The lovely old fishing town of Tavira with the river Gilao flowing through it is to be found in a truly beautiful setting. A chic place combining the unique Algarve tradition and character architecture with small boutique style shops and galleries. There are plenty of various bars and restaurants with exciting menus centering largely around the fresh fish and seafood. Octopus Salad – Salada de Polvo, Clams and bean stew – Feijoda de lingueirao are available as well as the more familiar dishes such as tuna. Lamb – Borrego is also a favourite dish and of course flavoured with herbs and garlic. A well-known landmark in Tavira is the seven arch bridge over the river Gilao, allegedly of Roman origin, however, its present form originated from the 17th Century.
Today’s visitors to Tavira head to the fantastic beaches during the daytime. Opposite Tavira town, is the island llha de Tavira beach area with regular ferry and bridge crossings to the island. Barril Beach is found in the middle of the Island. Tavira and beyond Santa Luzia Village is located west of Tavira, 10 minutes by local bus. It’s a charming little village with a long seafront to Ria Formosa (a nature reserve) a lagoon like a river flowing between the mainland and the offshore islands.
There is the opportunity to take some good and colourful photos as there are many small bright fishing boats moored here. Good choice of bars and restaurants on the seafront. Santa Luzia, some call it the Capital of the Squid. We tried the Santa Luzia clams – outstanding!
Some fine sandy beaches to take your pick from, take the small train to Praia do Barril beach, here you will also find the Anchor Churchyard, a monument to remind us of the old tuna fishing times. During the high season, it is recommended to take the ferry boat from the seafront to Santa Luzia’s beach Terra EstreitaCabanas resort, located 7km east of Tavira at the beginning of the lagoons of the Ria Formosa natural reserve lies Cabanas. The fishing village of Cabanas de Tavira originates from the 18th Century.
Close to Cabana Village is a 17th Century fort Sao Joao da Barra overlooking the lagoon. Today it is a 10 room Hotel Forte Sao Joao da Barra.
what was until a few years ago a small Algarve fishing village is now a popular holiday resort. The beaches are just a short boat trip across the lagoon, the lovely beach area of IIha de Cabanas (several boat taxis available). It’s probably correct to say that Cabanas caters for all the facilities you need on holiday. Shops, banks, market, bars, and restaurants and good and varied accommodation.