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Tavira…The Eastern Algarve Gem!

by Ruth Mayall on November 28, 2017


The river Gilao passes through Tavira

The busy bustling town of Tavira is famous for its antique markets where we love searching for hidden treasures. This beautiful elegant town is located on the Eastern side of the Algarve about 30 minutes from Faro and 75 kilometres west of Huelva across the Rio Grande into Spain.

The architecture is varied as between 8th and 13th century Tavira was under Arab rule, it was elevated to a city in 1520 by King Manuel 1st and then became the main trading port during the 16th-18th century. The famous seven arch bridge which stands over the river Gilao was built in Roman times. Over the years it has been subjected to severe flooding which has affected the bridge so it is now used for pedestrians and on either side their are a number of river fronted cafes, restaurant and shops.

There is a fantastic sandy beach near Tavira, south of town, called Ilha de Tavira (Tavira Island) reached by ferry which runs from the town centre or all year round and from Quatro Aguas. The island is 11kms. long and varies between 150m and 1km wide. On the island are several restaurants and a campsite. Everything is transported by ferry as no cars are allowed on the island. There are a small number of houses here, usually only occupied by owners, new houses can’t be built and the existing ones can’t be sold!!

Praia de Barril

Another of the famous beaches nearby is Praia do Barril, lined with dunes it is one of the best beaches of the Eastern Algarve , combining golden sands and clear waters with an insight into heritage of the region. The beach here was once home to a small fishing community and the most notable feature is the “Anchor Graveyard”. This rusting memorial to the former fishing fleet comprises the anchors used for tuna fishing embedded into the sand dunes on the beach. The former fishing huts have been converted in shops, restaurants and cafes.

To get you there, a mini train runs from the main land to the beach regularly along a 1.5 km stretch of track.

This article is only a short insight into the wonderful coastline of the Eastern Algarve, as there are many places to visit here along the Ria Formosa so if you are looking to purchase a property in this area you will never be short of places  to explore and things to do all year round.


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