Tavira, the gem of the south coast

Close to the east coast, only half hour of train ride from Faro, capital of Algarve region, lies the little town of Tavira. Being called the most picturesque place in the area it sure has a lot to offer. Located only a stone's throw from the sea on the both sides of river Gilão it combines warmth of Mediterranean atmosphere with cosines of the hinterland.

Once disembarking yourself at the train station, you’re first greeted by a couple of life sized statues of a man and a lady waving in his arrival. You’re instantly dragged into the soulful atmosphere by the art and old equipment being placed in and around the roundabout.

outside the train station

It takes only a short walk from there to reach town’s old center. Little streets crowned by traditional houses with colorful windows and details made of tiles create a friendly and homey atmosphere. The whole place is mounting towards the top of the hill where passing some ruins of city walls, you'll reach two of town's main churches, big park, and remains of the castle.

view at Igreja de Santa Maria from within the castle walls

Close by you'll also find my favorite attraction: the old water tower now converted into camera obscura from where you can see the entire town, all the way to the sea and up to the mountains. 
You're taken to a dark space on top of the tower and gathered around the concave canvas. The controller will then open the flap to let the light in and the tour can begin. You get an amazing overview of the city from all the different angles and can observe the life happening in front of you in real time. This is accompanied with many historical facts and stories, not to mention that the owner is very knowledgeable and extremely fun to listen too.

the transformed water tower

He also encouraged us to climb up the castle walls and this was exactly what I did after. You can freely climb around, enjoy the views over town and some luxurious residences underneath or chill in the beautiful garden located in within the yard.

view over Tavira towards north

I then continued towards the city center located around the wide open Square of republic with the town hall. There are also some art and historical marks and great event space shaped like the Greek theater. 

Praça da República

This also led me to the river Gilão running trough the city, and famous Roman bridge that got its name from being located on the Roman route towards Faro. During the low tide with lack of water underneath it might not look so spectacular but with its seven arches and heart shapped railing is still a wonderful piece of architecture.

the Roman bridge

By the river are also located some of the most beautiful buildings, such as the one of municipal archives and others turned into more touristic spots, like restaurants.

restaurant by the river side

Streets are no less vivid and you can also find beautiful old town square with palms that was at the time enriched with some live music, the only mystery remains a grand building with beautiful balconies, located right next to it, that stands abandoned.

This side of the river too has a hill that continues into more residential area, but also offers some wonderful views, especially those over the river and railway bridge up north. There's also a little church Ermida de Santa Ana, one of many, as you can find over 30 in the whole town. However the newly renovated building isn't meant just for sacral rituals, but in addition serves as a little museum, equipped with informative boards and historical photos.

train from Faro crossing the ridge

However town also has a proper town museum located in Palaco de Galeria, in the same area with it's other most famous sights by the castle. In it you can find an archaeological site, permanent exhibition of Portuguese history and traditions with interactive elements, exhibition of Islamic finds in the area and now hosting photographic exhibition of Artur Pastor who was capturing everyday working life of countryside people.

one of Pastor's photos

The last activity a walk down the promenade, an amazing long park spreading down the west bank, with palms, benches, gazebo and also a market hall, beautiful architectural building (where you can also find free public toilets).

Jardim Público de Tavira

And how could a warm summer day be complete without an ice-cream. I got my big scoops in little gelateria Monster cookie cream, just out of the main promenade, where you can choose from many interesting flavours (beside their collection of waffles, pancakes and milkshakes).

Monster cookie cream caramel and mint gelato

How to reach Tavira: there's a direct train line connection going from and to Faro several times a day,  it takes a bit over 30 minutes, return ticket will cost you 6,40€



  1. Oh, I see Tavira is really a beautiful time. Thanks a lot for taking us with you and sharing all the amazing pictures. The old photo of the pastor is nearly art!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  2. Absolutely beautiful place which is on my travel wish list!
    These photos are amazing!

  3. Such a lovely place - i Like so much the all views here xx

  4. This place looks so incredible, thanks for sharing!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  5. Wow this place looks amazing babe
    Thanks for sharing

    Much Love,

  6. This looks adorable and I love your pics, as usual!
    Kisses, Paola.


  7. Have a happy new week!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  8. I have never been but it looks so beautiful! What amazing photos you took there! :)

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :)

    Away From Blue

  9. Beautiufl pictures. I hope I will visit this placese one day. xx


  10. How pretty. Especially that cute restaurant outside!


  11. These views! I just want to sit outside and enjoy an ice cream in this sunshine. Hope you had a lovely time xx


  12. Perfectly composed articles. Thank you for the share.

    Nahid | https://bestclicknow.com


Post a Comment

Popular Posts