Can you imagine the Algarve as it was before it became easy to access? Before the resorts and golf courses? Well that's what Tavira's like. Tavira has more churches than hotels. The best places to stay in Tavira are guesthouses rather than resort complexes. it boasts a port crowded with fishing boats rather than day cruisers. And an old Roman bridge and the ruins of a castle rather than themed pubs. Tavira is Portugal at its prettiest and most charming. Somewhere that feels a beautiful world away from modern life.
Tavira is colourful and small, so perfect for a winter city break. Walls are bright whites and roofs are bright red, and the sky is an impressively bright blue most days. And Tavira's the perfect size for exploring on foot.
The cobbled maze is dotted with pretty squares and gardens to discover. Along with the 20+ churches, including some impressive Renaissance era beauties and some with lovely Baroque touches.
The castle was last rebuilt in the 13th Century, but was ruined in an 18th Century earthquake. It's still worth visiting though, the ruins are covered with the colourful, creeping blooms of a beautiful garden.
Tavira's other main historic building is the Palacio de Galera, now a gallery. But the churches around the Palacio are very close thirds and fourths etc.. There's a huge clock tower, a grand Gothic portico, medieval facades and elaborate interiors.
Tariva was once the Algarve's main port, but the earthquake silted up the river. The town still has a fishing port and market, but is 3kms from the coast, and the beautiful eight mile long stretch of golden beaches of the Ilha de Tavira.
Tavira is built on both sides the river, whic then sprawls into a biologically diverse lagoon reserve, the Ria Formosa, as it meets the coastline. If you come at the right time of year you'll see flocks of flamingoes taking a break here on their migration route. Kingfishers and storks also use the Ria Formosa.
Traditional Algarvian manor which has been tastefully converted to provide B&B accommodation plus cottages and an apartment for self catering. Set amid 6 hectares filled with olive, orange and carob trees. A quieter, truly relaxing spot from which to enjoy the pleasures of the real Algarve.
Beautifully restored 19th-century house in the unspoilt, delightful town of Tavira in the Algarve. Stylish suites and self-catering apartments have been designed by the architect owner. Original mosaic floors and features have been left intact. Shady roof terraces with panoramic views. A gem.
A refreshing Moorish style retreat, nestled in orange groves and organic gardens. Light, airy and effortlessly stylish rooms offer seclusion, comfort and private terraces. Gourmet farm to fork cuisine served in a relaxed atmosphere. Two pools, tennis courts, and open air cinema seal the deal. Bliss!
A beautifully restored 16th Century convent on Tavira’s castle hill. With Renaissance cloisters, courtyard pool and central garden. Pretty rooms with splashes of bright colour and private balconies. Enjoy the traditional regional cuisine and wide range of Portuguese wines.
Santo Estevao, Algarve
This traditional Portuegese villa cum modern sanctuary sits in the rolling hills of the Algarve. Private suites with their modernist luxury are perfect nests for a couples hideaway. The sporting scenery of the beach and hills around make it a fun spot too.
Bright white beacon of slick sophistication amidst rural farmland. A Moorish style guesthouse with modern white on white bedrooms, tranquil gardens, a stunning swimming pool, and nearby beach. Ideal for completely unwinding.