Tavira is often talked about as being ‘overlooked’ by people in favour of the larger, more popular towns along the coast of The Algarve. Admittedly, after about 20 visits to The Algarve (this is an estimate as I coudln’t really begin to count!), I had never been to Tavira before, so I was excited to check out this pretty-looking little town.

Tavira is located east of Faro Airport (the main airport for the region) and all the other big towns and resorts are on the west side of Faro. That’s probably the reason it’s less popular than the rest of the places which are all closer together.

But, having now visited Tavira, it’s definitely worth venturing east from Faro Airport. And, Faro itself is worth a visit too, especially the Old Town.

Tavira isn’t a place that’s incredibly lively, instead it’s one of those slow-paced, relaxing little towns where time seems to trickle past, instead of race away from you.

Tavira Portugal

There aren’t the sprawling big hotels that you find in other resorts in The Algarve and I didn’t spot a single Irish pub during my day there.

If you’re looking for a more chilled out and, dare I say, Portuguese experience then Tavira could fit the bill.

tavira portugal

It’s the ideal place to spend a few hours (or more) wandering the streets, admiring the views of the River Gilão and stopping off in outdoor cafes and bars to do some people watching.

There are gorgeous cobbled, pedestrianised streets and houses decked out in colourful Portuguese Azulejo tiles. Picture-perfect buildings at every turn.

Tavira Portugal

The River Gilão seems so be at the heart of the city and it’s peppered with fishing boats and so clear you can see big fish swimming around beneath the surface.

The river leads into the Ria Formosa lagoon, a stunning nature reserve, and then out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Across the river there are several bridges, the most impressive of which is the ancient Ponte Romana. It’s a substantial Roman bridge with seven low arches and dates back to the 17th century.

Ponte Romana Tavira Portugal
Tavira Portugal

Tavira is a great place just to wander, explore the streets and the architecture and forget all about the stresses of modern day life.

Tavira Portugal


My day in Tavira was peaceful and restful. I loved the feeling of getting away from it all, the architecture, the friendly locals and the delicious food we ate there. If you’re looking for somewhere different to visit in The Algarve, I definitely recommend it.

Tavira Portugal