Located on the banks of the Gilão River, the beautiful seaside town is known for its charming historic centre, stunning beaches and relaxed atmosphere. Tavira is a popular tourist destination, but it is still relatively uncrowded compared to some of the other towns in the Algarve.
Set against a backdrop of the Ria Formosa and a large nature reserve that boasts a unique lagoon system, Tavira is also well known for its salt pans, where the salt and fleur de sel harvested by hand using ancestral techniques form a pillar of the local economy.
Owning a property in Tavira represents a fantastic lifestyle investment for those seeking a home in the sun surrounded by outstanding natural beauty. Properties here also present a sound financial investment too as there is a strong demand for short-term rentals here.
The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a protected area of wetlands and lagoons that is home to a variety of wildlife within easy reach - you can take a boat trip to see the flamingos, dolphins, and other animals that live in the park. Tavira offers an incredible lifestyle for those who seek a second or summer home within nature.
Tavira is easily accessible by plane, train, and bus. The nearest airport is Faro Airport, which is about 25 kilometres away. There are also regular train and bus services from Faro to Tavira.
The history of Tavira dates back to the Roman period. The town was later occupied by the Moors, who gave its official name whilst also leaving their mark on the architecture and culture of the area. In the 12th Century, Tavira was overtaken by the Portuguese, and it has been a Portuguese town ever since.
The Moors left a big mark on Tavira's architecture, culture, and language. The town's name is derived from the Arabic word "Tabira", which means "the hidden" and they also built many of Tavira's most famous landmarks, including the Tavira Castle, the Santa Maria do Castelo Church, and the Mercado Municipal. They also introduced new crops and agricultural techniques to the region.
The Portuguese began to reconquer the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors in the 12th century and Tavira was one of the last towns to be captured, in 1242. Tavira is a fascinating place to visit to learn about the history of the Iberian Peninsula.
Tavira's historic centre is a maze of narrow streets ready to be explored with its whitewashed houses and historic churches. Make sure to visit the Tavira Castle, the Santa Maria do Castelo Church and the Mercado Municipal (the town market). Another one not to miss is the Tavira Museum, housed in a beautiful 17th-century building, that exhibits artefacts from the Roman, Moorish, and Portuguese periods of Tavira's history.
Tavira has some of the best beaches in the Algarve and a vibrant nightlife scene. There are many bars and restaurants in the historic centre that stay open late. The Praia da Ilha de Tavira is a long, sandy beach that is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
Though a hidden gem, Tavira is very accessible with Faro Airport just 25km away.