Visiting Tavira In The Algarve

When on holiday we find it gets a little boring to just spend a week sun worshipping. To get the most out of a holiday here at Ambition Earth we like to get out and about a little, explore local areas and absorb some of the culture.

This summer year we stayed in Vale do Lobo in the Algarve, Portugal which is situated right in the middle of Quinta do Lago, Quarteira and Almansil. There’s plenty to do and see within a stone’s throw of the area with one thing being to get in the car and make a visit to the town of Tavira which is just a short 25 minute drive away.

Tavira dates right back to the Bronze Age, around 1000-800 B.C. and offers plenty of reminders about its historic past with rich architecture, cobbled streets, churches, a castle and a “Roman” bridge so if you’re looking for an interesting town with plenty of culture to keep you busy, this makes a great stop.

One of the key highlights of Tavira is the Roman Bridge that crosses the Gilao river, featuring in all of the guidebooks and of course on Trip Advisor. A little independent research shows however that a recent study of the Bridge has determined that the bridge isn’t in fact Roman after all and is now said to originate from the 12th Century Moorish occupation. Whatever its actual origin it’s certainly an interesting location in the town to explore.

Roman Bridge, Tavira
By the Roman Bridge in Tavira

The town centre in Tavira offers all of the usual sights and sounds that you would expect from a historic town like this.

A town square lined with cafes and restaurants…

Tavira Town Square

Memorials and monuments to historic figures…

Tavira Memorial

An outdoor & old indoor market…

Tavira outdoor market
Tavira indoor market

Beautiful cobblestone streets…

Tavira Cobblestone Streets
Cobblestone streets in Tavira

Tile fronted buildings…

Tile fronted buildings, Tavira

Old churches…

Tavira Church

Historic architecture and design…

Tavira architecture
Architecture in Tavira

Rooftop views…

Tavira rooftops

Gilao river…

Gilao river, Tavira
Gilao river, Tavira

And of course plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants lining the streets on every turn.

On the day we visited the streets were lined in beautiful decorations!

Tavira decorations

The other major attraction of Tavira is the castle ruin which sits central to the city. Walking through the narrow streets you eventually reach the castle, or at least what remains of its walls!

Within the structure however there is a beautifully maintained garden full of life and colour and from here you can climb up some vertigo inducing steps to 3 separate sections of the wall which offer stunning views across the city.

Tavira castle
Tavira castle
Tavira castle
Tavira castle
Tavira castle
Tavira castle
Tavira castle

The only other attraction which we passed by as we explored Tavira was an old water tower which has now been converted into an observation deck. Having climbed the castle walls however we felt we would give it a miss though we expect the views from the top would be well worth it.

Water tower observation deck Tavira

And that was it! The only thing left to do before leaving this city was grab an ice cream!

We really enjoyed Tavira – it has a rich culture, is beautifully maintained and you can easily spend a couple of hours here exploring what the town has to offer. If you’re in the area for your next holiday we would absolutely recommend you go and take a look around.

Have you been to Tavira before or planning a trip? Let us know in the comments below.

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