Tavira

Image for Tavira Castle featuring a city

Wander around a maze of cobblestone streets, stopping off at Renaissance churches, medieval castles and restaurants serving up the Algarve’s fine seafood.

Tavira is one of the Algarve’s most enchanting towns. With its ancient heritage, historic landmarks and pristine coastal reserves, the town is considered one of the treasures of southern Portugal. Explore the streets of Tavira and see the captivating history of this ancient settlement in its preserved streetscape. Stretch out on secluded beaches and indulge in delicious seafood hauled in daily from local fishing boats.

The grand square, Praça de República, is a great place to begin your discovery of the old town. The town’s Tourist Information Centre is located here, so drop in and find out what’s happening during your stay. Admire the heritage buildings adorned by the awnings of cafés and the monumental architecture of the Câmara Municipal de Tavira (Tavira Town Hall). Go to the restored 17th-century Roman Bridge spanning the arterial Gilão River on the northern side of the square or wander south to find a collection of historic churches.

One of the town’s architectural wonders is the Renaissance-era Misericórdia Church, which has exquisite tiled imagery and an immense gilded altarpiece inside. Other preserved churches include the Igreja de Santiago and the Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo. Climb the crumbling stone turrets of Tavira Castle and enjoy unparalleled views across the rooftops of the old town, stretching all the way to the mouth of the Gilão River and the sandy beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Catch a ferry down the river to Ilha de Tavira, the stunning sandbar island southeast of the town. Protected by the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this island is a haven for flora and fauna. Tavira’s most popular spots for swimming and relaxing on the sandy shores are Ilha de Tavira Beach and Terra Estreita Beach.

Be sure to try some of Tavira’s fantastic local seafood, plucked daily from the river and the Atlantic waters. Check out the cafés and restaurants in the town square and the Market Hall (Mercado da Ribeiro) and pair your dish with a local wine.

Reach Tavira via the regional train that connects the eastern Algarve region. The town is a 30-minute drive from the regional hub of Faro. Visit Tavira between May and September for a sun-soaked vacation.

Top hotels in Tavira

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Maria Nova Lounge Hotel
Maria Nova Lounge Hotel
4 out of 5
Rua Antonio Pinheiro, Tavira
€67
per night
Mar 6 - Mar 7

Located in the heart of Tavira, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Roman Bridge and Ria Formosa Natural Park. Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church and Praca ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (461 reviews)

"Great property with good facilities and superb breakfast . Had evening meal once it was very average and customer service poor . Rooms very minimalistic but of high quality . Loved the location too . Pillows in bedrooms soft and need to be of much improved quality . Ideal location for walking past ..."…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2020

Maria Nova Lounge Hotel
Pousada Convento de Tavira - Historic Hotel
Pousada Convento de Tavira - Historic Hotel
4 out of 5
Rua Dom Paio Peres Correia, Tavira
€130
per night
Feb 27 - Feb 28

Situated on the riverfront, this romantic pousada is within a 10-minute walk of Sao Jose Church and Ria Formosa Natural Park. Tavira Tower and Mother Church ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (274 reviews)

"Historic, charming hotel in an old convent with all the modern comforts"…"

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2020

Pousada Convento de Tavira - Historic Hotel
Eco Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
Eco Hotel Vila Galé Albacora
4 out of 5
Quatro Aguas Antigo, Arraial Ferreira neto, Tavira
€80
per night
Feb 27 - Feb 28

Situated in Tavira, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ilha de Tavira Beach and Ria Formosa Natural Park. Cabanas Beach is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

4.2/5Excellent! (356 reviews)

"Very nice hotel. The only issue was that had ants in our bathroom. Otherwise everything was very nice"…"

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019

Eco Hotel Vila Galé Albacora

Popular things to do in Tavira

Tavira Castle
Image for Tavira Castle

Tavira Castle

4/5(63 reviews)

Look out across the rooftops of historic Tavira from a tower in this ruined fortress, which has withstood royal sieges, pirate attacks and natural disasters.

Ilha de Tavira Beach
Image for Ilha de Tavira Beach

Ilha de Tavira Beach

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Stretch out on the broad beach facing Tavira’s neighboring island, where the gentle waves of the Atlantic Ocean meet soft, golden sands.

Praca da Republica
Image for Praca da Republica

Praca da Republica

Check out Tavira’s main square, which served as the town’s marketplace for centuries and is now surrounded by restaurants and elegant heritage buildings with preserved façades.

Top activities in Tavira

Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour
Image for Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour

Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour

76% of travellers recommend
€36
Per adult
Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve
Image for Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve

Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve

€43
Per adult
Loulé Market Half-Day Tour
Image for Loulé Market Half-Day Tour

Loulé Market Half-Day Tour

€17
Per adult
Best of the East: Faro, Olhão, Tavira & Cacela Velha
Image for Best of the East: Faro, Olhão, Tavira & Cacela Velha

Best of the East: Faro, Olhão, Tavira & Cacela Velha

€36
Per adult
Lisbon Sightseeing & Shopping Tour from the Algarve
Image for Lisbon Sightseeing & Shopping Tour from the Algarve

Lisbon Sightseeing & Shopping Tour from the Algarve

78% of travellers recommend
€43
Per adult
Tile Makers and Farm Trail
Image for Tile Makers and Farm Trail

Tile Makers and Farm Trail

€25
Per adult

Reviews of Tavira

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
44
5 - Excellent 63.768115942028984%
4 - Good
22
4 - Good 31.884057971014492%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 4.3478260869565215%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Dec 15, 2019

It’s a pretty place to visit , try Fado Historical a very pleasant surprise

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Oct 21, 2019

Tavira is an immaculate Roman town. The people are very hospitable and we always feel very safe. Not many discos or clubs (we didn't see any, but plenty of bars. The Irish Bar just over the Roman Bridge was good fun.

5/5 - Excellent

Gerry

Oct 3, 2019

Great little town with good restaurants, try Cantinha do Emigrantes for well prepared food

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Sep 25, 2019

Very pretty waterfront, with good restaurant choices on the north side

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Sep 24, 2019

Some fab eateries!

5/5 - Excellent

Phil

Sep 15, 2019

What a lovely place. Not too touristy, lots to see and great places to eat