreto Garden

After passing by Ribeira Market, my advice is to go straight ahead and walk along the banks of the Gilão River .

7 | Climb the Castle ruins and visit Santa Maria do Castelo Church and Santiago Church

We find one of the best views of the city in what used to be Tavira’s Castle. Entrance is free and you can climb to the castle’s top. There you will also find a small garden.

Right next door, you can also find Santa Maria do Castelo Church, which is the mother church of Tavira. The church was commissioned by the Order of Santiago to replace the mosque that existed there previously. Near this place, you will also find the Church of Santiago.

Algarve Tavira Santiago Church
Santa Maria do Castelo Church

8 | Visit at least one of the beaches on Tavira Island

Tavira’s coastline stretches for 18 km and is inserted in Ria Formosa Natural Park. Besides the calmer beaches, here we can see Nature at its best.

These are some of the beaches worth visiting on Tavira Island:

  • Barril Beach
    • Access from Santa Luzia via a footbridge over Ria Formosa, after which it is possible to walk to the beach (a train service is also available)
  • Tavira Island Beach
    • Access from José Pires Padinha Street via Aquatáxi
  • Terra Estreita Beach
    • Access by boat from Avenida Eng. Duarte Pacheco

💡 EXTRA TIP: Besides Tavira Island, there is also Cabanas Island, located to the east of the first island. Here you will find Cabanas Beach, which is accessible from Avenida Ria Formosa or Fortaleza Street. To access the beach, it is necessary to use the small fishermen’s boats available.

9 | Take a dip at Pego do Inferno waterfall

Located just 15 minutes by car from the city centre, to get to the waterfall you just have to follow the indications on Google Maps. You’ll easily find some places where it is possible to park.

Algarve Tavira Pego do Inferno
Pego do Inferno

From the car park, you have to walk for about 10 minutes to reach what is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Algarve region. The path is not always well-marked, but you find the way easily.
However, next to the waterfall there are no support services and there is almost no space to even lay or sit down.

💡 EXTRA TIP: Do you have more time available to visit other places in the Algarve region? If yes, read my complete 8 days itinerary in the Algarve.

Restaurants in Tavira

Tavira is probably the best place to eat in the Algarve, and octopus is one of the most important dishes in the local gastronomy. Anyway, these are some of my recommendations:

  • Ti Maria (€€): tapas with an Algarve twist. I recommend the octopus tempura, the goat’s cheese and spinach puff pastry and the fig pudding.
  • Casa do Polvo Tasquinha (€€€): located in Santa Luzia, where the speciality is the octopus. With a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere, it is impossible to leave disappointed.
  • Noélia & Jerónimo (€€€): fish and seafood dishes of incredible quality and taste. The restaurant is well known and award-winning, so booking is a must.
  • Others I have not tried, but have been recommended: Marisqueira Fialho

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.





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