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Tavira is a city in the Algarve region of Portugal. Crossed by the Gilão River, it is one of the most monumental cities in Portugal, with its 37 churches.


Tavira (tuh-VEE-ruh, /tɐ.ˈvi.ɾɐ/) municipality has 26,167 residents (2011), with about 13,400 living in the city proper. Fishing settlements Cabanas de Tavira and Santa Luzia lie about 6 km to the east, resp. 3 km to the west of Tavira, with apartment resort Pedras de El-Rei further 1.5 km west from Santa Luzia. Tavira and all there settlements provide access to the Ria Formosa National Park islands Ilha de Tavira and Ilha de Cabanas and their beaches.


Roman bridge of Tevira

The city was founded in 1890 BC under the name Talábriga. During the Arab occupation, it became, together with Faro and Silves, one of the most important cities in the Algarve. It was conquered by the Christian army in 1242.

During the 17th century it was considered one of the main cities in the Algarve, although signs of decay were beginning to appear. The activity of its port reduced and the city lost importance as a strategic and economic point. Today the city is thriving thanks to the economic boost that the tourism sector has received since the 1960s across the Algarve.


Tavira has a mild climate, with hot summers and humid winters, with more rain in the months of November and December.

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Tavira is connected to Faro (12 trains daily on weekdays and 10 on weekends, around 40 mins) through where you can connect with other major cities like Lisbon or Porto. There is no train connection from/to Spain in the south of Portugal — that's only doable from Lisbon (or by bus from Faro). Train tickets can be acquired online, at the train station, or on board (no surchage).

There are two stops serving Tavira proper:

  • 1 Tavira Station (Estação de Tavira), Largo de Santo Amaro, s/n PT-8800-703 Tavira (western edge of the city). A small station with two ticket counters and a waiting room. €3.25 adults to Faro. Estação Ferroviária de Tavira on Wikipedia
  • 2 Porta Nova stop (Apeadeiro de Porta Nova), Rua do Apeadeiro, s/n PT-8900-363 Tavira (north-east of the city proper). A train stop with no facilities. €3.40 adult to Faro. on Wikipedia

Further east, Conceição stop serves the settlements of Conceição and Cabanas de Tavira.

  • 3 Conceição stop (Apeadeiro de Conceição), Rua da Estação, s/n PT-8800-081 Conceição TVR (5 km from the eastern edge of Tavira proper, 1.3 km north from Cabanas de Tavira waterfront). €3.75 adult to Faro.

All trains to/from Faro serve both Tavira stops, Conceição, as well as all the stations to the east up to Vila Real de Santo António at the easternmost end of the Algarve line.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is in Faro (FAO IATA) which is a 45-min drive away, with many daily flights connecting many European cities. Seville Airport (SVQ IATA) is the second-closest airport, although it takes a 2-hr drive. Lisbon's airport (LIS IATA) is a 3-hr drive away.

By bus[edit]

There are daily buses by Vamus Algarve and Rede Nacional de Expressos. ALSA runs buses from Faro to Sevilla in Spain.

Get around[edit]

Map of Tavira

Praça da República

Tavira is a small city and perfectly walkable. On the main square (Praça da República) you can find the Tourism Information Center which can provide you with maps, leaflets and tips.

It's possible to catch a small tour train which goes around the city most interesting landmarks. There are also electric tuk-tuks available which can be a quiet and comfortable way to visit the natural park area.


  • 1 Over 2000-year-old olive tree, Aldeamento Pedras d’El Rey, C. One of the oldest olive trees in Portugal can be visited within the Aldeamento Pedras d’El Rey lodging complex.
  • 2 Tuna fishing museum, Hotel Vila Galé Albacora, Quatro Águas, 8800-901 Tavira (ask for directions at the hotel reception). This hotel usually closes during low season. Entrance is free.
Castelo de Tavira
  • Castelo de Tavira - Of Muslim origin and rebuilt after the Reconquista, there are only a few sections of the wall left in the castle. From the top of the walls you have the best views of the city.
  • Igreja da Misericórdia (Rua da Galeri ) - Considered the best example of Renaissance architecture in the Algarve, it has an interior of three naves, separated by arches based on columns. The altarpiece is of gilded wood carved from the 18th century.
  • Church of Santa Maria do Castelo (Alto de Santa Maria) - It is located inside the castle. Built after the Reconquista and rebuilt after the 1775 earthquake, only the portico and the twin window remain of the primitive Gothic church.
  • Roman Bridge (Avenida 5 de Outubro) - It is the best known bridge in Tavira. It dates from around the 16th or 17th century. Rebuilt in 1992, after a flood in 1989.
  • Praça da República - The most central area of ​​the city, where the City Hall is located.


  • Tavira Horse Carriage Tours See Tavira from a different perspective. Feel its history and discover the beautiful architecture which typifies Tavira.
  • Tavira Boat Tours. Boat tours in Ria Formosa Tavira Ria Formosa as a nesting ground and as a stopping point in migrating routs: Flamingos, Milherango), Storks), King Fisher and so on. Spend some time in close contact with the nature, the wonderful world of birds in its more natural state, and let yourself be fascinated for the enchantment of its sounds, its forms and its colours. Discover the lagoon and his birds.
  • Praia do Barril - Beach near Tavira, next to the village of Pedras de El-Rei. It can be reached by a small train that takes you to the beach in a few minutes. On the beach you can see Boca Cava-Terra and Long-legged crabs.
  • Tavira Island - It's Tavira beach, you have to go by boat where you can catch in the center next to the Ribeira market, or in the area of ​​4 Águas.



Folhado de Tavira - It is a puff cake wrapped in sugar, not to be missed.




Go next[edit]

Routes through Tavira
LisbonFaro  W  E  Castro MarimHuelva

This city travel guide to Tavira is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.