Tavira is a city and municipality in the southeastern Algarve region of Portugal. The city has a population of 26,167 inhabitants, and the municipality has 48,490. It is 34km from Faro, the capital of the Algarve. Tavira is the center of an important agricultural and fishing district. It is known for its white-sand beaches, traditional pottery, and Moorish heritage.
Tavira has been inhabited since the sixth millennium BCE. It was an important maritime trading center in the Phoenician era. The Romans occupied the city in the second century BCE and ruled it until the fifth century CE. The Moors captured the city in the eighth century CE. The Moorish rule of Tavira lasted until the 13th century when the Portuguese reconquered the city.
Tavira was a prosperous city during the 15th and 16th centuries. It declined in the 17th century due to pirate attacks and the earthquake of 1755.
Tavira is located on the eastern bank of the Rio Gilão, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The city is built on a hill, and its streets are narrow and winding. The Rio Gilão is crossed by seven bridges, including the Ponte Romana, a Roman-era bridge.
The city has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
Tavira has many beaches, including the Praia de Cabanas, the Praia do Barril, and the Praia da Terra Estreita.
Praia de Cabanas is a long, sandy beach with dunes and a lagoon. The Praia do Barril is a beach with a unique attraction: a train that runs through the sand to a nearby island. The Praia da Terra Estreita is a secluded beach located in the Ria Formosa natural park.
Tavira has many churches and monasteries and a castle, and several museums. The most notable church is the Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo, a Gothic church with a Manueline portal. The castle, Castelo de Tavira, is located on a hilltop overlooking the city. It was built in the Moorish era and later expanded by the Portuguese. The castle has a museum with exhibits on the history of Tavira.
The beaches of Tavira are some of the best in the Algarve. The Praia de Cabanas is a long, sandy beach with dunes and a lagoon. The Praia do Barril is a beach with a unique attraction: a train that runs through the sand to a nearby island.
Tavira is also known for its pottery, made in the traditional Moorish style. The city's pottery shops are located in the historic center.
Tavira is known for its pottery, made in the traditional Moorish style. The city's pottery shops are located in the historic center.
Tavira has several museums, including the Museum of Archaeology, the Museum of Sacred Art, and the Castle Museum.
The Museum of Archaeology is located in the former convent of Santa Clara-a-Nova. It houses a collection of Roman, Moorish, and Portuguese artifacts. The Museum of Sacred Art is located in the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo. It contains a collection of religious art, including paintings, sculptures, and tapestries. The Castle Museum is located in the castle of Tavira. It has exhibits on the history of the castle and the city of Tavira.
Tavira is known for its fresh seafood. The city's restaurants serve various seafood dishes, including grilled fish, cataplana (seafood stew), and arroz de marisco (seafood rice).
Other popular dishes in Tavira include carne de porco alentejana (pork and clam stew), caldo verde (kale soup), and pastel de nata (custard tart).