Tavira has a delightful mix of beautiful buildings, cobbled streets and squares that keep the atmosphere of a traditional Algarve fishing village. The city is full of elegant buildings that exhibit the characteristic pyramidal roofs of Tavira. The river Gilão, which runs along the center of the city, amplifies its charm. An old bridge, allegedly of Roman origin, crosses the river and the best perspective of this bridge can be obtained from the Republic Square. This square, surrounded by the town hall and other splendid buildings, is prolonged by gardens, splendid places for a walk.
The nearby "Mercado da Ribeira", a wrought iron building dating from the nineteenth century that hosted once the old central market, is another nice area to stroll around the shops and enjoy a meal or drink in its many restaurants and bars - a perfect opportunity to relax and taste the local specialties like razor clam with beans, octopus rice or tuna with onion sauce and tomatoes.
Just outside Tavira, prepare to be surprised by the brightness of the salt, which is a remote tradition of the area which produces one the most refined table salts from Portugal. In addition, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa estuary - a vast network of canals, marshes and sandbars that are home to several species of migratory birds. The boats departing from Tavira offer scenic tours by these tranquil waters.
Truly a paradise for sun a sea lovers, two strips of sand, separated by canals and accessible by boat, form two islands of long stretches of dunes. The island of Tavira - the closest to the town - is located in the eastern part of the island and offers many amenities, including bars, restaurants and water sports. The beautiful, sheltered Barril Beach is to the west and has access via a picturesque tourist train that runs through the muddy banks and marshes of Ria Formosa. This short scenic tour offers a unique opportunity to admire the natural landscape and observe the hundreds of crabs along the banks of the river. The most secluded beaches are west of the island of Tavira or east of the neighboring island of Cabanas.