Hunting for the authentic Algarve is a difficult task nowadays, with many towns and villages having been transformed by luxury resorts, golf & spa retreats or hen and stag dos havens. Tavira, however, seems by and large to have escaped the uber-development of the region, maintaining its character, original beauty and tradition.
We visited on an unusually overcast summer day to find it charming and vibrant, full of life and steeped in history. We started our day walking the stretch by the river Gilão, roaming the quaint and elegant streets, exploring the 13th century castle and the city’s many churches.
A large part of the historical centre is car-free, making it perfect for children to explore freely without having to worry. The castle’s gardens were great for a little toddler cycling and the view when you climbed up the steps was stunning.
The beaches in Tavira are renowned for their beauty and warm waters, and the island of Tavira (same name) is particularly worth a visit. We went to the quaint resort town of Cabanas for a little wander and ended up spending hours walking through the reserve, looking at the wildlife and paddling in the shallow waters. I can see why you’d want to spend your summer holidays here – few places offer so much for families looking for the perfect Algarve holiday.
It looked so lovely with grey skies and terrible light – can you imagine this beauty in the sunshine?!
Have you ever been there? If you have any tips for families travelling to Tavira, please leave us a comment 🙂
HOW TO GET THERE
Tavira is a short drive from Faro and around 2.30 hrs from Lisbon.
WHERE TO EAT
We arrived with a tired toddler and growling stomachs, so ended up settling for the first restaurant we saw – a touristy – place by the river – I wasn’t expecting too much from it. We ordered the clams for a starter to share and grilled fish, just to be on the safe side. Imagine our surprise when the clams were the tastiest we’ve yet had in Portugal, the fish extraordinarily fresh and perfectly cooked, meaning the food really lived up to the view. Bingo! I can’t remember the name of the restaurant unfortunately, but it had pink table cloths and was around the market – go check it out.