10 best places to visit in Tavira
Today we will talk about Tavira, one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. Known for its 37 churches, the roofs, the Roman bridge, the Mediterranean diet, Tavira has a strong historical and cultural component to offer who visit.
We suggest, on your next visit to the Algarve, dedicate some of your time and get to know this magnificent city located on the riverside. To help you, we prepared a list of 10 best places to visit in Tavira.
To start your visit to Tavira, we recommend the Roman Bridge, or “Old Bridge”. This bridge connects the two sides of the Gilão River and is one of the important symbols of the city. Built in the middle of the 2nd century, this bridge has undergone changes over the years, largely due to floods, and has taken this appearance since the XVII century. During the summer it is possible to enjoy pleasant small boat trips on the River.
Jardim do Coreto
Then, a few meters away, is the Jardim do Coreto, the oldest garden in the city, built in 1890.
In the centre of the garden, it is possible to contemplate the bandstand and its architecture called 19th-century iron.
If you bring the children, in the garden there is a turtle aquarium and various recreational activities (summertime).
Mercado da Ribeira
Next to Jardim do Coreto garden is the Mercado da Ribeira, a XIX century building, with a single floor that combines a stone and iron construction.
This building functioned as a municipal market until 1999. Nowadays, in addition to containing some restaurants, also has cultural functions, such as handicrafts exhibitions, decoration and secondhand products.
After Mercado da Ribeira, please follow the way to the Tavira Castle, classified as a National Portuguese Monument.
This castle was conquered to the Muslims in the middle of 1240, by the forces of D. Paio Peres Correia. Later, D. Dinis had the walls redone and, D. Manuel created a new entrance, closer to Rossio, to facilitate the trade. It is still possible to see the two towers.
In the interior, you can find flower gardens and a panoramic view of the city. The visit to the castle has a timetable, also can change according to the time of year.
You can ask for further information at the Tourist Office, located at Praça da República, which is on the way between the Mercado da Ribeira and the Castle.
Church of Santa Maria
Next to the Castle, it is possible to admire the Church of Santa Maria, one of the 37 churches in this city. With construction in the 13th century, it is estimated that this church was built in an old mosque.
The famous clock tower of this church belongs to the primitive construction, although with later decorative additions.
The Church of Santa Maria curiosity is the towers, are located near the top when they are usually on the opposite side.
Igreja da Misericórdia (Church of Mercy)
As Tavira is an excellent place for those who like historical and religious tourism, we recommend continuing your visit on foot and visiting some of the 14 open churches, such as the São Sebastião Chapel, the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church, São Brás Chapel, Nossa Senhora da Ajuda Church and the Misericórdia Church.
Located next to D. Manuel door, this church was built between 1541 and 1551. It is known for its renaissance-style beauty, with the baroque interior in gilded woodcarving.
Fado com História
Right next to the Misericórdia Church it is possible to enjoy a live music show « Fado com História« . This show tells the story of Portuguese music accompanied by the Portuguese guitar and is told in several languages.
The Auditorium timetable is Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00.
Tower of Tavira
No more than 500m from the Castle, there is the Tavira Tower, an old water deposit that has become an obscure chamber. Here you can experience a 360-degree guided tour of the city from a giant camera, using a simple optical principle, composed of a mirror, already used by Leonardo Da Vinci. This visit is very suitable to do in the company of the youngest.
Islamic Museological Nucleus
Open since 2012, the most recent part of the Tavira Municipal Museum shows a vast collection of Islamic times, coming from interventions carried out in various locations in the city.
Of the different objects on display, the best known is the « Vaso de Tavira ». There is also a permanent local exhibition, called “Tavira Islâmica”, and several temporary exhibitions.
• Winter: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 2 pm to 5:30 pm.
• Summer: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 3 pm to 6:30 pm.
• Closed to the public: Sundays, Mondays and holidays.
Tavira salt pans
As the landscape of Tavira diffuses with the history of salt, one of the crucial places to visit is the Tavira salt pans. The salt flats are an “open-air laboratory” with ancient technology adapted to the landscape of the Ria Formosa.
The visit is recommended at any time of the year since the Rui Simeão Warehouse is open to the public to tell the story of the artisanal exploration of the salt flower.
In addition to the salt pans being a humanized environment for various species of birds and other living beings, we guarantee that you will have another perspective on the salt crystal.
Did you like our list? Tell us more about your favourite location in the city of Tavira.