Tavira set in the eastern Algarve towards the Spanish border has to be the jewel in the crown of the Algarve. It has all that picture postcard town should have and more, Taviras status is a City. Still a lively fishing place with many roads still cobbled. Even the pavements decorated with hand laid black and white square cobbles with traditional designs. With the roman bridge with seven arches that span the river Gilao. Now only open to pedestrians due to flooding in the late 1980s. But not all bad as this means you can stand on the bridge with peace of mind, taking in the view and marvelous architecture on both side of the river. You might even catch a glimpse when the tide is out of fisherman wading in the mud looking for clams and other shellfish. With palm trees on one side, there is a small parkland strip with bandstand and gardens.
This makes a welcome spot to sit in the summer months under the shade of the trees. This beautiful City can capture your interest all day, so making plans for lunch should be on the agenda. You can see from the wealth of the buildings it must have been an important trading port in the 17/18th century.
Tavira has the remains of a castle which like most of Portugal got destroyed by the Huge Earthquake of 1755.
The old market hall on the river has undergone restoration and now houses shops bars/cafes and restaurants making an ideal break stop. Look for events held in the centre too. In addition the market hall makes an ideal meeting place, as to meet up at one of the churches could prove a big mistake as Tavira has 37. Even the 16th century Igreja da Misericórdia seen as one of the finest in eastern Algarve, found near the tourist office. Wandering down the many back streets, there are many town houses with their tiled fronts and wrought iron Juliet balconies. With many lines of washing hanging out it gives a feel of being in a different time.
Bandstand in garden park
Pedestrian only roman bridge
Tavira market square
Roman bridge across the river
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