Tavira - the Venice of the Algarve

Choose from our unique selection of romantic hotels in Tavira and boutique Tavirahotels. We highlight a number of pousadas, bed & breakfasts, seaside and luxury hotels in Tavira.

Also known as the Venice of Algarve, Tavira lies right across the river Gilao. The ‘Roman’ (but actually Moorish) bridge built in the 12th century, survived the 1755 earthquake and is one of Tavira’s main attractions. Tavira Island has a long sandy beach and salt flats that attract flamingos and other pernicious birds. In the midst of typical Portuguese streets, you will find the medieval castle of Tavira, offering views of the city. The Church of Santa María del Castillo houses the graves of 7 knights killed by the Moors.

The other lures of this quaint Portuguese town are the everyday buildings that line its streets, along with its 37 churches and ancient Moorish castle the battlements of which boast the best views in Tavira. Today the city also boasts 18th century architecture which replaced buildings destroyed by the earthquake thus leaving the imprint of the Renaissance on Tavira along with that of its former Moorish occupation. A few medieval Gothic buildings also remain adding to the scope of what to see.

Best Beaches of Tavira

Tavira Island Beach (Playa de la Isla de Tavira) - This is the most popular beach in Tavira. It is located on Tavira Island, just in front of the city, and you have to take a boat along the Gilão River and the Ria Formosa to get there. The boat trip is quite pleasant and constitutes a kind of preview to the dazzling beauty of the island. Please be aware that, due to the popularity of Tavira Beach during the summer, it can sometimes be difficult to get a place on the ship, meaning that you will have to wait for the next one. The campsite is located a few metres from the beach, which means that the beach is also used by park visitors contributing to the impression that the beach is overcrowded. However, if that is the case, just walk a few metres to one side in order to be free from the hordes of tourists.
Playa del Barril - Playa del Barril is located in the middle of Tavira Island and to get there it is necessary to first cross a small floating bridge and then travel a distance of about 1 kilometre on foot or by train. The train ride is quite fun and the absence of glass in the windows will allow you a unique view of the island's biodiversity. The walking path is equally pleasant constituting a good opportunity to learn and explore the local fauna and flora. Playa del Barril is a small corner of paradise with white and serene sand.
Cabañas Beach - To the east of Tavira Island is Cabañas Island, an extensive but narrow stretch of sand. The beach is located in front of the small fishing village of Cabañas. Being a bit windy, the beach is ideal for windsurfing or sailing. The beach can be accessed via small fishing boats.
Narrow Earth Beach (Playa de la Tierra Estrecha) - Also located on Tavira Island, is actually an extension of Barril Beach. The Narrow Earth Beach is a little more isolated and discreet than the rest, allowing you to take advantage of the silence and stillness of the waves in a peaceful escape, sorely welcomed amid the hordes of tourists that ravage the Algarve every year.

Family activities

Historic Centre of Tavira: Enjoy exploring the historic centre of Tavira on foot, a city of crossroads of diverse people and cultures. The Gilão River runs through the city, with several bridges to cross. During the summer, the centre has a very special atmosphere, with shops open until late. Also do not miss the excellent patisseries in the area near the arcades and bridge, ideal to rest your feet and taste delicious specialties, such as sweet algarvados, from Tavira and Dom Rodrigo.
The Dark Chamber in the Tower of Tavira: Located in the Tower of Tavira, the Dark Chamber offers the most dazzling and privileged view over the city, a 360-degree trip over the historical-cultural heritage of Tavira. A guide offers an explanation about the city,  its monuments, culture and history. Place: Gallery Road, No. 12, Tavira.
Tavira Castle: Located in one of the highest points in the centre of the city, you can climb the walls and admire the view over the city.
Live Science Center of Tavira: Visit the exhibition on water and energy, with several interactive, recreational and scientific activities for children, in the summer afternoons. It will be better to go by car, because it is a bit out of the centre. Place: Carmo Convent, Tavira.
Palace of the Gallery: It is the central nucleus of the Municipal Museum of Tavira and hosts exhibitions that address the history and diversity of heritage in Tavira. During the summer, the Gallery Palace has several activities for families.
Cacela Vieja: 20-30 minutes from Tavira, Cacela Velha is a walled town located on a rocky hill, with a panoramic view of the Ria Formosa. The description of a Pumpkin family: it is paradise at the edge of the sea!
Fuzeta Market in Olhão: At the market in Olhão, you can see fresh produce from the area, and a variety of different fish, brought by local fishermen, to rave the kids! We have been informed that you can also eat in the market, grilled fish is highly recommended!
La Quinta: La Quinta is a seventeenth-century dry land property recovered where now there is a Rural Theme Park with diverse programs, full of fun and educational experiences for the whole family.