Tavira’s charm isn’t easily captured. Dutch writer Tessa de Loo once described her visit to the town as ‘I came, I saw and I fell in love….’ (In the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf of 15 May 2010). The town is famous for its narrow, cobbled streets and the bustling Fish Quay with its many chic restaurants and café bars. Take your pick of historic sites or visit the Moorish castle… you’ll soon discover that Tavira more than deserves your time.
The most striking architectural feature is the seven arched Roman Bridge (Ponte Romana), which spans the river Rio Gilão. Once a major Roman gateway, nowadays the bridge is only accessible for pedestrians. Fishing boats lie high when the tide is out and this is the time you see locals wading in the river to fish for clams and periwinkles.
For culture lovers Tavira has a lot to offer. Standing in the central square you can easily spot over 40 churches. The Igreja da Misericórdia is one of the most impressive of them. The renaissance features on both the entranceway and the interior are unique to the Algarve.
A ferry takes you in 15 minutes to the outstretched and quiet beach of Ilha da Tavira. From the ferry you see storks and flamingos wading through shallow water hunting for fish. Tavira is famous for its salt production and a visit to the saltpans – that stretch for miles along the coast - is worth the journey.