Portugal travel arrow Tavira and the Algarve
Tavira and the Algarve Print E-mail

Situated on the east of the Algarve, Tavira is a small fishing village not far from the Spanish border. It is reminiscent of Portugal twenty years ago; fairly unspoilt by tourism yet a glistening gem on the Mediterranean coast. 

The best thing about the town is the view from the castle. Take the short walk from the newly built pedestrian friendly amphitheatre up the windy cobbled lanes to find castle ruins perfect for climbing. The ruins sit in a gorgeously well-kept garden, and once at the top of a short set of steps you can see the churches and houses that make the Algarve so beautiful, windy roads lead your eye back to the river and across to the old town.

If it’s a beach you are looking for then Tavira doesn’t fail to disappoint either. The Ihla de Tavira, accessible from Quattro Aguas is a short boat ride across the water. Disembark on the other side and take a five minute walk over the dunes to an unspoilt white sandy beach which is rarely busy and totally unspoilt, the perfect location for a day of relaxation. The island has restaurants and cafes and if you take a walk along the beach you can head down the piers to the lighthouses, dotted along the coast line to protect the ships from the treacherous rocks that line the water’s edge. The Algarve is perfect for water sports as it is often windy and the beaches here do not fail to disappoint, with  plenty of places that you can rent water skis and other sports equipment for the day.

Five minutes in the car from Tavira is Manta Rota, another great beach in the area, but a personal favourite is Barril. Either take the little steam train to the island, or walk along the footpath past the salt pans to the beach. This one is more remote than the Ilha de Tavira and you might find that out of season there are less cafes and eateries that stay open, but it’s well worth a visit all the same. The food in these locations is fantastic; fresh fish caught that morning and tasty seafood to line your stomach when the beach becomes too much. Salads are locally grown and the fresh orange juice is the produce of the groves that you will see lining the roads in the region.

The best way to stay on the Algarve is in a villa. There are plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts, but it’s far more fun to rent a private villa with a pool and make the most of the tranquillity of the area. If you fancy a change then Spain is a mere twenty minutes away by train or car, so make a trip across the border to sample local beers and of course, the tapas.

If you are making a trip to the Algarve then make sure that you take out travel insurance. I’ve always found swiftcover .com travel insurance very competitive so try there first for a good deal.