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Tavira Day Trips and Excursions
Tavira is a charming, authentic Portuguese town in the Algarve that is perfectly situated along the regional railway. Due to its location, historic centre and the abundance of accommodation options, this town makes for a perfect base from which to explore this stunning region. This guide will detail popular day trips from Tavira. All of these places are easily reachable by public transport. Car rental is not required when exploring the Algarve.
Barril Beach and the Anchor Cemetery
The Paia do Barril is a beautiful and interesting beach, south of the small town of Pedras d’El Rei, which makes for a pleasant excursion from Tavira. This relaxing beach is a continuation of the sandbar island of Ilha da Tavira, which offers visitors pristine sands and crystal clear waters.
The Cemetery of Anchors on the Ilha de Tavira
The beach is well connected to the mainland by a miniature railway, which once served a local tuna fishing community. Sadly, this community was abandoned in the 1960s due to a depletion of tuna stock levels but the traditional dwellings have now been lovingly restored.
Praia do Barril tuna fishing houses
These now serve as shops, cafes and restaurants for beach goers. When visiting the beach it is also worth checking out the Anchor Cemetery; a symbolic memorial to the lost community, which is located in the sand dunes along the beachfront. For a guide to Barril beach please click here
The small fishing village of Santa Luzia overlooks the lagoons of the Ria Formosa National Park and has developed into a specialist fishing community that hunts octopus. This Portuguese delicacy is brought in by the fleet early every morning and the catch is traded in the central market. For a guide to Santa Luzia please click here.
The octopus boxed and ready for sale…
During the day the colourful fishing boats are moored along the seafront while the restaurants that overlook the national park serve up this regional delicacy. Santa Luzia is connected to Tavira by a cycle path that then extends on to Pedras d’El Rei. This is suitable for all abilities and bikes can be hired from either Tavira or Santa Luzia. Visitors can also choose to walk the short journey, which takes around 40 minutes.
The Ilha da Tavira
The pristine sand spit of Ilha da Tavira serves is the main beach in Tavira and is definitely worth a visit. The beach has golden sands and clear, but surprisingly cold, waters and attracts a diverse section of people, from Portuguese tourists to locals. There are great tourist facilities on the island, including numerous cafes, shops and even a campsite.
The Barril beach on the Ilha de Tavira
The island is connected to Tavira by a regular and inexpensive ferry service. The beach extends for the length of the island and deserted sections can be just a short walk away. For more active visitors, the beach extends across to Barril Beach and the Anchor Cemetery. This is a 40 minute walk. For a guide to Tavira Beach please click here.
Day Trip to Faro
Faro is often sadly ignored by many tourists visiting the Algarve but, due to the regular train service, this interesting town can be easily visited as a day trip from Tavira. Faro contains a charming historic centre that is encircled by city walls dating from the Moorish Era.For a guide to Faro please click here.
Faro is a pretty traditional city
Other sights of Faro include; the majestic Se cathedral, ghoulish Chapel of Bones and the elaborate city gate. Faro may not lend itself to an extended stay but is ideal as a cultural break from the beach. There are over 10 train services a day between Faro and Tavira and a return ticket costs under €5.00.
Day Trip to Vila Real
Vila Real is a charming Portuguese town that is situated on the very eastern edge of the Algarve. The town boast grandeur that does not reflect its size nor status. When visiting, make sure to check out the impressive central square and decorative 17th Century buildings that overlook the marina.
The ferry from Vila Real to Spain
Another popular activity of Vila Real is cross the wide Rio Guadiana by ferry into Spain. Vila Real was the vision of the Maques of Pombal who founded the town and over saw its rapid two year construction as an important fishing and industrial town. Today the town has a sleepy and relaxing atmosphere and is a pleasant excursion from Tavira. For a guide to Via Real please click here
The central square of Vila Real