Things to do in Tavira
There are many things to do in Tavira either you’re looking for historic heritage or natural wonders like Ria Formosa and the amazing beaches in the area.
There are plenty of things to do in Tavira, one of the most wonderful and charming towns of the Algarve, with centuries of existence; therefore, a walk through its streets reveals marks of a glorious past influenced by many peoples with a special emphasis for the Moors.
A stroll along the city is also a wonderful opportunity to discover the magnificent glazed tiles that cover the walls of many buildings and are a clear influence of the Moorish occupation.
In fact, Tavira has much to offer as I have been discovering over the last two decades. And this is one of the reasons why I fall in love with it every time I go there. So please let me share with you some of my favourite spots and things to do in Tavira.
My favourite things to do and see in Tavira
Seven arched bridge
This remarkable bridge is a key landmark of the city, dominating its landscape. Even though it was for many years thought to be built by the Romans, it was in fact erected by the Moors and it was one of the few structures that survived almost untouched by the 1755 earthquake that hit Lisbon and also destroyed much of the Algarve coastal area.
As autos are not allowed on the bridge so you may calmly enjoy the views from the city it offers while walking along it.
Church of Santa Maria
After the conquest of Tavira by the Portuguese knights this Christian Church was built to replace the mosque that existed inside the castle. Church of Santa Maria was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake following Gothic standards.
Ria Formosa Lagoon
Don’t miss the opportunity to discover by boat this magnificent and fragile natural ecosystem that houses unique fauna and flora specimens. There are a few companies offering good tours such as Passeios Ria Formosa or Formosamar.
The salt ponds are other trademarks of Tavira, having become once more crucial for the economy of the city due to the growing importance of the “flower of salt” (fleur de sel).
Curiously, these men made structures became the natural habitats for several species of fishes. The salt ponds are also important resting and feeding places for sandpiper and aquatic bird species.
Pego do Inferno
The water fall Pego do Inferno, situated 7 kilometers away from Tavira at Santo Estevão, is one of the most beautiful places in the Tavira region. On your way there you may enjoy all the wonders of Ribeira da Asseca, one of the most important water creeks of the area that once housed many watermills and wheat mills.
Even though Pego do Inferno is not classified as a river beach, only a few resist to go for a refreshing swim at the lagoon formed by this water fall.
Unfortunately Pego do Inferno’s area was seriously destroyed by a huge fire and it lost part of its charm. However, I hope that soon the area will recover and Pego do Inferno regains its beauty once again.
Last but not least there are the beaches, those long and amazingly beautiful beaches, which enchant us with their long golden sands and warm and crystal clear waters. Either Tavira island that comprises Tavira Island beach, Terra Estreita Beach, Barril Beach and Homem Nú beach or at Cabanas Island you will find the perfect spot for relaxing holidays.
One of the most distinctive traces of these beaches is the accessibility as they can only be reached by boat or, in the case of Barril Beach and Homem Nú, by a picturesque train.