Holidays to Tavira remind you what Portugal's Algarve does best – golden-sand beaches and world-class golf.

Portuguese delight

Set in from the coast in the eastern Algarve region of Portugal, Tavira straddles both sides of the River Gilao. This pretty town's an ideal Portuguese host – fine food, plenty of charm and relaxing surroundings. Around the zig-zagging pathways, you'll find shaded squares and Moorish architecture.

Roman roots

There are little touches of history all over town. The Roman Bridge is car-free, and the grand streets are sprinkled with 18th-century mansions. Over 30 churches still watch over Tavira, and the old water tower's been converted into a Camera Obscura tower with views from every angle.


Ilha de Tavira's a beach island that can be reached via a 10-minute boat ride, or a footbridge if you prefer to stroll. Pedalos, beach clubs and watersports are all the rage here. For something quieter, try the secluded stretch of sand known as Terra Estreita.

Time for tee

People-pleasing Tavira's got three golf courses – Benamor, Quinta de Cima and picturesque Quinta da Ria. While the game's the perfect way to build up an appetite, you'll need no excuse to tuck in to the fruits of the sea. Visit a restaurant near the beach for authentic cataplana de marisco – succulent shrimp, clams and lobster cooked in a copper dish.

At a Glance

  • Spot flamingos at the nature park
  • Try kitesurfing at the beach
  • Take in 360-degree views from the Camera Obscura tower