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Tavira is a very charming town, located on the eastern side of Algarve. Once it was a fishing village, and served as a capital port for trading in the 17th and 18th century. Today is an attractive town where you will find many influences from Arab and Portuguese culture. It has a unique character, unlike many other resorts in the region. The center of the town is full of history, and is about couple of kilometers away from the coast. In order to reach the beaches you need to take a very short boat ride from the center of town. Ilha de Tavira is the famous beach in Tavira, stretching to over fifteen kilometers. Period between June and August is the best for spending a vacation, when the average temperature is around 30 C.
Eastern part of Algarve is much calmer than the central region, so Tavira is ideal for those that seek peaceful and quiet holiday. Individual tourists and couples are most attracted to the town, as well as families with children, but Tavira is relatively far from the theme parks and water parks that are mostly found in the central region of Algarve. Gilao River also flows in Tavira and enters into the national park of Ria Formosa. There you can see some incredible wildlife and beautiful blue lagoons. Over Gilao River there is a bridge of seven arches, dating from Roman times. There are some beautiful gardens here where you can rest and chat with locals. There is a market hall near the river front where you will find plenty of shops and restaurants.
In Tavira there are over twenty beautiful churches well worth visiting. Igreja da Misericórdia is an amazing church, dating from the 16th century. Inside this church you will see some amazing scenes and carvings. Church of Igreja de Santa Maria do Castelo is very close to the town’s castle and it dates from the 13th century. From that same period is the Tavira`s castle which offers great views on the town.
Tavira also has a very nice architecture. Buildings around the main square are very nicely designed, and there are many houses next to each other in typical Portuguese style. There are lots of parks and beautiful gardens, as well as large selection of restaurants and bars in town. If you like to shop then visit the large shopping mall called Gran Plaza where you will find numerous great stores and restaurants, or you can go watch a movie in the cinema.
There are many different places around town of Tavira which you can explore. Picturesque town of Cabanas is very close, and is a good place for taking a day trip. Visiting Santa Luzia is another great thing to do. This small fishing village is known for its octopuses, and local fishermen are selling them on the open market. Octopuses are considered a major specialty here, and you can also taste them in some of the many nice local restaurants around the harbor.